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Africa Inland Mission
May 13, 2017 7:59 pm
Published in: Church Ministry

Raphael came to us from ‘way down south in Tanzania; down near the coast of the Indian Ocean and was from another tribe. He was a trained teacher, experienced in primary school administration and was assigned to head up the school at Salawe, the location which would later become a full-fledged mission station.
I had been assigned to build that school – to secure the land, get the needed buildings up, which included teachers’ houses and provide desks and other needed furniture – and to oversee its activities. This was to be done from our current mission residence, about 45 miles (about 4 hours!) away. More fun. Another missionary had started the construction work.
Before Carol and I moved to that place, administration both of area churches and of the schools was done from the Kijima station where we lived. I was responsible to deliver the teachers’ pay each month and, besides other preaching trips, went out at the end of each month to do this.
There were two major seasonal swamps between Kijima and Salawe and, when it rained, it was difficult to get through. If it rained hard at the end of the month, I often had to wait for several days before going in order for the water to go down and roads to dry out a bit.
This one year was a very wet year. It was impossible to get my Land Rover over the second swamp so I set up “office” in the forest and made arrangements for the teachers to meet me there to get their pay.
Bible education was one of the classes at that new school. Raphael, being headmaster, kept me informed of everything happening. He was very keen on the spiritual well-being of the students.
On one of the days when the teachers had to visit my “forest office” to be paid, Raphael was the first one there. He could hardly contain himself. With great joy and enthusiasm his first words were, “This month, six boys came over onto the Lord’s side.”
Great news! Together we thanked the Lord and knew that the school would be a great outreach to young people to hear the Word of God.
Later, Carol and I moved out to Salawe – first, living in a tent, then in a small teacher’s house and later into a newly built residence. During all that time Raphael remained as head teacher. He and I worked together, our children played with his children. Thank you, Lord, for relationships and friendships built.

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