I Needed Tanzania

I needed Tanzania as much or more than Tanzania needed me! One of my motivations for returning to teaching was the opportunity to use my summers to serve on short-term mission trips. When I heard about an opportunity to serve alongside Twelve21 Global in Tanzania, I knew almost immediately that God had opened a door for me to go.

Discipling women in Africa and encouraging others to find hope and healing in Jesus has been my biggest blessing and greatest joy in ministry. It’s where I feel most surrendered to and used by God. Yet, although I knew I was called to be on this trip, I stepped foot on the plane a bit depleted, spiritually drained, and honestly doubting my usefulness and lacking the passion I once felt to serve and bless others. The past 12 years of fighting fear, doing the hard work of healthy grief, and facing spiritual battles without my best friend and godly husband have taken their toll. I was tired, weary, and needed a deep, quenching drink of living water.

As I stepped out of the van in Bukabwa, I was met with a gentle refreshing breeze. Dry, parched, thirsty, weary…yet longing and expecting. That breeze reminded my heart that God’s Spirit breathes life into dry bones. The Holy Spirit breathes life into weary souls. He breathes courage and passion into our hearts if we will open them up and ask!

God met and blessed me unexpectedly in Tanzania. As I served and saw hearts encouraged and renewed, my heart was being encouraged and renewed. Removed from the distractions of busyness and life’s daily demands, I was able to hear His voice more clearly and feel His presence more sweetly.

The demands of life in America and the constant battle with the things that try to win my worship and adoration have a way of stealing my joy and peace and purpose. So…I’m thankful for all God did in me during my time in Tanzania. Time to be still. Time to behold his glory in the beauty of His creation. Time to worship without distractions. Time to hear His still, small voice. Time to see His goodness and tender loving care poured out on others. Time to set aside the worries of life to just serve Him and love others. Time to remember what truly matters and what is truly deserving of my time and affection. Time to see the power of the gospel, open eyes, and breathe life into hearts.

We live in a broken world full of pain, suffering, and sin. BUT GOD has made way for us to find hope, peace, and life in the midst of our brokenness through His son Jesus, our great shepherd and savior!

Lori Hearn

T21 Mission Trip Member

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