Twinkle in our eyes:
As we arrived at our most aged lay-missionary's house we were greeted warmly by his wife. The aged missionary came out to meet us also. We gathered up the 16 small boxes and started to bring them into his house. He asked what we were bringing. With a twinkle in my eye, I said, "We are bringing you your order. You did order something didn't you?"
With as much of a twinkle in his eye, he replied, "Let us go in the house and see. Maybe so!"
I then asked if he had been praying for reading glasses so that he could help people see their Bibles again, and he started making some unusual sounds. I inquired about the strange sounds.
His wife said, "He is happy. VERY happy!" Background:
About four years ago when a shipping container arrived, a couple of boxes of donated reading glasses were made available for those who needed them. We did a lot of eye testing and giving away of reading glasses in several villages. We soon learned that people who did not need reading glasses would come to get them just because they wanted them. This troubled us, as we knew that there are people that really needed them and desired them.
God provided a solution. The oldest lay-missionary on staff at Kibidula was happy to start doing the testing and distribution. Knowing the language, culture and people so much better than we do, he is able to make sure that the glasses really do get to the people that need them, not just "want them".
After a time, the glasses were gone. He asked if we were able to get some more, and at the time we were not. Much time has passed.
Several months ago, I was asked if I could provide some contact information to a person in Europe that would be visiting Tanzania. I tried to find the information, and I shared it with him. We didn't have a lot of communication, but only a few short emails back and forth.
Then just this last week, the man from Europe and four others arrived at Kibidula for a very short visit as they passed through. After they arrived, as they were receiving a tour of our campus, we met. The group from Europe told me that they had glasses for me, about 300 sets. I was surprised and delighted. They asked how to get them to me, and we decided that if they put them in the office I would collect them. I didn't ask much at that point as I was needed to return back to teaching as it was class time in the Evangelism School and we were in the Medical Missionary training weeks.
The next day I received the glasses, but our guest had already left. There were 16 small boxes full of new reading glasses with varying strengths!
I do not know how God impressed this group to get these and bring them. They had to take up a large portion of the coveted luggage space for their trip.
Just several weeks before, another person from Kenya had come for a visit, and he mentioned that he needed glasses as his were stolen with a few other things on his journey here.
I asked what kind of glasses.
He said they were reading glasses.
I asked what strength.
He said 1.0.
Hmm. That is the same strength as my reading glasses. I felt impressed to give him my only set of reading glasses. I did.
Reading glasses are expensive here in Tanzania. The last time I saw some and asked the price they were almost 100 USD each!
I looked online and ordered a set through eBay, knowing the likelihood of them actually reaching me here in Tanzania is slim. I only spent 99 cents, so the loss wouldn't be great if they didn't arrive. They have yet to arrive.
So when these glasses arrived, I thankfully praised God for supplying not only my need for reading glasses but for many, many other people. Joyful answer to prayers:
We explained to our aged missionary about how the glasses came. I asked if he had been praying for more glasses. He said he had prayed and prayed, but so much time had passed. He said many people had still be coming asking for glasses. They wanted to be able to read, especially the Bible, but were unable because of poor eye sight.
Before leaving, we prayed together. He gave such a heartfelt prayer full of appreciation to God for supplying this need, and how it would help so many people to read His Word. It was a rather lengthy, wonderful prayer. We were filled with joy and thanksgiving. Before you call I will answer:
As if this wasn't enough, as we were starting to walk out, I noticed a few bundles of Bible Studies on a table. I said, "Oh, you have gotten some of the new Bible Studies that just arrived a couple of weeks ago in the container."
He looked at me confused and said that these were the very last of these studies he had to give to people form a very long time ago. (We haven't received these particular studies for many years.)
I told him that we had many boxes of them that had just arrived.
HE WAS OVERJOYED - AGAIN!
God cares, and does answer prayers. He does know our needs, and loves to give that we may be channels of giving.
Thank you for all your prayers and support that allow us at Kibidula to share the Good News of God's love with so many through so many different ways (Bible Studies, Lay-Missionary Program, Evangelism School, Primary School, Agriculture School, Secondary School, Medical Missionary training and outreach, books, tracts, One-Day-Churches, and so many more!)
If you would like to support any of the projects at Kibidula, please see the following as options of giving.
Checks can be written to “OCI” and specify “Kibidula” as the project you want to support. If you wish to support a specific project within Kibidula, please ALSO specify which project such as “Kibidula: Lay Evangelists”. Then send your check to:
Outpost Centers International
5340 Layton Lane
Apison, TN 37302
If doing an online donation and you do not see the department or project you wish to sponsor, please send us an email with the date and amount of donation and the correct department information. This will allow us the opportunity to put the donation into the correct department.
Thank you for your support.