Last month Thendo Dama, our Flying for Life Project Manager, spent two weeks in Limpopo to build into and assess the projects that our partners are running. She will tell you that time is of the essence in order to cover long distances, attend to each site and meet people ranging from doctors to pastors, parents to children in two weeks. One day the ZEMA and Flying for Life team set off for Lamvi as the time had come to build into the relationships made with eight local pastors in the area. From a near silent gathering at Wisdom Christian Centre church, a lively dialogue had grown over the message of church, its purpose and unity. The day was ripe with possibilities as the meeting would soon turn into a large gathering of children eager and ready to watch “The Jesus Film” in Tshivenda, their mother tongue.
As the meeting drew to a close one of ZEMA’s missionaries, Paul Seelhammer pulled out his computer and searched for the film in preparation to set up. To his shock it was no longer there. After some time, and with no sign of the film, team members decided to rush to an area with a strong internet connection in order to download it.
Upon arriving with a Vodacom tower close by, the signal was almost at full strength, but strangely there was no internet connection. Several attempts were made to download the film without success. Time was rushing by, the children would soon arrive at the Church, but there was still no film. Paul again searched his computer with hope that he would find it, and to his utter surprise he did. Minutes later, the Pastor, who was going to introduce the team called to let them know that he had just arrived at the church. The team arrived shortly after and began to setup whilst the large group of excited children continued to enter the hall for the screening. Biscuits and juice were served as the atmosphere buzzed with their excited chatter.
They were completely engaged in watching a visual representation of the gospel in their own language for the first time. At the end of the film, a short message was given by the Pastor and he invited them to say the prayer of salvation. After prayer, the room filled with questions and comments of interest. One particular boy asked why Jesus stayed on the cross instead of getting off. Conversation began and remained for long.
Sometimes we don’t know why things don’t go the ‘short cut’ way. The team are still not sure why there was such mayhem in attempting to show the film, but God knows. He knows our deadlines, if our stipulated time is not the best possible hour, or if we need to avoid or learn something along the way. There truly is a time for everything, and we get to decide how we react when the time comes to... (Ecclesiastes 3:1-22).