I recently went to Tanzania for three months with Tearfund’s partner, Go Mad.
It was the most enlightening, challenging thing I’ve ever done. Breaking out of habits and lifestyles and jumping into African life with other volunteers was something I’d never have felt comfortable doing a couple of years ago, but God’s guidance led me overseas.
While we were in Tanzania our team built four water tanks, a church, a toilet, a chicken shed and goat sheds, as well as teaching in schools and numerous health runs to the hospital.
Go Mad gave me the opportunity to put God first in all I do, to make him the centre of my thoughts and actions whilst living out in Tanzania. With morning devotions, bible study, prayer every day and worship on Sunday evenings, everything was God focused. Having other Christians around who all had a passion for the same thing meant that everyone learnt loads and grew in their faith.
Seeing God moving and healing people in difficult situations, on such a direct level really changed how I look at the world and all God’s people.
Whilst I was out there I was on fire for God and everything he had for me and I was excited at the prospect of returning and continuing God’s work in the UK.
I hoped returning would break some of those lifestyle choices I had made in the past, but I found myself settling into English life doing the same things I did before – as though my trip never happened.
It’s been a really challenging process which I’m still going through and learning, trying to find ways I can remember about how God spoke into my life while I was in Tanzania. I am now passionate about including God more in the things I do and living my life according to him. My time away has given me a real passion for helping those who don’t have the same opportunities as myself.
And what’s been most challenging is returning and trying to find ways to channel my passion of helping people in day to day life. It was clear to me at the end of the trip that my relationship with God grew much stronger and I was determined to carry on living for God. However, with all the distractions that life here contains, it’s difficult to find time to allow for God.
Tearfund Rhythms is just one of the ways in which I’m able to continue to live for God here in England, putting others before myself and changing the way I look at the world.
If you’re looking for ways to challenge yourself, here are my suggestions…
- Do a water challenge – only drink water for a week – really makes you think about people in other countries who only have water to drink.
- Check out different videos with people talking about injustice in the world with ways you can get involved.
- Go overseas and have direct encounters of poverty and injustice and Make A Difference in local communities.