- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 1 — The miracles begin
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 2 — The journey begins
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 3 — Into the unknown
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 4 — Africa arise!
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 5 — Respect for missionaries
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 6 — Beautiful Tanzania
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 7 — God’s timing
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 8 — Zanzibar blessings
- Julita explores from Cape to Cairo: Episode 9 — Amazing Kenya
This trip is simply amazing. Last time I wrote to you was from the Serengeti and here I am, back in Dar Es Salaam, sharing all my encounters of the past 14 days.
I have now traveled 11 000km and my car is in for a service at the Toyota Dealership in Dar. But let me backtrack first. The Serengeti was an amazing experience and so was Ngorongoro.
But I had some what the world would call “bad luck”. Two of my tyres burst beyond repair over two days. So, fortunately I had two spare tyres and could replace the damaged tyres. When I got back to Arusha I phoned my Sailun tyre supplier to ask where I could find Sailun tyres in Arusha. They not only told me, they arranged for me to have two tyres fitted and paid for it. This God of ours!
Interesting thing though, when I got to the tyre place the gentleman tells me how lucky I am that two tyres burst. I could not see the “lucky” in that and he explained that if I only had one tyre burst, I would just have replaced it with a spare. But with two wrecked tyres I had to come to a workshop to replace the tyres, otherwise I would not have any spares on my journey. And while replacing the tyres they found that my brakes were finished. I would not reach Dar Es Salaam with those brakes, he said. And so I was able to replace them and reach Dar safely. God was even in this — as always.
As you know, this journey is not about getting to Egypt, but about who I meet along the way. People. And I have met some amazing human beings. The thing that strikes me most is how different all the personalities and cultures are and how Jesus loves and uses them all. I think we sometimes unconsciously think that God only uses people who look like, act like and think like us. Somebody that is similar to you. But when you travel like this and you see who God uses and how He uses them, you become aware of the greatness and holiness of our Creator. He is NOT a man and He definitely does not think like a man. And He uses them in any circumstance and in any place. From the poorest conditions under a tree to the most beautiful mega churches with all their equipment and lights. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
My mother always taught me that you can be poor but you do not have to be dirty and show you are poor. And I can see this concept here in Africa. Some of these churches and missions are sooooo poor, but they put the best that they have forward. They dress up, wash themselves, tidy the place of worship, no matter where it is, and they bring THEIR best to the King of all Kings.
A little bit like the woman with the two copper coins, while Jesus was watching what they put in the money box. Some of these poor people are faaaaaaar ahead of us. They sometimes walk or travel for hours to get to church and then have church for 4-6 hours because they only have this one meeting a week where they can come into the presence of God with others and be taught about His ways.
We have become so sophisticated about our meetings because we have a life you know. Things to do!! Cannot spend all that time with God. I mean, a human can only truly concentrate for 30 minutes or something. And the way church is being done over here in the African countries makes me think of when I got saved. And what the Bible teaches. One would come with a song, another with a testimony and another with a teaching and so on. We would edify each other. I used to love the testimonies. And that stirring in your stomach when you knew you had something to share — the Holy Spirit stirring you on to get up and share and build up the people with your little bit. I loved it. And I love it here in the small churches. The big churches simply cannot allow that. I understand. But something gets lost. I truly think, and this is just me, that we as the body of Christ need to seriously rethink “Church”.
Anyways, many people ask me if I have ever felt threatened on this trip. Not even once. And I have been in some “scary” places for a Mzungo (white person). Not once. In fact, I have seen great respect for me travelling alone and entering the locals’ “space”. They feel honoured that I would come there. And it just wants to make me cry. Where would Jesus be in our time? I cannot talk on His behalf, but what I know about His character, He would be among the people. In the market place. There where everyday life happens. There where they need Him. Be it the wealthy or the poor because He does not care who you are in society. He cares about your soul. And I found people with no teeth, some dirty, no education, but there is a presence of God with them. They have met Him and in their surroundings, they make a difference. I am telling you, I am learning about God and how HE sees people that makes me want me to live my life over. Do it all over again and cherish that which is truly important. Of course, not possible, but now I have knowledge that I did not have before and things can never be the same again.
