More than 19,000 people were baptized after attending a Revelation of Hope series given by Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Mark Finley in Mwanza, Tanzania. Overwhelmed after watching thousands wade into the waters of Lake Victoria for baptism, Finley said he will never forget the time God allowed him to see the miracle of salvation.
His wife Ernestine, who gave health talks throughout the series, also exulted in the results, sharing how happy she was to see people applying the health principles immediately after they heard the benefits. “We saw them drinking water and some walking on the spot and that shows they will improve their lifestyles and redeem their health.”
The Kirumba CCM stadium, where meetings took place, was transformed into a health center. Before the close of the meetings, a reported 9,000 patients received treatment. Many demon-possessed people were prayed over and found freedom from Satan’s bondage. General vice-president for the General Conference, Geoffrey Mbwana, assisted in the coordination of the meetings. Mbwana said many were grappling with evil spirits but through prayer Jesus gave them victory. “Some came to our prayer booth with lacerated bodies; others had been hopelessly captive to incurable diseases but Christ has set them free.”
In his closing remarks, John Mongera, regional commissioner of the Mwanza region, referred to the Adventist church as “our church.” He commended the organization for a good relationship with the government. He also surprised the audience by revealing that the three -week meetings brought peace and security to his territory. “We owe the Seventh-day Adventist Church a great debt of gratitude. Thank you for fighting ignorance among our people through education and health.”
The success of the meetings also depended on church members who contributed time and resources. Besides visitation and personally inviting friends and family to attend the meetings, some offered to refuel vehicles that were used for the whole time. Others freely accommodated pastors and translators in their apartments while others equipped the stadium with powerful sound equipment. Finley said it was “Total Member Involvement in action.”
Responding to the guests, Pastor Goodwin Lekundayo, the Northern Tanzania Union Conference president thanked everyone for their contribution and promised that another the important task of nurturing and retaining the newly baptized lies ahead. “As a mother after giving birth can’t abandon the baby, so we cannot afford to lose them.”
Revelation of Hope Series was the theme of the meetings organized by the Northern Tanzania Union Conference. All the presentations were live on Hope Channel Tanzania. Besides the main site in Mwanza, more than 4,000 sites received the signal, both in Tanzania and in neighboring countries.