Rebekah Saylor is a member of a Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team among the Zigua in Tanzania. Part of the team’s outreach to Komsanga village has been establishing a nursery and primary school.
Our village leader, Mwenyekiti, is a force to be reckoned with. She is well respected in the village and is full of wisdom. She is also adamantly opposed to hearing about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Many of the members of our team have shared the gospel with her countless times, but she usually responds with a polite, “Maybe another day” or, “That’s great for you, but I’ll stick with my religion.” She has made it pretty clear that Jesus is not for her. Nonetheless, her youngest son and four of her grandchildren are students at our nursery, an openly Christian school. A few weeks back, Mwenyekiti mentioned that she was fairly certain her son was ready to profess Christ as his Saviour. We were thrilled to hear this, of course! The conversation went on and Mwenyekiti casually continued, “I expect this next generation to all be Christians because of the school. They won’t be Muslim anymore.” WHAT? Yes! Praise Jesus! This is our prayer.
In Bible class a few weeks ago, we took a couple of days to review the stories we had learned so far. The children successfully recounted story after story from the Old Testament. It’s an amazing thing to hear these children, who have grown up wearing charms to protect them from spirits and who often sleep through drumming and chanting around their homes at night, recount the story of God and his plan for a Saviour. Each morning they say the Lord’s prayer together and share prayer requests from their homes, taking it in turns to pray for each other. They faithfully pray for their parents, that they would come to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Not just school
One of my favourite parts of this process is seeing how the things that they are learning in school spill over into the other areas of their lives. David insists that when guests visit his house they pray before eating. Grace says that sometimes she goes behind her house just to be alone and praise Jesus. The other day, two boys were overheard reciting John 3:16 to each other. One little guy prays for his dad each morning – and sometimes his dad will even remind him when he forgets!
Our desire is to see the gospel go forth in this village through this little school. We want to see the next generation of Zigua committed to Jesus Christ. Despite the obstacles, we believe God is at work here. He is on the move, and we are so ready to see what he will do!