I love people. Yesterday I visited a pastor and his wife and they honoured me by preparing a meal for me. It was cabbage, something like a little vetkoek and then watermelon. And they gave me a whole bottle of water. The wife did not eat. When I asked, she said that she had eaten. But then, when the husband and I finished and there where leftovers, she started eating. They were making sure that I had enough first before she had anything to eat. God, oh God, oh God!!!
I had the most amazing time in Tanga. It is a city close to the Kenyan border. I met so many people, prayed for the sick in hospital; ran into the doctor who owns the hospital and the Holy Spirit gave me a word for him. I am going to remember his name and see what he does in Africa. Amazing what God has in store.
I felt like coffee on Tuesday and God would not allow me to go to any of the coffee shops in Tanga. So I ended up (at His leading) at a very old hotel and I ordered some coffee on their veranda. There was only one other guest. And of course, I started a conversation. Muslim lady, but my kind of person. We spoke about God and Jesus like old friends and agreed for now to disagree. And right at the end I found that she is one of the leading events coordinators in Tanzania (from Dar Es Salaam) and one of her dreams is to do an annual Jazz festival on the island of Zanzibar. But she has no contacts bla bla bla. And suddenly our common career realm of music and events connected us. She told me she has never met a Christian like me and it was a very pleasant experience to have met me. It was pleasant for me too, to have met her and I know that God knows her name.
The motel I stayed at was interesting. I was in my room the first night and heard some male voices outside and realised: they speak Afrikaans!! But not any Afrikaans that I wanted to repeat to anyone. But of course, I got an opportunity to tell them about the goodness of God and I can repeat any word they used during that conversation hehehehehe. I also met a lady from Germany who I had looooong conversations with, telling me she does not believe. When I left the next morning after another 2-hour conversation, she asked me to pray for and with her. God, God, God!!! How You love people. And right at the end she said that she believed when she was a little girl, but lost the faith. She is in her sixties now. “NOBODY will take you from my hand”!!! He had an appointment with her. It was beautiful to witness. I received a message from her yesterday inviting me to visit her in Kenya as she thinks of our conversations and it impacted her life. My heart rejoices as I know He will now send the next one to water this little plant.
I visited a small church in Tanga and this was just awesome. I was born for this. Always an experience at all these churches to work with an interpreter and this specific lady got so excited about what I said and it truly blessed me. I might have some challenges, but I will tell you this, my great experiences far exceed my challenges and enrich my life and I am learning all the time.
I feel God’s passion for Africa in my every heartbeat. Sometimes it wants to overwhelm me. And I discovered something about the sound of Africa — and I suddenly understood what God was showing me 12 years ago. But that I will keep for my book because it will probably be the most important chapter. What I hear in the spirit blows my mind.
May I ask you to please love your families. Love the people God placed around you and even love your enemies. I have seen what love can do here in Africa. You do not have to preach big sermons always. You do not have to share big revelations always. You do not have to sing the greatest worship songs. Just love!! Just love them with the love of our Lord Jesus. Within that lies all the answers. Love conquers, love breaks open, love brings to repentance, love brings forgiveness….. aaaahhh just LOVE!!!
I used a different route to Dar Es Salaam via Pangani traveling over the river with a ferry. It was so exciting. And I discovered the most amazing lodge and beach. White beaches with palm trees like a real tropical island. I spent my Easter there and it was just me and the lady of the lodge. I swam in the warm water, took long walks, sipped coconut water and just rested. God was so gracious to me. It truly was an enjoyable time. And now I am in Dar to have my car serviced before I start the next part of my journey to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. And God just went before me again. I come to the Toyota dealership in Dar and to my surprise, the workshop manager is an Afrikaans guy, previously from Nelspruit in South Africa. He went out of his way to help me and even gave me discount on the service. He also invited me to go sailing with him to one of the islands and invited me to have supper with some of the South Africans here in Dar. Is God not amazing connecting me like this!
On Saturday I am leaving for Zanzibar. I have some ministry opportunities among the local churches and I am also going to meet my two daughters there at the end of April. They miss their mother and will be joining me for one week. So I will spend two weeks in Zanzibar. Who would have thought!!! Stick with God!!!! He will take you places hehehehehe. Those who read my book will truly understand the depth of this statement. Me, Julita, travelling Africa, spending time in Zanzibar to bring the message of Good News!!! This is only God!!!
“The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: ‘See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.’” — Micah 6:8 CEV
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