On our next to last day, we were heading to Kigoma camp for our final day of evangelism, when a young man stopped Dan and tried to talk to him in English. We thought he was a Christian because it seemed like he was talking about evangelizing. Our translator told us he was saying that he wanted to be “evangelized.” So, Dan and Stanley shared the Gospel with him. A small crowd gathered, mostly young men. They all prayed to receive Christ! These “unscheduled” stops are a great reminder to always be looking for opportunities to share with people who desperately need to hear the Good News! We would have walked right past him if he hadn’t stopped us.
While Dan was talking to the group of guys, a few young kids came over to listen. One little girl got her bare foot stepped on by an older kid. She started screaming hysterically. There was a puddle of blood forming around her toes. The child who stepped on her foot picked her up and tried to carry her down the street. She was still crying and in a lot of pain. Finally, Prosper picked up the little girl and we walked down the road to find her mom. I gave her an anti-bacterial wipe and told her to wash the little girl’s foot with soap and water then to clean it really well with the wipe. She promised to do that. I noticed that she had a bar inside her home – I saw a table and some chairs, a couple of men were in there smoking and drinking some kind of brew. I told her that I wanted to talk to her later and she agreed that I could come back and talk to her.
The next morning, we stopped at the bar to visit the little girl and her mom. The mom’s name was Francine. The little girl was Aliese. She showed me her daughter’s “clean” feet – they definitely were cleaner! Francine listened to the Gospel presentation. I asked her if she wanted to pray to receive Christ. She paused, then started talking, going on and on animatedly, somewhat defensively, and kind of preached a sermon right back at us! She basically told us she couldn’t be saved because she owned a bar and that was how she supported her family. Then she pulled Pastor Domitien aside. They walked over to the side of the building and I could see them having an intense discussion. Pastor Domitien motioned for me to join them. He said she really wanted to be saved, but felt like God wouldn’t want to save her because she was unworthy. She owned a bar. She owned a bar was because she was too weak to do physical labor. She was too weak to do physical labor because she had five abortions. She really wanted to pray. She wasn’t sure how she would manage if she had to close down her bar. She wavered, longing to surrender, and in the end, her faith won out. She prayed to receive Christ! I prayed for physical healing for her and for supernatural intervention and provision for her and her family. When we left her, I was overwhelmed with an intense feeling of anger. Not at Francine. I was angry beyond words at the person or persons who performed 5 abortions on this frail mom, rendering her too physically weak to work. I hope and pray that Francine’s faith in God will grow strong and that she will learn that He is loving and trustworthy and gracious and merciful.