Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 5 — Respect for missionaries

  1. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 1 — The miracles begin
  2. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 2 — The journey begins
  3. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 3 — Into the unknown
  4. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 4 — Africa arise!
  5. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 5 — Respect for missionaries
  6. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 6 — Beautiful Tanzania
  7. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 7 — God’s timing
  8. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 8 — Zanzibar blessings
  9. Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 9 — Amazing Kenya

Today is exactly two months since I left my home in Kleinmond. Who would have thought that I would be writing you from the city of Mbeya in Tanzania!

One year ago today, I was on my “Jesus take the wheel” trip in Namibia and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be overlanding through Africa!! The God of surprises! How I love Him.

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I have had a rollercoaster past two weeks. Very emotional, missing my family and small little things just bringing me to tears. Not my nature at all and I just had to pull myself together and say: “Julita…. snap out of it. This is not who you are called to be. Be cheerful in all circumstances and enjoy the good and the bad”! 

I had to remind myself of scriptures like “Put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness”;  “the joy of the Lord is my strength”; “rejoice in the Lord always”…… and so I could wipe my tears and continue.

Nkatha  Bay, Malawi

I must also say, I so appreciate my son, Leo.

I sent my kids a voice note on our family chat, crying that I missed them all terribly, heheheehe, so not who I am. And I received a voice-note back.: “Mommy, stay focused. Keep your eyes on the mandate and shake off all these feelings. God has called you for this so you are the one who can do this. His grace is enough. Ignore the feelings as this is only emotions. You know what you know. Stay focused”. 

So of course, I wiped my tears and that act alone, deciding to wipe my tears and not continue crying, put me in a total different state of mind.

And so I could continue and feel like myself again. But I do think that God allowed it as this is how many of the missionaries feel. And this is what I want to share with you today. I have never in my life seen or experienced what I did when visiting with the missionaries. And I am talking the ones living by faith. There are missionaries who are part of an NGO and they earn salaries and get set up with beautiful homes –nothing wrong with that, thank God. But then you have your missionaries called by God for something else.

Local Malawian musicians who sang their own songs to me

I have just realised that I am no missionary. Somehow people call me one because I am overlanding through Africa. But that is not who I am or what I am doing. I sure am an evangelist. Totally different to a missionary. A missionary lays down his “life” (more lifestyle and everything that goes with that) to serve God and people. An evangelist lays down his/her lifestyle for a time to do what God has called him/her for, but then goes back to his lifestyle. I still have my home in Kleinmond which I will go back to once I have completed this trip.

Missionaries stay for years and they live among the people. It is a constant day-by-day sowing into peoples’ lives with the Gospel, education, food, money, friendship, love, skillsets, clothes….whatever the need. They are there every day to teach the people His Kingdom.

I have visited with many such missionaries on this trip so far and all of them assure me that they are now living abundant lives as they have been on the mission field for many years and were able to build something. They are used to sleeping in tents, on floors, in huts with the locals, eating what the locals eat, having no toilets or bathrooms or hot water or any such luxuries. But most of them now have homes, but they still live very simple lives.

It is currently the rainy season in Malawi

At one missionary home I was given chicken to eat — just normal chicken with rice. I was blown away when I learned that this was a big treat arranged for me as they only eat meat once every two weeks. They usually eat soya.

And all the missionaries called to live among the people do this. Spices, toiletries, spreads for bread, condiments, sauces — non existent in these homes as they are just not important. And when they have money, they buy fresh food and share with the local families.

I have such a lot of respect for these servants of God. Humble hearts, just willing to give their everything for God and His purposes. Not seeing their families for years at a time; some have never met their grandchildren; and so I can go on. But none of them complain about any of it. They are so happy and thankful where they are as this is the calling on their lives and they do not want to be any other place.

I simply loved the people of Malawi. I also met many local pastors and worship leaders and I take my hat off to these people. I walked with them to their different churches in different villages and let me tell you, for them to get to church takes a lot of effort. Apart from the fact that they have to walk, it is extremely hot, it is far. They have to walk through rivers, sometimes along the shores of the lake, through thick vegetation, in sand. But it is a joy to them. And then they still carry their children on their backs or in their arms.  And when they come to church they worship and praise for a few hours — no 45min services. It is a different world.

