Brook Seekins, a full time missionary in Tanzania, works with youth (ages 13-35) through many avenues of ministry including: youth camps, worship arts camps, and marriage seminars, and is working to get youth groups going in all 70 Grace Churches in Tanzania. She also encourages the youth of Tanzania to follow God’s plan for marriage, celebrating with the families and couples who choose to do so by traveling all over to different cities, villages, and regions to attend weddings in support of their choice to honor the Lord in this way.
Here is just one story about a couple who chose to follow God’s plan for marriage and the trickle effect it had on their family, church, and community shared with us by Brook herself…
“We were told an amazing story about the trickle effect from the first wedding there. We had already heard that a backslidden woman came back to church because we used her living room to help the bride get dressed near the church. The very next day she asked to be returned to fellowship…just because the bride got dressed in her home! God works in mysterious ways. There were many people watching the ceremony in awe. They were just passing by or curious villagers. One man came to church the next day. Everyone was a bit shocked to see him in church since he is one of the local ‘medicine men.’ He is the last person you would expect to enter a church! After the service he spoke with the pastors and asked how he could be saved. The pastors led him to the Lord that day. They counseled him a bit and over the next few weeks they continued to meet with him and to explain what this new faith means. They did talk to him the first day about what he should do when someone comes to him for “medicine” because it will take a while for the word to get out to everyone that he is done with that lifestyle. They encouraged him to speak graciously and lead them to the true power, God, and to encourage anyone to talk to the pastor for more information.
“A few days later a woman came to him for ‘medicine’ he heeded the pastor’s advice and led her to the church. She is from the Wasukuma tribe who are very traditional in that area in dress and lifestyle and beliefs. This woman accepted Christ because her ‘medicine man’ led her to the church where the pastors led her to the Lord. Because of her tribal background they were worried that her husband would not let her worship. But she was sure it would be okay and brought her husband to talk with the pastor so that he would understand her new lifestyle. He had many questions and wants to learn more. The woman asked if she could sing with the choir and they agreed. So at Saturday’s wedding she was up front singing with her brothers and sisters in Christ. That is amazing since at the first wedding in this village only a few weeks ago, she had nothing to do with God or the church! But because that medicine man attended that first wedding this woman is saved and her husband may be soon. Hallelujah!
This ‘medicine man’ has his work cut out for him. There are many things he will need to leave behind. In only the first week of his faith, he quit drinking and smoking and said he had never slept so well. He realized those things were controlling him and going to kill him. He will slowly be discipled by the local pastor and elders. One day soon he will have them help him discern which things in his home are part of his former lifestyle and he will take them all out into his yard and burn them…just like the Ephesian church in Acts 19:19.
Praise the Lord for how He is working in the lives of so many. Praise the Lord for how He is using weddings to affect so many. Pray for these young Christians as they take stands in their communities and families. It will be a rough road ahead for them to stand firm in their faith.”