Dear Friends of GFF,
I stepped before several hundred Tanzanians who were seated around the homestead of Jumanne’s closest relative. It was his funeral, and, as village life goes in Tanzania, everyone stops to attend.
“Jay” (for ease) was led to the Lord by a GFF church planting missionary. Jay was a young single Muslim male who was looking for work to support himself while, at the same time, being crushed under the weight of his own guilt and shame. The Lord clearly brought the two together at just such a time as that.
When Jay prayed to receive Christ, his whole life changed! The evidence was undeniable not only to those who lived around him, but also to his family. That’s why I was standing before them all–his neighbors and family—on the day of his funeral. He could not bear the thought of his family continuing without the truth about God, Jesus, the Bible, and eternal life. Thus, this quiet and non-assuming young man took Gospel booklets to family gatherings and passed them out carefully. This clearly angered and embarrassed his older brothers who threatened to stop him!
Whether he was poisoned by one of them, or he died within 24 hours of contracting a highly aggressive and rare infectious disease (like the hospital report reads)…shortly after his second successful Gospel tract distribution among family…we will not know until eternity. But, at that moment, it mattered no longer. The missionary who had led him to Christ was on furlough. That’s when I was called to help make arrangements for the funeral.
The family claimed the body so as to follow Islamic burial traditions, an act which Jay would have protested. However, being a family of some means and strong influence, we decided to let them have their say concerning the body over which they had exercised power but had no power of the eternal soul! (Mat. 10:28). A part of the agreement was for me to have five minutes to speak at the ‘pre-funeral.’
Though I took liberties with the time, I did not take liberties with the manner in which I spoke. I did not preach, nor did I open my bible. But, I did give a full and clear witness as to why and how Jay had received the Lord! In this way, ‘Jay’s Gospel’ was able to speak for itself! (See Acts 1:8, Mat. 24:14, & 2 Tim. 2:8-10)
We are often unaware of the great price paid by those who count their lives as dung so they may win Christ! Equally so, we are often unaware of the sovereign and preemptive will of God at work to make His name known among all people! The extent of that work through the giving of those Gospel tracts and the witness given of Jay’s Gospel cannot be calculated in this life! But our reliance on it, and, our commitment to ask the Lord to do that which is impossible with man will be factored in to that final calculation some day!
Therefore: thank you for praying urgently, fervently, and effectively!
Your servant in ministry,
GFF General Director