Dear Supporters, Family and Friends,
It has been a sad but victorious week here in Tanzania. On May 4, the people of God lost a valiant soldier of the cross. He was known to us as Blind Man Moses. He gradually went blind in the mid-1980's, probably due to diabetes. Then, in 1998 he was taught the Gospel and obeyed it. Moses began attending the services of the Church in Arusha. But that meant riding each Lord's day down off the mountain on the back of a motorcycle that belonged to Francis Wechesa. He also, even though blind, began teaching people the Gospel.
Sometime after this, two young men by the name of Iyubu and William showed up at the Arusha building and said "Moses has sent us down from the mountain to be baptized" (Not Mt. Sinai, but Mt. Meru! Ha ha) Both are still faithful and strong Christians. In fact, William went on to attend and graduate from the ACSOP and is now the preacher for the Maji ya Chai congregation. In addition, he taught his older brother and he, along with his wife, are now Christians. Thus, Moses, being dead, yet speaks through his labors.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. Those motorcycle trips down the mountain were not without accident. In the words of Cy Stafford, there were some Sunday mornings when both Francis and Moses would arrive at the Arusha building muddy and skinned up from having taken a fall. It did not take long for them to figure out that a congregation needed to be established on the side of the mountain. It started out small; so small they could all fit inside a room in Moses' house which also housed the goats and cows when worship and Bible study were not taking place. I sat inside that goat pen a few times myself and preached sitting down with the smell of "the farm" wafting through the breeze (In truth, it brought back memories of my early years of being on the farm which are still very fond to me). But, eventually the congregation grew, through the efforts of many, but also from the very strong and faithful dedication of Moses. They outgrew that goat shed and now have a very nice block building with a tin roof (In fact, Moses donated the land). The building is a testimony to many who contributed their time and their money, but most of all it is a testimony to the life of a man who, though blind, "saw" the truly important things in this life and lived his life accordingly.
I began by saying that it has been a sad but victorious week. It has been sad because we have lost a friend and brother. It has been victorious because a saint has gone to be with Abraham and Lazarus. And, now that he is in that perfect place, he is no longer blind and he no longer suffers from diabetes.
I was privileged to be asked to lead the closing prayer at the funeral. In that prayer I said "We do not say 'Goodbye' to Moses today, we say 'We will see you later.'" May we live in such a way as to make those words come true.
Moses, until next time....