I’ve been in Tanzania for just over a month now. A few days ago, I thought of a word that best describes my life here.
Literally, God lifted me out of my life in Canada with all its technology and appliances; a place that after all my years of living there had become familiar to me. Now I live in a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, of new people, places and experiences. Now I have first-hand experience of what it means to come to a country where the culture and the language and the way of life are unknown (even though they’ve been read about) until they are experienced.
Last Sabbath, I got to do something I am familiar with wherever I am in the world: I was invited to preach the sermon during the church service held for the children at the Mugeta School – with a translator, of course. Because I was able to choose my topic, I chose a topic that is near and dear to my heart: the unmatched love of God! Here’s an excerpt.
God’s love is full of joy … God’s love is full of peace. Peace is how we feel when we get along with others, when we trust God so we’re not afraid. People with peace in their hearts don’t fight with anyone.
God’s love is full of patience … God’s love is full of kindness.
God’s love is full of goodness. We can choose to do things the way God’s Word tells us to do things because God’s Word and His ways are always full of goodness!
God’s love is full of faithfulness. We show we are faithful when we do what we say we will do, when we finish what we start, when we love others even when it is hard because God asks us to be faithful to His way of caring for people.
God’s love is full of gentleness … God’s love helps us have self-control … God is love so He is full of forgiveness. When we do something wrong and then we ask God, with our whole heart, to forgive us, He forgives us! Then we forgive others when they ask for forgiveness and even if they don’t ask.
… When I came here, I didn’t know anyone. I am far from my home in Canada. I am far from my family, but I’ve never been far from God, and God has never been far from me. Even when I don’t know what people are saying to me because I don’t speak Kiswahili very well yet, God’s Holy Spirit is with me; God’s Holy Spirit is helping me to make my home here …
It is my prayer that we will love others as God loves us; that we will forgive others as God forgives us; that we will receive God’s love and commit to sharing it with others. It is within our power, moment by moment with God’s help, to make this world a better place. Amen.
This article will appear in the February 1, 2024 edition of the North Simcoe Springwater News (www.springwaternews.ca)