by Neal Pollard
I met David Bayi on my first trip to Tanzania in 2003. He is, on the surface, a reserved man, but he has a winning smile and jovial personality to go along with a tenacity in teaching the gospel few can match.
His former profession was competitive road racing, in which he did quite well. The discipline and determination that characterized his life and work before becoming a Christian describes his labors as a gospel preacher now.
Despite living on a scant diet and having to walk long distances each day, David works tirelessly in Kioga (where he works with the church established there) and often in Arusha and the outskirts of that city. He established a congregation out in the Kisongo area while working as a night watchman.
In 2005 we campaigned together and he led us to places that, frankly, made me nervous. He was more persistent to get into gated areas than the watchdogs were persistent that we not go.
He was brutally attacked that year by men with machetes one night while serving as a security guard. Yet, he survived the attack and was back evangelizing several weeks later.
Earlier this year, we taught a young lady named Violet and he baptized her into Christ. It was one of about twenty conversions in which he was involved in that one month alone. Suffice it to say that David is one of the Lord’s hardest workers.
Periodically, he emails me in response to Daily Bread. He even suggests ideas for me to consider. I must tell you anything he has to say is worth very much to me.
This weekend he wrote to suggest that I emphasize how we, as individual Christians, need to do God’s work, since God created us for such a good purpose, to glorify His name and always serve Him. He says that if we love God with all our heart and minds (Matt. 22:37), we will. He lamented that there is so much work to do, but so few who will do the work (Matt. 9:37-38). We do our work knowing that most will not like hearing us preach about Jesus, but we cannot afford to be ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). We must keep working, reminding ourselves that one day we will inherit eternal life (Rev. 2:10).
First, he has credibility on his side by writing on that subject. You will never meet a harder worker for Christ than David Bayi.
Second, his words probably humble you like they do me. Because his life shows that he practices what he preaches, he reminds me of why the early church flourished.
David gets from one teaching appointment to another by foot, by bicycle or by taxi or public transportation. He is at the other end of the economic spectrum from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. He was educated at the Andrew Connelly School of Preaching (BVBID extension), not Harvard or Oxford.
Yet he loves the Lord who saved Him so much that he is taking the gospel to untold numbers of people. With so little by earthly standards, he is accomplishing so much to God’s glory. With so much at our disposal and so many resources, what are we getting done for Him?
David, thank you for exhorting us to be bold, unashamed, and tireless workers for God. Coming from you, it means so much! May we not only hear you, but follow your example as you follow Christ!
From Neal’s ezine, Daily Bread. To sign up, follow this link.