Tabernacle Baptist Church
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Green Team Report
Zane Bruce, Seth Mauldin & Sharon Mauldin
Thank you all for your prayers and financial support for our recent mission trip to Africa. Because you have been our partners on this trip, we want to share some of our experiences with you.
When we arrived in Africa on Tuesday, the 19th of June, none of us had any idea what to expect. On Wednesday, we walked through Sesheke and the neighboring town of Katima and prayed for the Lozi people that they would accept the message we would soon be presenting. Sky & Daniel Scott, the IMB Missionaries serving near Sesheke, explained that the only thing they had planned for us to do was walk around the village and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We were split into six groups of three and sent out into a foreign mission field with only the Word of God as our guide. We walked around and prayed with some of the people that we met until we came across a man named Festus. Festus, who was already a follower of Christ, led us around Sesheke and introduced us to his friends that needed to know Jesus. We told them all about the creation of the Earth, the first sin, and how Jesus died and was resurrected to restore our relationship with God. When we weren’t sharing our faith with anyone, we tried our best to disciple Festus to become the man that God wanted Him to be. We had an opportunity to individually go in a High School classroom and tell them the story of Creation to Christ and how God had saved us and changed our lives. Festus acted as an interpreter for us when we talked to people who didn’t speak English. One of these times was by the Zambezi River when we were witnessing to some fishermen. Five people prayed to receive salvation that day beside the river because we had Festus as a translator. As we were discipling Festus, the major point we were trying to get across was that even after
we left, he still could share his story with the Lozi people. Later that day as we were walking, Festus started sharing his faith on his own with some merchants on the street. This was very encouraging to us to know that we were leaving such a strong Christian in Sesheke to do God’s work after we departed.
I, Seth, grew more as a Christian in the eight days we were in Sesheke than I have in 14 years prior. God taught me to just let go and give him control. Before this trip I would try to overcome my problems by trying to work them out with my own power. God has now shown me that all I have to do is surrender it to Him and He will take care of everything. The main thing that I learned was something that Daniel Scott told us one night, “In order to do what God wants you to do, you first have to become who God wants you to be.” I learned that God works in mysterious ways and that we have to just give up and trust in Him.
I, Zane, can’t begin to tell you all what a privilege it was to go on this trip and how much it changed my life forever. It was amazing to see God’s hand at work in each and every situation long before we left. He provided for all our needs. Each day was a new story, with new faces. One of those faces was Festus’. He was truly an inspiration. He became one of my closest friends in Sesheke. He was somewhat uncertain of His faith in the beginning but by the end of the trip, he had become an inspiration to me. His passion and faith for Jesus grew so much over the course of the week. By the end, I knew He was a changed man and that God had lit a fire in His heart. Not only was he an inspiration to me but also everyone who was on this trip inspired me so much and gave me so much encouragement. We all shared a burning passion to reach the Lozi people this week and it was amazing how God worked. It says in Hebrews 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose hearts.” I believe this mission team lived out these verses this week.
This was the scariest and best mission trip that I, Sharon, have ever had the privilege of attending. On Wednesday, before we began our prayer walking for the day, Sky Scott shared with us a few things that we needed to pray for Sesheke and the Lozi people. She told us that we need not pray that the darkness will be removed but for the Light of Jesus to shine upon this village. She said, “…because when the Light shines the darkness will flee.” And thanks to all of you who prayed for us so faithfully, the Light of Christ did shine on Sesheke this past week. It was so remarkable to watch God work through 20 people to share His gospel to an entire village. The most important thing I learned about myself is that my own words have no power at all but with the power of the Holy Spirit speaking through me, He can change lives. I was nervous every morning before leaving the Lodge wondering how we were going to share with people for that day. And no matter what plans we made for the day, God had His own plans and directed us right where He wanted us to go and just what to say. My favorite part of the trip was listening to my son, Seth, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Lozi people. I watched him grow so much this week.
I am also honored that God allowed me to be a part of such special group of people sent to Sesheke as Ambassadors of Christ. I shared with the group on our last devotion together that I do not know why God choose me to be a part of this trip but I am so glad that He did. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
We didn’t let distractions hinder us from carrying out the mission we were sent by God to do. Although the Makuha (white people) had to return home, the Light of the World is still in Sesheke. We pray that the foundation God laid through us will only continue to grow, and that the Lozi people’s passion for Christ will burn like the sun. Discipleship is the key to keeping this passion alive and God has given them the tools to continue the work He started through us. In closing, we hope this letter has been an encouragement to you all. We also pray that Christ will continue the work He began in us; that we too will continue to share God’s love and grow more Christ-like. Pray for encouragement, pray for wisdom, pray for passion but above all pray for the salvation of the Lost. We all must reach them no matter where we are in this world.
May Grace and Peace be upon each of you from our Father God and Lord Jesus Christ.