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  • Writer's pictureMatze

Easter and Tanzania

What an eventful month it has been. First I got to celebrate Easter with my church and then I went on a break to Tanzania. I’m excited to share with you what God has done!



Praise and Thanksgiving

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! [Psalms 103:1-5, NLT]

I’m not sure where you are right now in life. Whether you’re full of joy or in deep sadness. But one thing I do know is that God has made you. He has made you the way you are, He has given you life and breath and He has been with you all your life. To me that’s the most amazing message of all time: That the creator God is with me and even offers me a relationship with Him! That’s what happened at Easter. We were lost, but God sacrificed His only son, so that we can live! He forgave us all our mistakes, all our failures. That deserves praise and thanksgiving! With all that I am, I will praise His holy Name! May I never forget the good things He has done for me!


The Lord is risen

Easter to me is the most important of all events. Without Easter: no hope, no future, no forgiveness of failures and mistakes. Without Easter, humanity remains in the state of hopelessness. Without Easter, our faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14) But God himself decided to make a way for us to receive reconciliation with God. God and I, we’re good now. Unbelievable when I look at my own life and how often I fail.

It was amazing to be able to celebrate Easter with my brothers and sisters here in Torit. I invited the church to watch the sunrise on Easter morning, a powerful symbol for me. To start in darkness, Jesus dead, all hope seemed gone, remembering our own state: lost, looking back on our sins. And then as the sun rises, light comes into the world. The sun almost looks like the stone that rolls away. We were supposed to meet at 5am, but nobody was there … I waited and thought to myself that at least I will enjoy this time with God. But then at 5:15, 25 people showed up. I was amazed! We sat in front of the church on a big court in full sight of our neighbors. We worshipped and prayed together, I read the resurrection story and said some words (in Juba-Arabic) and just celebrated the resurrection! It was maybe the most amazing Easter I ever had. And many neighbors stood outside their houses and watched. I pray that God used this moment for his glory!

After that we went home and made ourselves ready for church. All local churches came together to the main church and celebrated together. It was a party! Music, choirs and a really good sermon. It was such a celebration of joy! My personal highlight was to see pastors and women (some 50+ years) dancing and jumping in front of the church, praising the Lord. It was absolutely amazing and I’m so thankful for my church here! The Lord is risen - He is risen indeed!



Tanzania

After 4 months in South Sudan, I was ready for a break and can truly say that I returned well rested and full of energy. I decided to visit some friends I met at a conference last year who live in a rural village in Tanzania. Well, mainly to see one person on that team, my girlfriend! After 9 months of talking on the phone, we were excited and thankful to see each other again.

I spent some days in their rural village. It was really interesting to see similarities and differences to South Sudan. But my highlight was to see the local church they started. After only 1.5 years in that place, there’s now 50 people gathering every Sunday. But God has done great things on Easter. 7 people got baptized and 250 people (including kids) showed up on Easter Sunday! Wow! God is at work! After that, we spent a week at the beach in Dar Es Salaam. It was good to unwind and relax and get back to South Sudan with lots of energy. But of course it was also hard to say goodbye and go back to long distance …



On vacation?

I believe it is healthy and necessary to take breaks, especially when you live in a harsh environment like South Sudan (even more so in a rural village). But God taught me something special this vacation. Paul and Peter seem to agree that we should make the most of every opportunity and to be always ready to share our faith (Colossians 4:5-6, 1 Peter 3:15) - even on vacation? While I was transiting through Nairobi, God gave me several opportunities to share and it was incredible. 2 Uber drivers and one waiter in a cafe. Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean that I give up my calling as a Christian. We are all called to share our faith with those around us. At all times. Pray that God would give you opportunities like that and pray that He would use you. What a joy it is to share the good news! (Isaiah 52:7)


What’s next?

I have now only 2.5 months left here in Torit before I go back to Germany for a break. In this time, I will start learning Lopit (language of the tribe I’m moving to), do a short visit in Lopit to work on my house and continue investing in the youth of my church. I’m excited for what’s to come! I will also work on a promotional video, my first video project.


Thank you for reading and following along. Let me know if I can pray for you!

Blessings,

Matze
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Stay updated!

Pray for:

Thanks:

- For a great and very special time saying goodbye in Lopit. Everyone was super nice and I was able to say goodbye well!

- For the past 2 years. I learned a lot, grew in a lot of different areas and got to know the love of my life.

Requests:

- For protection on my travels to Canada.

- For a good time in Canada. That I would be able to finish the video projects well and for protection on my US-trip, visiting supporters of mine.

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