How God Turned a Wasteland into a Blooming Community in Tanzania

1 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.

God can really transform communities. Last year, in September 2023, we traveled with a team to Meserani, Tanzania. Upon arrival we discovered that it didn’t rain for three years. Everything was dry. It was very hot. In this pastoralist Maasai community people depend highly on their cattle of cows, sheep, goats and donkeys.

Agur says in the book of Proverbs 30:15b,16 (NKJV):

There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say, “Enough!”: The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water - and the fire never says, “Enough!”.

The earth is insatiable with water. It always wants water. It never says “Enough!”.

When rain is absent, living life and growing a business becomes an uphill battle:

  1. There are no crops for the animals to eat, so some of them get sick or die.
  2. The animals don’t produce milk and or are not healthy enough to be sold.
  3. People cannot drink that milk or sell the milk and livestock at the market.
  4. As a result of that people don’t have a way to earn an income.
  5. Because there is not enough food, people loose health and will have psychological stress.
  6. People start to wander in search for water and food for their animals and themselves. This creates fights over water with other herds, not to mention the cattle rustling.
 

The first thing we did as a team, was praying. We thought about Elijah who prayed that it didn’t rain for 3,5 years (James 5:17), and it didn’t rain. Later on he prayed earnestly and it started to rain. Also, Isaiah 35:1, 2 (NKJV) came to mind:

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; 2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.

We prophesied that this desert would bloom!

We also were reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14 (NKJV)

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The next day, there was a church service in the Maasai community and we shared about these Scriptures. The next day we started our Pioneer Business Planting training on how to start a Kingdom business and how to use business to make disciples and plant churches.

During the week, we prayed for rain every day. We saw also small changes in the community. People started to repent, learn, grow. Normally, in dry season, we couldn’t expect more than 10-15 people to show up for a training like this. But God exceeded our expectations. At the end of the week we could graduate 97 people, mostly ladies.

PBP Training Graduation

After finishing our training, we thought it would start to rain. Unfortunately when we left, it still hadn’t rain. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed.

A few weeks later, we received a message that it started raining in the area. And not normal rain, but it was pouring! God has answered our prayers.

Everything green again

Through the water:

  1. The plants and bushes grew again.
  2. Animals had enough water to drink and food to eat.
  3. The animals gave milk again and became healthy again.
  4. The milk could feed the Maasai.
  5. The milk could be sold on the markets, so people had a source of income.
  6. People didn’t have to wander around to search for water with their cattle. So less problems between people and herdsmen.

 

As a result of the training, 70 of the ladies started all kinds of small businesses: selling sugar, milk, tea, maize. That is a very high percentage. The hearts of the people that we trained, were transformed. Their minds were changed.

For example:

  • Enairoshi Melubo, a trailblazer in selling sugar and tea leaves while also managing a poultry business.
  • Sinyati Oyaya, a businesswoman specializing in tea leaves and vegetables.
  • Nashipai Oyaya, focusing on sugar and milk.
  • Neema Olomo, managing a diverse business portfolio of tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables, and onions.
  • Sinyati Sangau, making a mark in the market with rice and tomatoes.
  • Ngais Olomo, creatively combining airtime and tea leaves in her business.

Entrepreneurs above like Enairoshi Melubo, Sinyati Oyaya, and Neema Olomo are not just selling products; they are building futures.

Leah selling sugar, sweets, beans and sodas

Many of the ladies spend their money normally on their own desires. After the training they decided to form Savings Groups. Every week 10-15 ladies come together in a group and save their profits of that week. They write down and keep their savings, managed through a Secretary, Chairwoman and Treasurer. After 3 months, the ladies receive the money that they saved and use that money to grow their businesses. They buy stock, or a new goat, sheep or cow.

A few weeks ago, a new church has been started as well! People were interested in what has happened and how God has changed this community. They wanted to know more about Him.

God has transformed this community. There is water, people can support themselves and kids can go to school. People are coming to know Jesus. Real transformation!

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