My husaband Frank just returned from Tanzania on Saturday, and I asked him to share the blog and verse for us this week.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
When Jesus talked about the ends of the earth, He must have had Bukabwa, Tanzania in mind. Located in the northeastern corner of this East Africa nation, Bukabwa is home to 5,000 people spread out over a large area. To get there, you take a long dirt road, and then you turn off onto another dirt “road.” I’m not sure the later actually qualifies as a road, but that’s what the locals call it. The second “road” cuts through thick bushes that scrape the side of your vehicle as you bump along across its very rough terrain.
Bukabwa isn’t much to look at.
Now don’t get me wrong—the hills and valleys surrounding it are beautiful—but Bukabwa itself is basically a collection of scattered mud huts with thatched roofs. There are a couple block buildings, including the medical clinic with its one nurse, but that is about it. Throw in some chickens, skinny cows and a goat or two and you pretty much have the lay of the land.
There aren’t any real jobs in Bukabwa, there is one year-round water supply that is a hike for most people to reach, and few children make the nine mile walk to school. Until a couple months ago, there wasn’t any church in Bukabwa.
Honestly, Bukabwa looks pretty hopeless. Imagine if you lived there. Would you have a hard time believing God’s word in Jeremiah 29:11 that God plans to give you hope and a future? It would be hard for me to believe.
You may not physically be in Bukabwa today, but you might be at a place in your life that sure seems like it. You look around and all you see is discouragement. No hope. No future. No life.
But like the people of Bukabwa, there is much that you do not see. You do not see God’s eternal plan. You do not see how He is moving in the hearts and lives of people to intersect your path at just the right time. You do not see the blessings of God that are already on their way.
I just returned from Bukabwa, and I can see those things. I can see them because I have the privilege of being part of a church that has adopted Bukabwa. I’m privy to some of God’s plans for the community.
We’ve brought the gospel to the community, started a church, provided Bibles, and began discipling young believers. In partnership with the residents, we will see a church building constructed in the next few months and a full-time pastor living in the community. Over the next few years we will see three or four more churches started, the introduction of micro business, the building and staffing of a school, and much more.
Why? Because God has a plan for this village at the end of the earth. Because God has a future for a place and a people that everyone else has ignored. Because God from eternity past has planned to prosper the people of Bukabwa.
Most of Bukabwa’s residents have no idea of the incredible things that are to come. They know they now have a church. They know they will soon have a building. But the rest…well, that will be a pleasant surprise as God unfolds His plan to them.
Look at the Jeremiah verse again. Do you believe it? You should! No, I can’t tell you specifically what God has in store for you, but if God can show His favor on Bukabwa a place that had almost no Christians until just recently, He will show His favor on you His child.
God has a plan for you and for me. I can hardly wait to see what it is!
If you would like to learn more about Bukabwa and see the village, check out the video at https://vimeo.com/22577940. If you or your church would like to adopt an African village like Bukabwa and help transform it physically and spiritually, then please contact me through the MaxPoint Ministries website at www.maxpoint.org.
President, Maxpoint Ministries