We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Running the Race

We have just come home from a celebration service and lunch, celebrating the fourth birthday of NCLC, a vibrant and serving church here in Mwanza, led by good friends, John and Dawn Cottey. It was a privilege to be with this church as they reflected on the journey they have travelled together and more significantly looked ahead as they move into the unknown excitement of the future!
Celebration lunch with NCLC Church
Sometimes it is so easy to walk with our eyes down on the track at our feet, still moving forward, but missing so much on the way and so easily getting lost. But how encouraging it is to see how far we have come, and how wise to look ahead and check the route in front; to see the bigger picture!

Sometimes it seems too overwhelming to look around. At the moment I look one way and see refugees in traumatic crisis and a seemingly impossible situation worldwide. I look the other way and see thousands of unborn babies being murdered and their aborted body parts being sold. And then I see the recent attack on a person with albinism, this time in Kenya close to the border, so that the body parts can be sold for the Tanzanian election. And in the midst of these large-scale problems I hear of our friends' pain in the death and injuries from a single road accident outside Mwanza this week; the pain and also bravery of Amisadai's friend in the UK persevering with chemotherapy.

And in the midst of all this, I am ashamed to admit that I yet again became distracted in my track by my own little woes when plans for agricultural training and the albinism mamas group frustratingly failed to materialise and while worrying about the lack of electricity for three days last week. And thinking about it, I see now that I completely came out of my lane when dealing with the problems so crossly with the men from the electricity company.

This morning was a good reminder for me to check how I am running my race. A reminder to walk by faith, certain of what I do NOT see, as opposed to what my human eyes see all around me. For faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. It is in faith we can persevere without growing weary or losing heart. That's encouraging! And just looking in the Bible in Hebrews chapter 11, we can see the example of those who have done this. People who were tortured, stoned, sawn in two; people who were destitute and mistreated; people whose weakness was turned to strength.

No, I cannot save the world. No, I cannot fix things. But I can fix my eyes on the One who can fix it. Someone who already has fixed it. And I can run alongside others finding the race tough, because we are running this difficult but victorious race together. And this is what I love about NCLC. They are supporting one another in the race. Their "House on the Hill" supports nine young guys with a place to live, food to eat and education. These guys are starting on the track and the church is running alongside them! It's a race worth running!

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