Several years ago, I traveled with an experienced missionary to the East African country of Tanzania. We ministered at the main Bible school in the capitol city of Dodoma, and in surrounding village churches. Before I went, I thought Tanzania was a third world country with jungles, wild animals, medicine men, malaria, and monkeys. This is true, but there was one big surprise!
In preparation, I did much research on Tanzania and its history. Notable places to visit included the Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Island, and Lake Victoria. Prior to the arrival of the Muslim slave traders in the 8th Century, Tanzania was trapped in various animist religions that still haunt the rural areas. Eventually, Christian missionaries arrived and moved inland. Dr. David Livingstone was among the first.
When we landed in Dar es Salaam, we packed all of our gear into a small Toyota Corolla with two national pastors, and travelled 9 hours inland. All along the way I saw monkeys, people pushing carts, children playing, and roadside fruit stands. It was also stunning to see members of the semi-nomadic Massai Tribe walking in groups. We did have several stops including one for Tanzanian roadside justice. A judge had set up a traffic court under a tree, and the police were randomly pulling over cars to pay a ticket. Our driver was accustomed to this, and he spent time arguing in Swahili with the judge until they had agreed to a fine.
My big surprise was that most of the adults had cell phones! They were always talking to someone in loud conversations. Even more startling to me was that many of them paid for their purchases with their cell phones. Money was transferred from the buyer to the seller through electronic banking. It was not a totally cashless society yet, but you could see it coming!
Where I least expected it, I saw Biblical prophecy coming about. Revelation 13 prophesies the coming antichrist and the mark of the beast. Many believe this predicts a cashless society where purchases are made through a means other than cash – possibly electronic. It appears that everything is ready for the Next Step.
But God has left no one out of His merciful Plan of Redemption. All nations are loved by their Creator and hope is available to each who seeks Him through Christ. Whether you live in a mud hut in East Africa, or an igloo in Alaska, or a mansion in New York, God has not forgotten you. And that’s Good News!