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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prayer Request for Freedom of (Sabbath) Worship at St. Augustine University of Tanzania

Bros & Sis,

As I sat down last night reflecting on what I could share with you as a prayer Focus for this week, I talked to one of SureWay's members from Tanzania who has been sharing the SureWay Prayer Focus with our brothers in Tanzania. He shared with me the challenge that 21 students in St. Augustine University of Tanzania are facing. Here is an extract from the e-mail he received from one of the students:

"There is another challenge to THISDASO (TANZANIA HIGHER-LEARNING INSTITUTIONS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST STUDENTS ORGANISATION) because our fellow 21 THISDASO members who were studying at St. Augustine University of Tanzania in Mwanza have been expelled and chased out from the University when they decided to lift up and glorified the name of God by refusing to perform the exams on the Sabbath day. So we have decided to pray harder by faith knowing that God will do something very soon. Join us please".

As I read this e-mail, I was reminded of the three Hebrew boys in Daniel 3 who refused to bow down and worship the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected in the plain of Dura. In response to the King's fury the Bible records that "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the King, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:16-18

Our 21 fellow believers have chosen to take their stand for God even if it means not taking these exams. As one that comes from Africa, I know what gaining a university qualification means. I would like to invite us all to join our brothers and sisters in prayer today and everyday after today in petitioning the Lord on their behalf. As they read this Prayer Focus, I pray that they will be encouraged to know that they have brothers and sisters who are lifting them up in prayer before God. May they also take encouragement from the fact that just as God stood up for the Hebrew boys, he shall stand up for them. Just as King Nebuchadnezzar came to recognise the power of the living God, the professors and deans of this university will come to recognise the importance of the Sabbath. Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were promoted in the province of Babylon, that God will promote them in St. Augustine University of Tanzania and beyond.

If you too are facing persecution for your faith, know with certainty that God will vindicate you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mfakazi Ndebele
SureWay Community Seventh-day Adventist Church (London)
South England Conference

4 comments:

  1. I also heard of the story and took time to inquire much and in the process I happened to have a friend by my side who has a relative at SAUT, an adventist. Without much waste of a time we called her and she narrated the story, and when my coleague asked her "what happened to you, did u sit for it?" She responded, yes I did. At that point me n my friend wondered If this was to face us, what would hv bn our stand? It can be very easy to assume that I wouldnt do it, bt in the face of this GREAT CONTROVERSY we need to "pray without ceasing" that He may "shield us". Let us join hands as we pray for brothers and sisters.

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  2. I understand how hard it is for you bros and sis at SAUT, "Now it is the time". What I can tell you is that be obidient to God and He will be responsible for the consequences of your obidience to Him. When I was in undergraduate at Tumaini University we had the same similar problem and it went to the extent of being hated by our fellow students because time table has to be changed and it was inconviniet to other students and our dean declared publicly that he will not entertain religious matters ever. We had a courage some gave up but a few of us stood firm. One incident Exam was set on Saturday, and the process ya kushughulikia takes some times and by that time tulikuwa na only hours and you know cant decide not to sit for exam without written permission. A few of us did not sit and we left all in God's hands. We thank God after the exam the week after we were told to sit for special. Till now at Tumaini Universit we have put a precedent that there are truly Seventh Day Adventists. So bros and sis, I am with you in this cruscible. God will be responsible for you obidient. May God bless you all

    Yours in Christ.
    Benson E. Hoseah

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  3. Huyu ni Mwovu shetani anafanya kazi ndani ya viongozi wa SAUT. Umefika wakati malalamiko rasmi yapelekwe katika uongozi wa nchi yetu. katika Ofisi za Serikali tunaoabudu siku ya SABATO tunakuwa exempted siku ya sabato, hata kama ofisi hiyo ni nyeti kwa kiwango gani. Niliwahi kuombwa kuja kazini siku ya sabato angalau mchana baada ya kwenda kanisani kwa madai kwamba wao wakishakwenda kanisani siku ya jumapilihuja kazini kuemdelea na kazi. nikwajulisha kwamba tofauti yetu na wao ni kwamba sisi tunatunza sabato siku nzima. Nilipowapa ushauri wa wao kuja kazini hata asubuhi siku ya Jumapili jamaa walikuwa wakali sana. Na hapo SAUT wanaabudu siku ya jumapili officially, kwa hiyo kwa maoni yangu, ndio wale wale! "MPINGA KRISTO". Finnaly let's lift up our heads seriously and lament to our God, amd I'm sure that he is going to do even more than what he did to DANIEL, MESHACK & ABEDNEGO.

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  4. Dear Colleagues in Christ. When we perished, Jesus paid every cost including His life (crucified on the cross), but the good news today He is Heaven. Our brothers and Sisters at SAUT and any other Institutions alike you have to deny yourself, bear the His cross and follow Him (Jesus). You have to know that one day you will be Heaven like Him.

    Remember Job life, he lost everything he had simply just Satan wanted to confirm if he is faithful to God or not! Even though God allowed Mr. Devil to destroy everything possessed by Job including his body, but he remained faithful. This is my prayer also to you God makes you faithful till the end (read James 5:10-11). "God bless your servants (21 brothers and sisters) and bless also SAUT lecturers and management abundantly and Lord make them to know that your Mighty Almighty God in your name. Amin"

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