The following story is an excerpt from an email from Bob and Esther Jeffers, missionaries to Tanzania:
In August 2005, three of us missionaries and 19 nationals from the youth department of the Africa Inland Church set off to do a mission outreach to the Datooga people in the bush about three and one-half hours from Karatu, Tanzania. We took tracts with us in Swahili titled, "Njia Moja
" (One Way!
) to use as a tool for the young people to witness to this group of people.
Upon arrival, we divided into smaller groups to walk hut to hut with the tracts and sit with the Datooga people at their huts and share with them the plan of salvation. It did not take long to realize that about 85% of this people group do not know how to read and write as there was no school for them to attend in the area until 2002. Now the young people were learning how to read and write, but the adults could not do so.
So, God had planned the tract "Njia Moja" as a perfect tool for use since it is largely a picture tract! Sometimes whoever was at the hut at the time would just sit on a mat outside the hut as the small group shared the Gospel via this tract. Sometimes it was just a one-to-one encounter along the way walking from place to place. Sometimes it was sharing the tract in the classroom of the small school.
The Datooga listened very intently and many women in particular, wanted to accept Christ as they realized what the tract was talking about. However, this tribe is male dominant and the women knew that if they did not first get permission from their husbands they would be beaten. We are thankful that decisions for Christ were made during our days there and we thanked God for His direction to take this particular tool (tract) with us.
The young people were so excited to share the Gospel via this tract that it did not stop there! Leaving the Datooga, we had difficulty with the bus breaking down. Each time the bus would stop, several of the young people would get off the bus and look for anyone along the way that they could share this tract with.
The enthusiasm of the young people did not decline the entire trip back. On the main road, students were going home from school. We were following the bus in our vehicle and as the bus would pass groups of students, we would see the tracts flying out the window and the young people hanging out the window to watch them being picked up. The students would almost fight over the tracts and then sit down along the road to read them.
This tract played such an important role in getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ out, not only to the Datooga people, but also to other tribal groups (Wasukuma, Masai, etc.) that we met all along the way. We had no idea when we left on this safari (trip) what was going to happen, but God knew that this tool (tract) would be instrumental in bringing the message of salvation to many.
We are sure that many more will be able to see in pictures the message of salvation via this tract as it is passed around after we have gone. The youth department is planning to follow up with a second outreach to the Datooga people again in 2006.
Chick Publications can supply tracts in over 100 languages. If you would like to supply tracts to a missionary, suggest that he visit our web site to find tracts in the language of his field. Then you can purchase them and we will ship them directly to the missionary on the field.