Jane Otte traveled on her first trip to Africa with husband, Rev. Marlin Otte, pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Marion, Illinois. She wondered “what God was trying to tell me from the experience?” She knew, as she worked in Malawi and Tanzania that she was doing God’s work, but what else did God want from her? Jane wrote..
At all of the well sites there would be a short program/service to celebrate the installation. Each time, Marlin would ask someone to pray. People spoke different languages at different wells, so we heard prayers of all kinds. I would take off my hat (necessary to keep from sunburn in that late spring, early summer weather), kneel with everyone and listen. God and I and everyone there heard it all – the prayers spoken with a natural and unhesitating awe.
On one of those very tiring days, we were on top of a mountain in Malawi looking at the mountains in Tanzania. …a memory verse learned long ago just popped into my brain. “I lift up my eyes to the hills — from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth …”
This verse especially meant a great deal “The Lord will preserve your soul”. The mountains spoke to me from the verses learned in childhood. The spirit spoke to me when I did not expect it. So now, I wait for what else such a loving God would want to tell me.
Marlin Otte wrote: As the Tanzania hymn says in kiswahili: “Asante Sanna Yesu” or “I am thanking Jesus!” Jane and I are thankful for so many blessings on our trip to Malawi and Tanzania..
The people of Malawi & Tanzania excel at the gift of hospitality and freely share of what little they have. They highly value people/relationships and honor them above task or schedule. These are the most valued gifts I received. I pray I can better cultivate these traits in my life. Asante Sanna Yesu! I am thanking Jesus for all of our new sisters and brothers in Christ and looking forward to building a stronger relationship between our churches and cultures.