I’ve shared before about all three of the people involved. Joss is a new believer in Tanzania. His story was the topic of last year’s March letter. Diana is his Online Missionary. I mentioned her in the previous April’s letter describing our 500-hour test of live chat evangelism on the GodLife site. Finally, Emmy was a chat Bible study participant who came to Christ in 2007, then became an online Missionary herself in 2012. Her story is in the November, 2012 letter.
“The wish list is really high. It's about 500 bibles. Even my fingers are trembling typing the figure.” —Emmy
Diana led Joss to Christ and discipled him for a year. They wrote emails to each other every week, but it was difficult, because his primary language is Swahili. That’s Emmy's native language as well, although she was living in Japan and teaching English there, so I asked if they’d be agreeable to a swap. They all agreed in April. By this time, Joss’ reputation in his country was growing. He’d brought 356 men from his former prison to the Lord. Because of their exemplary behavior, he is now welcome to speak in any prison in the country!
Emmy moved back to Tanzania in October, (The ship with her things didn’t arrive until December!) and started emailing and even telephoning Joss regularly. In June, she translated our discipleship materials into Swahili so that he could distribute them. She was also sharing prayer requests with Diana and me, letting us know about Joss’ faithful service, even under attack from local Muslims, who poisoned 250 chickens he was raising to support himself. (They were angered because Joss had evangelized many of their children.) She asked us to pray for a miracle so that he could have more Bibles.
Count on His provision
But then: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27) —Emmy
Diana began researching the cost of shipping vs. purchasing Tanzanian Bibles, then started a donation program at her church to raise funds. Meanwhile, I contacted Voice of the Martyrs, which had supplied Joss’ original 50 Bibles. When Emmy finally got the estimate of Bibles needed by Joss, she was nervous about telling us: he wanted 500. On August 18, Emmy received 224 Bibles for Joss from Voice of the Martyrs. After meeting their fundraising goal, Diana’s church purchased another 538 Bibles and Emmy picked those up on September 8. Emmy, who trembled at asking for 500 Bibles, has now received 762 to deliver to Joss.
Thank you for your prayers and generous investment in our ministry—only eternity will tell how many stories like this are out there!
She wrote: “Pray for me friends. Remember those guys who were given 10,5 and 1? I have been given these Bibles to invest wisely. The Lord is using Joss in ways hard to believe. Last week he was called by the prison officer to the prison. This can only happen once a year. Joss dropped whatever he was doing and went there. This resulted in 150 new believers. The prison officer is a believer but it was during Joss’s previous visit to the prison [that he became one]. Now they are working hand in hand. The second coming is at hand.”
Giving Joss Bibles seems like a pretty wise investment! God is at work in these three amazing lives. And 2 Corinthians 9:8-15 tells us that we can know when we give with His Kingdom in mind that God will not only supply the needs of the minister we support, in doing that, he will “enrich us in every way to be generous in every way.”
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!