Bethsaida…

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Life is catching up with me

I am not as strong as I used to be

It takes me an hour to get here

Another hour to leave here

Those who cannot see

Those who cannot hear

Those who cannot speak

Those like me

All come here

The one with money is fortunate

The one with a family even more fortunate

One day we will be the ones

I’ve asked Sayyda to marry me

“But how can a marry what I cannot see?”

She remembers the 17 years here

And the 38 we celebrate today

“I see you…”

I tell her

“You are beautiful…”

I whisper to her

She will marry the one who immerses her in the waters

The one strong enough to carry her weakness

If I had money

I would pay for her immersion

If I had a family

I would make sure they did it

Just so that she could see her very reflection

Sayyda is beautiful

But for my very now

And my very here

I desire to be immersed

But for a moment

Against Bethsaida and its scorching sun

Tesha Mongi © October 2015 – adapted from John

Beautiful…

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This place is beautiful

But I am ugly

And ugly is what my life looks like

When time came for me to crawl, I barely moved

He is not the crawling type,” they thought

Then time came for me to stand, I barely moved

He is the later-in-life kind of child,” they thought

Finally in my 3rd year of life

The doctors confirmed I would barely move

Barely!

Mama would prop me on a table each morning

And it was by our wooden door I lived

My brothers herded, my sisters fetched water

Sometimes they played with it

Made clay balls, they had so much fun

Their friends would join in, it was so much fun

They always said hello. They always wished I played

Eventually they left

Papa also left. Mama quickly followed him

God will take care of you.” they bade

My brother did everything he could

But then came his ‘mamacita

And every morning since they drop me here

At first I was angry, very angry

I am sure my parents would have been very angry

A beggar!

Their son turned a beggar!

But it is beautiful here

I see beautiful children – very beautiful children

I see beautiful men – well their hearts are

I see beautiful women – with large beautiful eyes

My sister says there is a peasant girl

A very beautiful peasant girl

Waiting for me if I fetch enough silver

And for love, I will fetch that silver

With pitiable theatrics, with powerful theatrics, with put-some-money-in-my-cup theatrics

I will fetch even gold and alas here it comes!

But these men are different

Though the temple bells ring, they rush not

They kneel leaning towards me

Silver or gold they obviously do not have

But in the name of the Nazarene

In the name of the Nazarene

They help me hop, I skip, I jump

It is beautiful I tell you! Beautiful…

Tesha Mongi © September 2015 – adapted from Acts

12 Years…

train-clock12 years, I moved from physician to physician looking for a cure that would make me whole. Instead, I depleted my father’s inheritance spending all that was in his control. I hid from the day; the mockery was too much. I wept through the nights, the Lord had forgotten me.

But in the 12th year, I heard that He was in town. Yes the one who had given sight to the blind and restored the hearing of the deaf. The one who had given feet to the lame and brought back to life the dead. He was in my town!

Crowds thronged Him and for the first time in 12 years, no one cared that I, unclean, was by their side. I had battled with the life-giving red fluid that run through my body. But they too had a fight and meeting with the Lord was all that mattered.

And with all the strength left in my weakness, I got down on one knee and stretched out to touch the fringe of his garment. “Who touched me?” That moment has lasted a lifetime and because He lives, you too can face tomorrow!

~ Adapted from the Gospel of Matthew. Happy April! He has risen!

DARE to DREAM

One of the things that makes my career so rewarding is the travel. Just recently, I had the exciting opportunity to visit the land of Judah. Judah, to say the least, is beautiful. The land is rich with vegetation and its cattle fill thousands of hills. It has numerous streams giving it a magnificent view against the backdrop of its blue skies and warm Kislev sun. But the one thing I especially like about Judah is its people. Their warmth and community is just unbelievable. Can you imagine the day I arrived it was the governor himself who came to meet me!

After my rest, he took me to this great place called “The Penthouse”. It is rumoured to be the most expensive and comfortable inn in the expansive lands of Persia and from its balcony, one gets a fantastic view of Jerusalem. A notable feature is its sturdy walls which boasts of the artistic workmanship of the Jews. We chatted with the governor a long time about our travels as we shared in the sweet and spicy delicacies of Jerusalem. It was just an hour before sunset that he finally gave me the interview.

 

Wazo:             Nehemiah, what made you so angry?

Nehemiah:   (He took a deep breath, cleared his throat and begun) My brother had come

Wazo:             from Judah and I questioned him about the Jewish remnant that survived the

Wazo:             exile and also about Jerusalem and he said to me that they were in great trouble

Wazo:             and disgrace, the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burnt by

Wazo:             fire.

Wazo:             No passion, no vision

 

Wazo:             My! Sounds like it was really bad.