Women walking next to the lake

The Malawian people are a joyful bunch. They laugh a lot and they love their nsima (pap). I met missionaries who have nearly nothing and stay in the bush without fresh water or electricity and I have met somewho have all of this but still live simple lives and I have met some who have luxury and overflow. All have their own mandates and callings. It is amazing to see the fruit of their journeys.

And I must be honest, Lake Malawi was simply fascinating to me. What God has given the people with this lake is mind blowing. It is a resource like nothing I have ever seen. God knew before the beginning of time what would happen around this lake and He saw to it that all was in place for a nation to be fed. Even the plants that grow here, like cassava, which they use to make a sauce for the nsima. They tell me you can stick it in the sand on the beach, the rocks of the mountains or just the normal soil — it grows anywhere. After it has been boiled, it is like a piece of rubber that fills your stomach and it makes you full. You do not feel hungry after eating this. How good is God!! It is free. It costs nothing and they use the roots, dry them out and grind them as maize for the nsima. God provided all they need, including the lake with fish, fresh water and everything else.

Some of the roads — and this is the main road, like our N1

At my last stop in Malawi I stayed over at a place called King’s Highway rest camp and I was pleasantly surprised by the missionaries there. Beautiful people. And they told me that they have been following my journeys in Gateway News!! How about that!! I loved my time with them. They have a Bible school and training programme going there and it is amazing to see their interaction with the locals.

They have a beautiful campsite next to the lake and dormitories for bigger groups. Hot water, toilets, modern. And they built it all with their own hands and some help from the local craftsmen. I take my hat off to these people. They live simple, happy lives and their agenda is just different to what I am used to. They love, love, love the local people and have a different view to them as the “world”. I learned such a lot and we could all encourage each other. But it was lovely meeting some Gateway readers on my journey!!

From the left, Esti and Alburt Ferreira and Christine Kleynhaüs. They are from FCE in Malawi and are the ones reading Gateway News

So, after I crossed the border into Tanzania, immediately everything changed. Busy, busy, busy with lots of people. Much more western this East African country and a totally different spiritual atmosphere than in Malawi.

I am currently with missionaries who have been here for more than 20 years and their stories are amazing. Their children speak fluent Swahili and it is soooo nice to do business when they are by my side as they can negotiate and they know the culture. They have made a living here for themselves and it is simply awesome.

I am on my way to Dar Es Salaam and cannot wait to see the rest of Tanzania. I have such a lot to share, but I will keep it for my book.

While here in Tanzania I am most definitely going to visit Kilimanjaro and Serengeti and the crater and Zanzibar and everything else the Lord has prepared for me. Lots of ministry opportunities and that is awesome.

Butchery in Malawi

But I must be honest, some of the best encounters I have had, were with random people God just brought across my path. The guy from Denmark who does not believe in God and found my story fascinating; the missionaries who suffer and just came to take a break for the day and there I was, able to encourage and serve, and so I can go on. Random people ordained by God to be at the right place at the right time. And I am changed the most.

This journey is hard. I will not lie. But it is absolutely magnificent to be able to experience it and I would not want it any other way. And may I just add, I also now completely understand why double ply toilet paper is called white gold and I am so happy I brought some from SA. 

I have given away nearly all the food that I brought from SA, some shoes, money, stationary, glasses and many other things but only one roll of white-gold. Holding on to that a little longer, hehehehehehee.

I had to take out $200 at the Tanzanian border. Most expensive so far, but the lady at the visa counter said: “I like you. You are my new friend. I am giving you 90 days here”. Usually for overland travelling, they give you 30. I will see why I need 90.

God is sooooo in control of everything. Never ever be at a place in your heart where you think He is not. Travelling like this, this is one of the biggest realisations. God is truly in control of everything. We as His children, have nothing to fear.  He is a good God.

This trip is very expensive, but I can only say that God has gone before me and I have no lack whatsoever.  He is my provider and He provides in such a way that I can also be a blessing to others. Is this not amazing!!! This is God.

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing.” — Psalm 23:1

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