Here is the latest from Mel .... Monday, July 28th ....
So much has happened in the last week! If you have been praying in anyway for Hope of the Nations, or for any of us out here, let me tell you we saw God work through it!
The week started with us going to Kamala on Tuesday. We stayed in the compound that Hope of the Nations runs that has the pre-school in it (where all the chairs that Kingsfield donated went! I got pics!) We got settled in and then went out immediately for door to door...the coolest ministry ever! Its so great because Tanzania, and I'm sure just Africa in general, is such a relationship oriented place, that everyone is welcoming to you. So, basically in this ministry we walk around and wait for someone to invite us to sit down and talk with them, or we will begin by asking questions. Its so great because we learn a lot about the culture and their lives through it, and as a result are able to share Jesus with them. It's really beautiful. There's nothing like it in America, unfortunately.
So, after door to door, we prepared for Kids Club. I actually got to teach on the Good Samaritan! It was so fun!! Completely chaotic, but so fun. I taught about a hundred 2-5 year olds, so we did a drama to coincide with the teaching. It was awesome! The guys from the team and the intern guys got in on it. Emmi was that man robbed, Jason was the priest, Josh was the Levite, and Mark was the Good Samaritan. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and after when answering questions, seemed to understand what it meant to help others in time of need. Praise God! (it really made me miss teaching!!)
That night, after dinner, Harold basiclly told us that we had our hardest challenge in front of us yet. We were given wrong information, and thus got the wrong working Visas, so immigration was ready to come in and arrest us all for not complying with the law. They wanted Harold to pay an outrageous amount, or jail. There really was no in between. One of the team girls mentioned that we should stay up all night and pray for God to work mightily in this situation, so about 8 of us did, and a few others rotated in throughout the night. It was by far the raddest time I have had here yet. Feeling the oppression of the enemy, but then being overwhelmed instantly by the peace of the Holy Spirit was tangible. The whole night we spent praying, praising, and worshipping the Lord. It was probably the most beautiful time I have ever had in my life. To know that God was in control and that no matter what happened, whether we were thrown in prison, or He took care of the situation some other way, was by far the epitome of having His peace that surpasses all understanding. That morning, we were all so excited to see how God was going to work it out. We knew that we came before Him, and that no matter what happened, He would turn it for good!
Well, He did!!! We weren't thrown in jail, though if we had been it could have been another sweet time to share the love of Christ! We had to spend all of Wednesday basically on lock down in the compound at Kamala...they could have arrested us at any time, as we had already done several weeks of work with the wrong Visa. But, God came through it and Harold paid the amount for us to each have the right Visa. (there are so many more details that I will have to talk with you in person about). BUT!!! If at any time on Tuesday afternoon/night you felt compelled to pray for us out here it is because we were praying for you to intercede for us!!! So, if you were then PRAISE GOD!!!! He is so good and powerful! Such a cool testimony and time at His feet that He allowed us to have!!!!
We didn't do any ministry on Wednesday, just worked helpin Winnie set up her pre-school and a couple of the team guys worked on adding to the playground. On Thursday, my last day of ministry there along with the team's (the interns stayed while we went on safari), we were able to go out door to door again, and have Kids Club again. It was awesome! The interns continued to minister through Saturday in Kamala while we were gone. God is good!
Thursday night I went with the team back to the Bible College to sleep, as we were leaving early Friday morning. We headed to the Mission House (Harold and Coni's house) at about 7:30 and were off by 9:00am. It took a solid 9 hours to get there on the bumpiest roads ever, but it was so much fun. We all took turns riding on the top of the car and inside the car. The guys all road on the bumper! No one was thrown off or hurt, don't worry Moqqi :) We stayed at the Katavi Hippo Garden Hotel. Literally, we could hear hippos walking around at night on the lawns. It was amazing! Don't worry Moqqi, our doors were locked and there were gates and chains on the windows :) On Saturday, we went on our Safari! Wow! What an amazing imagination our Lord has! To be able to create not only the land,but the animals that He has...I am left speechless. The highlights of the Safari were...
*Nearly being charged by a water buffalo! So scary, but socool at thesame time!
*nearly being charged by elephants! So scary, but again, so cool at the same time!
*seeing a brand new baby elephant! It was so cute! We also saw a baby zebra! Love the babies!!!
* Seeing a lioness in a tree just laying there, and then seeing about 4 others that were in a tree about 200 feet away. SO COOL!
This has been such an incredible week! God is amazing! I can't believe that I have less than a week here. I don't know if I'll get to email again, as I leave Kigoma on Sunday, and have to spend the night in Dar Sunday and Monday, and then leave Dar Tuesday morning. Thank you for all of you who have bee praying. God is incredible and He has done so many amazing things.
Love you all,