Nehemiah:   (Nehemiah nodded his head in agreement) When I heard these things, I sat

Wazo:             down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God

Wazo:             of heaven. I then sort the blessings of the King Artaxerxes to go and rebuild the

Wazo:             city where my fathers are buried.

Wazo:             God doesn’t need my ability but my availability

 

Wazo:             What did you do when you arrived at the city?

Nehemiah:   Well, (He paused for a moment to sip water from his goblet) I went to

Wazo:             Jerusalem, and after staying there 3 days, I set out during the night with a few

Wazo:             men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for

Wazo:             Jerusalem. By night I went through Jerusalem examining the walls which had

Wazo:             been broken down and its gates which had been destroyed by fire.

Wazo:             Before you initiate, investigate 

 

Wazo:             How were you able to convince your fellowmen to join you in this

Wazo:             ambitious endeavour?

Nehemiah:   I said to the Jews, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its

Wazo:             gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and

Wazo:             we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my

Wazo:             God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start

Wazo:             rebuilding.” So they began the good work.

Wazo:             Every great dream, needs a great team

 

Wazo:             Amazing! Simply amazing! By the way, I see the city has quite a number of gates.

Wazo:             (I stood up to identify them. Nehemiah stood as well) the Sheep Gate, the

Wazo:             Fish Gate, the Old Gate, the Valley Gate, Ummmh…

Nehemiah:   That’s the Dung Gate, right here’s the Fountain Gate, the Water Gate is over

Wazo:             there and you must have seen the Horse and Inspection Gates as you came in.

Wazo:             You know, it was truly amazing to see the people buy into the vision and work

Wazo:             with all their heart. (His voice shrilled in excitement as he slowly walked down

Wazo:            the terraces of the inn) I mean the priest and the high priests were there, the

Wazo:             rulers and their sons were there, the men of Tekoa were there in spite of the

Wazo:             attitude of their nobles, the goldsmiths, the merchants, I mean just about

Wazo:             everyone was there, even the daughters of Hallohesh were there!

Wazo:             When personal vision, aligns itself with great vision, doors open

 

Wazo:             (Joining Nehemiah at the terrace, I asked him how he dealt with the

Wazo:            opposition he faced from Sanballat the Horonite and his cronies)

Nehemiah:   We continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of

Wazo:             dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every

Wazo:             man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as

Wazo:             guards by night and workmen by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men

Wazo:             nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he

Wazo:             went for water.

Wazo:             The bigger your vision, the greater the opposition

 

Wazo:             You truly are a man of great courage and unquestionable moral standing. How

Wazo:             have you managed to achieve this in the present day and age?

Nehemiah:   (A slight blush run across his face but he quickly recollected himself) I attribute

Wazo:             all that I am to God and always believe in doing what is right in the sight of God

Wazo:             and man. Seeing people subjected to an oppression of debt and slavery caused

Wazo:             by the corruption of our own countrymen breaks my heart. Doesn’t anyone fear

Wazo:             God anymore? It must stop! And I am going to be the first to stop it. (He

Wazo:            momentarily paused as if to calm himself, wiped his eyes with a white kerchief

Wazo:            that lay upon his neck and lifted his hands toward the heavens) But above all, I

Wazo:             continue to desire the favour of God upon my life.

Wazo:             Never violate God’s principles to accomplish God’s vision

 

Wazo:             (It was midnight. We had just finished our evening meal and I had more or less

Wazo:            exhausted the list of questions for the governor but there was just one more I

Wazo:            needed answered) I have travelled many lands and met many rulers but you,

Wazo:            you are different. What is your secret?

Nehemiah:   3 things my child. Prayer, focus, determination. (He motioned me to stand

Wazo:            as we walked towards the square) There was this time when Sanballat and

Wazo:            Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages

Wazo:            on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers

Wazo:             to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.

Wazo:             Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” So the wall was

Wazo:             completed on the 25th of Elul in 52 days. When all our enemies heard about

Wazo:             this, all surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because

Wazo:            they realised that this work had been done with the help of our God.

Wazo:             I am doing a great work; I can’t come down

 

Dawn found me seated thinking of the things I had heard. I thought about Jerusalem, my Jerusalem. How it lay in ruins and how hopeless I felt when I thought about it. Nehemiah opened my eyes. He opened them to the fact that there is a lot beauty in ashes. I then resolved that in the 11th year of the 3rd millennium, I would dare to dream.

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This piece is credited to a series of sermons by one of my Pastor’s. It was absolutely awesome! All Biblical references and quotations have been taken from The Book of Nehemiah, New International Version, NIV®

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Wishing y’all a great year, a year where you dare to dream!

…mwenye kupenda mawazo mazuri…

tesha 😉