Prison to Mission Pt. 2

Two weeks ago we were able to share with you Eddie Franz’ story of God’s redemption in his life. He went from “Prison to Mission” when God intervened in his life. Now we are excited to get to hear more from him on how that led him to serve with 1520 Unreached on the ground in Tanzania with James & DiDi.          

 

Bible Initiative

“James, Didi and little Moses, their toddler, met us at the airport at 4am. Me and Teresa were beat. After only a few hours of sleep, we were whisked away to the bible store to purchase English-Swahili bibles.  While we were in America we started a fund raiser to purchase bibles for the Zaramo.  We were hoping to buy 100 bibles at $8 a piece and then and extra $200 for transportation to the Zaramo.  With the help of some amazing people, we raised $1010.00 for that very purpose.  When we arrived at Soma Biblia, the store, we were met by the young man who was in the last picture of my first blog post. ”

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“After an hour of crunching numbers,  Soma Biblia walked us out the front door with 280 bibles and 240 tracts containing the entire book of John, and money left over for transportation.  God blessed us with almost 3 times the amount of bibles we were hoping for, and they sure would come in handy later.”

“Soon I will tell you about the trip out to the Zaramo that allowed this boy to get the bible and hear about Jesus.  It involves me and Teresa getting into a motorcycle accident.”

 

Chalinze

“Bibles in hand we started the 4 hr trip from Dar es Saalam to Chalinze where James and Didi live.  5 adults, 1 toddler, 4 full size suitcases, 3 back packs and almost 300 bibles were crammed into a mini-minivan for the journey.”

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“Pulling into Chalinze was eye opening, It was literally a town that squeaked out its existence from the main road that went through the middle of it.  Buses would stop throughout the day and the passengers would purchase various goods.  There are very few things people need in order to live.  In America we have exaggerated that number exponentially.  To the point that when in a “bad” neighborhood you feel the need to be careful.  I remember thinking once or twice that we were in a bad part of town and we needed to watch our backs, but the poverty level here did not dictate the danger level.  In America, the desire to have stuff can carry us away into all kinds of violence.  We have made ourselves to believe that we NEED that “thing” that someone else has, and because we have made it a need, we will stop at nothing to obtain it, thus the dangerous neighborhoods.  There is a lesser value here on stuff, and so if someone has less stuff than someone else there is less of a desire to stop at nothing to get it.  The needs and wants of the people were better defined in Tanzania, and so I felt very safe there.”

Home & Neighbors

“We traveled past Chalinze another 4 miles to James’ house which he built on the Kulea Childcare Village land.  Kulea is an orphanage that is co-sponsored between Tanzania and America.  They have brought James over to help them with building the infrastructure of the orphanage, which consists of 75 acres and will one day have 100’s of children living there.  So while they are there in Tanzania they must wear two hats.  One of an evangelist and the other a foster family to the handful of orphans that they help support. As we pulled up to James and Didi’s home it struck me at how similar it was to the houses in all of the old Clint Eastwood movies.  You know the Adobe type homes.  It was really shocking to step back in time 100 years or so and live in a very primitive way.”

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“They do not posses electricity, or running water.  They have an outdoor shower and outdoor toilet that they share with another family who lives on the same land.

This other family became part of me and Teresa’s family while we were there.  They have a little 6 yr. old boy named Ezekiel who taught me most of the Swahili I learned.  He would point at something and say its name, and I would point at it and tell him what it was in English.  We would do this for everything.  Chula, Frog….Chula, Frog….Umbaya, Bad….Umbaya, Bad.”

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“Their neighbors would help us work on clearing the land, or fixing the well, or any other thing that needed doing.  They would never accept compensation.  Their response was that you don’t pay family for helping family. Lamechy was also part of our new extended family from Tanzania. He was the one responsible for killing the 3′ Puff Adder that was found a couple of yards from James’ house.  Even though we posed next to it trying to take the credit.”

 

Soccer Field

“One of our first duties while we were there was to clear a soccer field for the orphans to play on when they came over.  Every weekend James and Didi would have them over and help them with their school work or to just show them some love.”

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“James had already built them a small soccer field but it was time to give them something that they could really play on.  The only problem was the 4′ tall grass and the 15 trees that were in our way.  We did not have a lawnmower or a weed eater, or even a chainsaw. “

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“We had a small machete that was bent into an angle on the end we would use to cut the grasses and trees.  We spent about 3 hrs. on the field and realized that to finish we would need to put in about 15-20 more hrs.  We did not have the time to do that so we had to come up with another way.  How to clear an acre of super dry brush??????  FIRE!!!! I used to be a firefighter before I spent time in prison, so obviously I am perfectly qualified to pull this off.     Did I mention the grass was really dry. What could possibly go wrong? “

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To visit Eddie’s blog and read the complete post, visit here

This post was written by
Jordan Hope's passion is to reach those around her and to the ends of the earth with the life changing reality of Jesus Christ. Her passion is to serve orphans in any way, shape or form. She currently works as a foster mom to adolescent boys near Austin, TX. Jordan met the Myers in 2012 and joined them in their journey to take the gospel to the unreached. She currently resides in Austin, Texas where she serves at Wells Branch Community Church as the Missions Ministry Administrator.

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