Hopeful And Renewed
An important part of ministry and sharing the gospel is to truly care for a community and to pour as much love, knowledge, guidance into them as possible. Twelve21 Global strives to meet a community’s tangible needs while also ministering to their spiritual ones. In the Hadzabe village, Mendegau, we were able to provide medicine for a few of the sick, rebuild some of their homes, and hold discipleship meetings every afternoon to help them learn more about Christ. On the first day of ministry in Mendegau, we were asked to go pray with a lady, Mendi, who was sick.
We wanted to understand what her tangible needs were as well as her spiritual ones. A high fever had taken over her body accompanied by pain in her abdomen and she was unable to walk without assistance from another person. Also, she briefly shared with us some of the traditional Hadzabe beliefs and practices. We gave her some pain reliever and explained the love and power of Jesus Christ to her.
Her physical ailments were temporarily relieved, but her spiritual ones were mended for eternity:
The following morning, we went to her home to check on her. The pain reliever we gave her the day before helped, but had worn off through the night. She was still experiencing intense pain in her abdomen and chest. She also mentioned being very cold due to her hut having many holes and not protecting her from the wind (which was pretty brutal). We decided to rebuild her hut and offer to take her to the hospital.
For generations, the Hadzabe have used very traditional ways of treating sickness such as using certain herbs from nature or local witch doctors. These beliefs are what they have know all their lives, so instead of pushing our ways upon her we came with love and patience. We began building her home and just sharing our knowledge of modern medicine with her. While being hesitant at first, she decided to give the hospital a try. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and a urinary tract infection and was prescribed medicine. We continued to visit and pray with her each day we arrived at the village and before we left every afternoon.
Having the opportunity to rebuild her hut and treat her illnesses enabled us to share the love of Christ with not just her, but the entire village. A couple men of the village spent their day helping us build the hut which allowed us the opportunity to build relationships with them as well. Many of the villagers would stop by to see us rebuilding her home and check on her physical ailments. The hut and medication was a tangible representation of why we were there.
By our last day, Mendi was overcoming the ailments and was able to walk without any assistance. Her countenance had drastically changed from the first time we met her. From desperation and fatigue to hopeful and renewed. We also felt led to rebuild her sister’s home and donate the remaining supplies to the Hadzabe men who had helped us all week. We praise God for those who gave their life to Christ and continued to grow in their knowledge and faith throughout the week. And we look forward to seeing what God will continue to do in the Hadzabe’s hearts and lives!
- Story by Tiffany DeBoer