by Gustav Krös
During the last week of September, I had the privilege of visiting our office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns kept me from visiting our team in Dar es Salaam for a long time, so it was a big blessing to finally visit them again. During the visit, there were many special moments of fellowship, intimate moments with the Lord, and a few miracles. A couple of times during the trip, I told Aron, our country director for Tanzania, how I wished there were more people travelling with us to experience what we were experiencing.
It is impossible to share everything within this one letter, so I’m just going to focus on one miracle that happened during the visit. On Wednesday, 29 September we travelled by car from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya, in the west of Tanzania. The 816 km drive would take us 13 hours to complete. During the drive, Aron told me that he thought we should consider having me fly back to Dar es Salaam on Friday. The original plan was for us to leave at around 3:00 am on Friday morning and drive the 13 hours back to Dar es Salaam, in order for me to be on time for my flight back to South Africa on Friday night. However, he felt there were enough reasons to reconsider this plan.
We were planning to visit his home village on Thursday, which is another two hours from Mbeya, and he said that we would only get back to Mbeya around 22:00 on Thursday evening. There was also a missionary friend of ours, David, coming from Zambia to meet with us, and we would then have to meet with him at 22:00 and still get up at 3:00 am on Friday morning to drive the 13 hours to Dar es Salaam. This would certainly be doable, but we would be very tired, and it would be dangerous.
If I rather flew back to Dar es Salaam, we could meet David for breakfast on Friday morning and spend some time with him before catching my flight. It sounded like a good plan, but I found it very difficult to think that Aron would then have to drive the whole way back on his own. We decided to check the times and prices of flights first thing the next (Thursday) morning and only make a decision then.
The next morning, Aron called me before I could even think about the flight again. He said that he checked the flights and there were two flights available on Friday. One flight departed sometime after 11:00 am and wasn’t very expensive, and the other flight was later in the day, but the price was a lot more than the earlier flight. He said I must look at the flights on the booking website, and he left the decision with me.
As we ended the call, I realized I didn’t have much time to decide. I started praying and asked the Lord for guidance in the decision. I felt so bad to let Aron drive all the way back by himself. I felt I had a responsibility to assist him with the 13-hour drive back to Dar es Salaam. As I prayed, the reasons we discussed why I should consider flying back ran through my thoughts. We would not have to drive back with very little sleep, we would be able to spend more quality time with David from Zambia, and it would be the safest option to be sure I was on time for my flight to South Africa. As all these thoughts ran through my head in prayer, I felt peace to buy the ticket.
I went on the website and saw that there was only one seat left on the earlier and cheaper flight. I thought to myself that this could only be from the Lord, so I bought the ticket. We had an extremely blessed time visiting Aron’s home village that day, and on Friday morning we had a blessed time of fellowship with David from Zambia. After breakfast, Aron took me to the airport for the flight to Dar es Salaam. During the flight, I still felt sorry for Aron who would be driving the whole way on his own, but I had peace that it was the right decision.
Later that afternoon, when I was safely in Dar es Salaam, I received a voice note from Aron telling me that I should not feel bad about the decision to fly back because it was certainly from the Lord. He told me that he took the car for a safari-check (basic safety check) after he dropped me off at the airport to make sure everything was in order before starting the long drive back to Dar es Salaam. During the safari-check the mechanic found a deep cut in one of the tyres. The cut was so deep that they said there’s a good chance that the wheel would burst on the journey back, and it needed to be replaced. Then they couldn’t find the right size tyre in Mbeya, and they had to have it brought overnight from Dar es Salaam.
Thus, if the decision had been made to rather drive with Aron, one of two possible scenarios could have happened. If we departed from Mbeya at 3:00 am as originally planned, we would not have taken the car for the safari-check, which means we would have travelled with a very unsafe tyre, and only God knows what would have happened if we did that. The second scenario is that we would have left a little bit later than planned and taken the car for the safari-check, but then we would have sat with the same scenario as Aron, with no tyres available in Mbeya. By then it would have been too late to fly with the earlier flight, and I don’t know whether there still would have been seats available on the later, more expensive flight.
So, it certainly was a massive blessing from the Lord that I ended up flying to Dar es Salaam instead of driving. To me, it is just another testimony of how intimately God is involved in our lives, and so I choose to testify about His goodness and give Him all the Glory. The reality remains that miracles like this don’t just happen on the mission field, they happen every day, no matter where we find ourselves. It just depends on whether or not we acknowledge God’s involvement in our lives on a daily basis.
In the end, both Aron and I arrived safely back home, and I thank God for reuniting us safely with our families because I was reminded through this incident how easily it could have been very different.
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