“I used to sing as a drunk, how can I not sing now to praise Jesus?” Paulini is a changed man. He is a well known man in his village, owns a large herd of cattle. Used to be the village chairman. Wealthy and successful in his community, he was also an alcoholic.
|Nuru Baptist Church, Matunduni, Kahama|
This weekend I took two Tanzanian ladies to Kahama (4-5 hr drive from Mwanza) to teach Sunday school teachers at “Nuru (light) Baptist Church.” Paulini came for the whole seminar. After awhile I realized, he didn’t have any desire or pull from the Lord to teach kids (yet!), he’s just excited about his new life in Christ! He’s only been saved for a month, and the man is hungry for the Word!
After one session called “The One-Hour Class” (where we talk about how to construct a class for children), we had a question and answer time. He stood up and said, “Is it ok if I ask something that doesn’t relate to the lesson? What happens to those who have already passed without knowing Jesus? Is there any prayer to pray or something that can be done for them?” During a session on the gospel, I had emphasized that we can’t lose our salvation if we sin as believers. Once we are made alive by Jesus we can’t die again, but we do need to confess our sins daily to our Heavenly Father. Paulini then stood and asked, “How do I confess my sins, is there someone I need to go to?”
|Paulini singing to his new found Savior|
Sunday morning Pastor Ezekiel invited people to share testimonies. Paulini got up and said, “I praise Jesus for showing me the light. I was a drunk for 28 years, but Jesus saved me. I haven’t touched the stuff again.” Then his wife got up who has been saved for several years, “I praise Jesus for answering prayer. Ladies pray for your husbands, fast even. God answered my prayers and He can answer yours!” When the pastor invited anyone who wanted to to lead a pambio (chorus), Paulini got up. “I used to sing as a drunk, how can I not sing now to praise Jesus?” Then he led in an old chorus that I had never heard, “We will all jump like calves and sing. On that day there will be a great celebration when we get to heaven!” And he started clapping and jumping, and we all joined in. A dozen adults and 30 or so kids all clapping and jumping around under a makeshift structure (sticks and tarps). His excitement was contagious! Sunday was a day I will never forget!