By Weston Benoit

I went in to this trip not knowing what to expect. I was excited about the opportunity to share the Gospel with others, but was nervous about it at the same time. My last semester of college this past spring was definitely used by God to prepare me for this trip. Writing out and sharing my testimony, and learning how to effectively share the Gospel gave me a head start.

After the long flights, we finally made it to Dar where we stayed the night at Cefa House. The next morning we headed to Makambako bright and early. The best part of the day was our car (me, Travis, Amy, Karl, and Brianna) talking about the power of the Holy Spirit. It is awesome to have someone like Karl to encourage us. He is so wise and us younger folks learned so much from him. We stayed at the Durban Inn for the night and headed to the village of Ifumbo the next day. We were met by the welcoming Safwa missionaries and villagers.

Everyone in this culture goes out of their way to greet you and make you feel right at home. The first night I am asked to share my testimony about five minutes before it was go time. Like I said before, it was a good thing the Lord prepared me for this during my last semester. Like every other time, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through me. Without His peace I would be a stuttering, nervous wreck.

The next few days are spent going door to door, to share the love of Christ with anyone we met. Every new house was a new experience of nervous feelings. But once again, the Holy Spirit took over each time to use us as witnesses. It was amazing to see and feel the Holy Spirit convicting people of their unbelief right in front of my eyes. The people of Tanzania are hungry for God. This is the complete opposite of the U.S., where most have hardened their hearts towards the God who created them.

The second night Travis shared his struggles openly in from of everyone. It took so much courage, and it has been awesome to see God working in him on this trip. I am so proud of him. A Safwa missionary named David prayed for him out loud in front of everyone, and you could feel the presence of God in the room. David had a huge impact on me as well. We talked by the fire one night and he told me how he became a missionary. He told me that he had found something worth dying for. I realized then and there that God is calling me to share the Gospel with as many people as I can. When a man lives for something that he would give his life for, he is very dangerous (in a good way). I will continue to seek God’s plan for all the details.

Sunday afternoon, we had some free time. Me and Travis and about 20 locals walked a few miles to the closest soccer field and played a full game. It was so much fun! We made it back to camp about five minutes before I was scheduled to preach. Once again I was overwhelmed with God’s peace as the Holy Spirit spoke through me. My translator, Richard, was awesome. We learned from each other and encouraged each other. He took a 2 hour bus ride just to tell us goodbye one more time at the airport. What a guy!

The biggest surprise for me on the trip was my mom. Seeing her compassion towards the people combined with the her knowledge of the Scriptures made an awesome witness. She set the bar high for me! It was so awesome to see how God used do many people with very different gifts to work together for His glory.

Mr. Bill organized the entire trip and kept everyone on schedule and focused. His love for mission work is evident in everything he does.

Mr. Holloway was such a trooper at 82 years old! I think I was tempted to complain more than he was. What a great role model for how to finish the race with perseverance.

Mr. Terry (Uncle Terry/Inspector Gadget) had no problems with being the quiet behind the scenes leader. His knowledge of technology was used to show the Jesus film three nights bringing many to make decisions to follow God, including the village head man!

Mr. Curtis Casburn is the wittiest older gentleman I have ever met. He is constantly cracking jokes, reminding me of the joy that God provides.

Mr. Gil is one of those guys that is completely fearless in sharing the Gospel to whoever will listen. What a great influence he has had on me and Travis.

Mr. Ross is so knowledgeable on the Scriptures and their truth. His wisdom has really opened my eyes to show me how much I still have to learn.

Mr. Brian has a simple faith that has encouraged me. Through his testimony he shared, he told what it is like to live a life of ups and downs. The key is to constantly trust in God through it all!

Mr. Big Dave is the story teller of the group. Sending out perfectly written recaps of each day so that others reading could hear what God has done and know His glory.

Karl gets us all thinking constantly and starts the conversations about God and who He is. He takes our focus of discussion off of worldly things and puts them on eternity. What a blessing.

Mr. Mike Kelley is constantly asking me: “Wes, can you even believe we are here in Tanzania doing what we are doing?” He is so happy and thankful to be used by God to reach these people, and has encouraged me to be the same way.

It has been awesome getting to know Phil on this trip. He is a few steps ahead of me in life, and I have been eager to collect as much advice from him as possible. He has challenged me to not get carried away with work load, but to keep God first in my life. His wife, Lauren, was awesome when we spoke at the school. Her teaching abilities were used as she told the Bible stories from memory to the kids. God has clearly gifted her in this area.

Mrs. Carol is so much fun to be around, there is never a dull moment! I really look up to her in the way that she has no concern with what anyone thinks about her. She is happy in the moment where God has her and its awesome to see.

Brianna might be the youngest person to ever go on this trip. I questioned whether a high school girl could survive, but she proved me wrong. Her confidence is a rarity found in girls her age, and I know God will use this.

It has been great getting to know Amy. She follows God and His plan without worry, even when it is against her own wishes. It is clear that she wants to do God’s will no matter what. I want to be more like her.

All of these people combined made a perfect team, and it was awesome to be a part of a group serving the Lord. My prayer for us as we return home, is that we would continue to witness to others wherever we are. There are so many who are lost all around us. I pray that we forget about ourselves and our own well being, to commit our lives dedicated to sharing the Good News with everyone!

Weston

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