Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Sabbath we will remember!

             Brooklyn and I had a really neat experience this Sabbath! I was originally planning on taking Brooklyn to the church at TASS, which is the Adventist boarding academy just out of Usa River and up the mountain a little ways. We were pretty tired in the morning, though, and we weren't very timely so I decided that we would go to Usa River SDA church which is closer. Nothing is in English there, however, they have a youth church choir and an adult church choir which I LOVE listening to. And I knew Brooklyn would appreciate the music too. We arrived just as they were transitioning from Sabbath school to church...moving their plastic chairs back into the open-air, long and narrow church building. We found two seats about half way up and got settled in. About that time, I looked across to the other isle and a woman was staring at me with her mouth wide was my dear friend and seamstress, Mama Janetti!

This was at her old house with her mother and two daughters the day before I left a year and a half ago. Her mother is now passed away.

Now, here are some things that make the story more exciting:
1. She had no idea I was coming back to Tanzania because we have no way of communicating while I'm at we had not kept in touch.
2. I had heard that her house had been torn down and that she had moved...but I didn't really know where or how to find her.
3. Janetti was not a Seventh-day Adventist, so I wasn't sure why she was at church today...
4. Both Brooklyn and I were wearing special dresses that she had made!
5. Just the day before, she had put two pictures up of her and I that I had given to her when I left!

With those things in mind, the story is even more special. So Janetti kept looking over at us with her mouth open and a  tears coming out of her eyes and we had to wait until the end of the service to express our excitement. 
It was a wonderful service-the congregation singing a cappella hymns in harmony, the choirs, and the long Swahili sermon. After it was over,  we hugged and smiled and hugged and smiled. She brought us over to a group of members and talked all excitedly in Swahili and I only caught bits and pieces,  but she was really excited. We asked her to show us where her new home was and as we followed her, I figured out the story! (She really doesn't speak English, so it was a little difficult, but her daughter helped translate further when we got home...and my Swahili improved in just one afternoon)! 
A neighbor and friend of Janetti shared with her a book written by Ellen White. Janetti had been reading it and learning a lot and accepting everything. She was very excited about it! So her friend had invited her to church this Sabbath and this just so happened to be the first Sabbath she had ever attended! ...and I was there too!

I believe God has perfect timing and He is looking out for even the smallest details to add joy and fulfillment to our lives and to strengthen our faith. It was such a memorable Sabbath He arranged! 
                   And now my dear friend and seamstress is an Adventist! How exciting is that!?!

Janetti's one-room house...which is actually much bigger and nicer than her last home. 
I love this green color!

The "courtyard" out her back door opens up to the back doors of many other homes! There are two squat pots at the very end of the court yard which serve as the bathrooms for everyone.  

The girls had fun jumping rope with some pieces of fabric tied together in the middle.
Janett's 6-year-old daughter, little Janetti is in the front, 10-year-old Esther is on the other side of Brooklyn, Janett is in the very back and the rest are neighbors who wanted to join in :)
Little Janetti carrying my books. She is a cutie-pie!


  1. This is simply wonderful! Praise the LORD!! I had to re-read it over and over again. It brought tears to my eyes and made my day. Thank you so much for sharing it Bethany.

  2. Beth...this is the most exciting, riveting, moving, unbelievably amazing story I have read in a thousand years. God is so cool. This gave me goosebumps, tears, smiles and JOY JOY JOY! Love you, Auntie xoxo

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  4. This is awesome!! Janetis first sabbath in church & you could be there and spend the time together...God is sooo good!Please give her a big hug & kiss from me. Some day all of us will meet up, I'm sure.

    1. How exciting!! Going back to places like this is a little bit of what Heaven will be like. Pure joy and surprise that some will be there too!

      Tell her hello from me too!!

  5. What an amazing story! God's timing is always perfect! Loved the story and the pictures. (Also love yours and Brooklyn's dresses. :)