Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lyalu and Mr. Nkulukulu

We went to a very poor area of the country and district named Bariadi. I was told that this district was slow in being evangelized because it was out of the way, dry and hot it was avoided by the evangelists. On our first day in the Bariadi district Pastor Harold Mkaro took us to one of his smaller parish Lyalu located about 10 miles from Bariadi. We drove to a small field off the road that was surrounded by a fence of sissel plants. People from the congregation were waiting for us. We found a spot in the shade to conduct our worship service. The choir from Bariadi came out with their generator and keyboard to sing for us. The Tanzanian people love singing and dancing and as people walked down the road stop by to hear the singing and stay for the worship service. Pastor Don Schmidt from Memphis and Pastor Mkaro preached to this small crowd that seemed to grow and grow as the service went along as people heard the music.

Pastor Mkaro pastors the church in Bariadi and has 11 other sub parishes that have started through the work of the church planting ministry and the area evangelist who go into the surrounding areas with Pastor Mkaro After the service we baptized 67 men women and children as well as confirmed the confirmation class.

After the service we divided into 3 groups- children, youth and adults. We shared bible stories and they asked questions about us and America such as do we all ride bikes, do we wash our clothes at the river. They told us that Mr. Nkulukulu had donated a field from his 5 acre farm.

They were proud to show us where they were going to build their new church. The members of the congregation were clearing a spot for the foundation, they had begun making bricks for the walls from the dirt removed from the foundation. The bricks are sun dried, then stacked up in a cube like a kiln and fired. The congregation will do all this work cleaning the spot, breaking rocks for the foundation, making bricks and building the walls. They told us that they did not have money to buy cement for foundation, or wood for the roof trusses or steel sheets for the roof. I gave them some seed money for the cost of the roofing material It will not be enough to finish the job but will get them started.

The field where the church will be located came from one of the parishioners ,Mr. Nkulukulu. He is a spry man 65 to 70 years old. He had a successful farm of approximately 5 acres of land and He was proud to show me all his property.

Over half of his land was plant in sweet potatoes plants which the family can store and eat and he can take some to market to sell for some cash. They also had a small field of corn, they call maize, a small patch of rice, some melons. Papayas. He also had some goats and chickens. He prepared all the ground without any equipment except a with a big hoe.

In the afternoon, they planted a tree near where the church will be built. They called this a planning tree and was planted in memory of our visit to their congregation and in memory donations from Trinity Lutheran church Peoria, Illinois

Later in the evening we used the power of our rented generator to show the DVD story of Jesus from Luke gospel. I think this was the first movie most people had seen and they loved it. These movies are such an effective evangelism tool.