My name is Francis Kigodi from Tanzania. I was born into a religious Roman Catholic family, and I had never had a direct encounter with the Love of Christ.
I would see my dad struggle to balance between the Catholic faith and the prevalent African traditions. He would visit witch-doctors during weekdays and go for mass on Sundays. My mother also struggled to keep all religious rituals and walk upright just as her father, who was a Catholic priest for almost 50 years, had done. Even after all these commitments, my family and I continued living under the devil's oppression and conditions of extreme poverty.
This kind of life made me doubt everything about God since we were devoted to God, but our lives were still miserable. I thought that human beings had to live with their struggles for all the days of their lives. When I was away in high- school in 2013, something strange happened to my family. After a dog bit my younger sister, we rushed her to the hospital for treatment. Within a month, she was healed; however, she sadly passed away a few days later. When I found out the news, I was devastated, rushing home to bury my sister.
After the burial, one of my uncles approached me and said that my sister had been bewitched, and, because of this, I should visit a witch-doctor for protection. He claimed that I was an easy target in high-school (witch-doctors do not want anyone to succeed in the village, so they are always looking to torment those who might go on to success). Despite my uncle's pleas, I refused to visit a witch doctor because I saw how my family suffered from my dad going to witch doctors.
One of our other relatives was born again and lived happily as a pastor with a successful life. I decided to visit him in the town, and, when I arrived, he was preaching that Jesus Christ is the protector of those who believe in Him. I loved his approach and knew that this was the path I needed to follow. I joined a Pentecostal church and gave my life to Christ. I was excited about being born again, and I enjoyed the life of salvation much more than I had enjoyed my life at the university. It was not a perfect transition, as the enemy fought hard enough to cause me to fall from God's grace. After some time, the Lord brought me back to him again.
In 2018, I heard about the Tanga Missions School over the radio and felt that God was sending me there. Though it was late, I made plans and joined the school by faith since I did not have enough money for school fees. My life was utterly transformed while in the Tanga Missions School. Teachers came from numerous countries with great teachings, such as the tribune of God, spiritual warfare, Holy Spirit filling, knowing your calling, and many more. This experience has given me the boldness to serve Christ and has also made me understand the profound power of God's saving grace.
After graduating in 2019, I returned home to serve in my local church for some time. I married Rose Mary, a beautiful lady I met, working as a staff member in the school. Marrying my wife was a prayer answered by God, as I had been waiting my whole life to find someone as unique as her. The Lord has since blessed us with a baby, Fanuel, and we continuously thank the Lord for all we have been given.
Last September, I was called to serve at Tanga Mission School as a Missionary and Office Assistant. While here, I have been helping with office work and serving the church to do activities like coordinating weekday fellowships.
I am so grateful to God that I have been able to reach my potential through the school and achieve what God has called me to do.
May the Almighty God richly bless every teacher and every other person in the school who has contributed to changing my life.
We recently concluded our seven-day mission workshop at our Tanga Mission School. The main goals and expectations for these workshops are for our students to join their teachers in the field and to experience the practical side of DBS (Discovery Bible Study), including worship and prayer.
His word defines us, not our poverty or our past. I interviewed 14 students in the week that I was in Tanga. I listened to the stories of deprivation, of abuse, of witchcraft.
Across the city, Obadiah and Eleazar, two of our missionary students, were led to an estate within Tanga City called Maweni, which literally means 'a rocky place'. Their goal was to minister to the local prison, but they could not enter due to COVID-19 restrictions. Obadiah and Eleazar ended up ministering in an adjacent village instead.