We originally sent our documents for our application for residency along with our documents for our application for our work permits at the beginning of the year (2017). It is now, as the year draws to a close, that we actually have an endorsement in our passports of our residency status in Tanzania! Having received an electronic copy of our permit recently, we took a printout of this along with our passports to immigration yesterday. After we had visited them three times during the day, we were overjoyed to come out on the final visit with the official stamps in our passports. Dealing with bureaucracy is always a process. This process cannot be hurried, fast-tracked or short circuited and requires of us patience and persistence, often in greater measure than we can ever anticipate.
We were reminded this week of the need for persistence and patience as sowers of the seed of the good news. It is not just a case of presenting the gospel and seeing people understand and accept. This does happen sometimes but more often it is the case that people require more than a single exposure to the gospel. Many hear the gospel in a variety of different ways and at different times. They may also experience the unconditional love and acceptance of Christ through the actions of those that share the gospel with them, but still they are slow to come to accept and believe this “good news” or see their need of a saviour. This was Jesus’ experience, but he never allowed this to deflect him from his path. He didn’t waver in what he set out to do. His love for humanity drove him regardless of the lack of acceptance he received from them. As we contemplate the task before us and our inadequacy, knowing that only God can bring about the change needed in the hearts of the people, we pray that we will have the patience and persistence necessary to do what God puts before us. We pray for you also; that you will have the strength to continue to share with those around you that do not yet know him.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.