Ready for a distraction from all of the election chaos? Let me share with you some news from the Lord's work in Tanzania. This will be much more pleasant to think about! Recently I've heard news of at least 19 baptisms and 17 restorations from our brothers in Tanzania. That's the kind of counting that is edifying to do! Some of those baptisms came at the brand new congregation in the Mesarani village. For those of you who have visited Tanzania, Mesarani is the area where the Snake Park is. The Kisongo church has helped to plant this new congregation, and their members have been making weekly efforts at evangelizing this neighboring community.
Meanwhile, the students at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching continue their studies. The first-year students are just finishing up a course on the Intertestimental Period, that 400-year period of scriptural silence after the close of the Old Testament that forms the background and setting for the events of the New Testament. Next door, the second-year students are wrapping up a course on The Preacher's Work, which is a very practical study that plays an important role in preparing an effective evangelist. Speaking of students, let's turn our spotlight to let you meet one of our second-year students who will be graduating soon:
Student Spotlight - Isaya Fredy Mwainyekule
Isaya was raised in a family from a charismatic denomination. From the Kyusa tribe, he was one of seven children in his family. An ACSOP alumnus taught Isaya the gospel in 2012, and forever changed his life. Now Isaya dreams of being a church planter as he serves God with the rest of his days.
Here's what Isaya wants to say to you, "Knowing the pure doctrine was my dream, and now it has been fulfilled. So I really thank all who support this school from the deepest part of my heart, and I pray that God will continue to fill you, with spiritual and physical blessings according to His will."
I join Isaya in being thankful to all of you who give of your resources and through your prayers to make the mission work in Tanzania possible. If you would like to hear an in-person report about the work, then reply to this email and let me know. I would love to come and visit your congregation!
This trip to Tanzania has been a wonderful experience. We had the pleasure of spending time in many homes of our dear Tanzanian brethren. Those who follow me on Facebook had your feed flooded with pictures from these cherished experiences! An important part of this trip was also to help Noel and Jessica Stafford in their survey of the work. They are hoping to move to Tanzania to help with the work at some point next year. They are excited about the possibilities and will begin fundraising immediately. I encourage you to prayerfully consider helping them.
(Daniel Gaines, Noel and Jessica Stafford)
Exciting progress continues to be made on construction of the Cy Stafford School of Leadership. Windows are installed, and the painting is complete. Check out the beautiful floor in the hallway!
We are happy to welcome our newest student, Christopher Carter. Chris is a Bear Valley student who is finishing his senior year at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching. This is the first time that we have been able to host an American student who came to Tanzania specifically to train with us. This should be a great experience for Chris and for his classmates as he graduates with us.
(Chris Carter and his new classmates)
One of our biggest events of the year is the Tanzania Leadership Conference, hosted at ACSOP. For an update on that, here is a message from Charles Mwanga:
"“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18), The scripture is encouraging us as Christians not to think that what we are passing through now is greater than the present to come. That’s why in our conference these year, we decided to come with topic which will be encouraging both individual Christians and the Church in general to “STAY TRUE TO GOD IN CHALLENGING TIMES.” Since the world has been tried through many hard situations, it is very easy for a Christian to loose “COURAGE,” Our conference was focusing on equipping the Saints with tools as to how they can stay Faithful to God even during the hard times.
"We thank God for the opportunity to serve in His Kingdom, as we all know many countries have been defeated to continue with their regular schedules both spiritually and physically, Here in Tanzania things have been different, We have been blessed to host our conference as usual. We had the average of 187 participants, 21 topics presented and various experienced teachers from both America and East Africa. We thank God for using us as a vessel to build up His Kingdom.
"We are back to our normal teaching schedule, both in our English and Swahili classes. We thank God for may brethren who are striving day and night to make sure that our school continue to exist. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
"We thank you all for your prayers and support even during this trying times. We have seen true love abiding in you. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours beyond measure.
"Thank you for all that you mean and do in His Kingdom."
Enjoy some images from TLC at the bottom of this email.
We also want to thank a sweet group of Ladies from the Mt. Juliet Congregation, who generously made 769 masks to send to Tanzania. We distributed these at the Tanzania Leadership Conference to anyone who wanted some to take back to their congregations or families across East Africa. People lined up to eagerly receive them, especially interested in the children's sizes for school.
(Mt. Juliet ladies hard at work)
(Melissa Burka delivers the masks to Daniel)
(Masks being distributed)
If you would like an in-person visit to hear more about the work, then I would love to come. Also, can you recommend this work to a friend or another congregation? Referrals are a great way to help. As always, the most important thing that we need for you to do is PRAY for this important work on a regular basis!
I hope that this note finds you and your loved ones well. After some delays and misadventures (I was forced to spend 48 hours in the Amsterdam airport because of weather delays, so now I can tell you where all of the best chairs are!), I am finally safe and sound in Tanzania.
The past week was spent primarily in studying the book of Revelation with the 2nd year students at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching. It was gratifying to see them respond to the message of hope and victory on those pages. Our God is truly awesome, and it is an immense privilege just to have the opportunity to serve Him!
Today, Noel Stafford and I are heading out to do some personal evangelism. Evangelists here have told me of 8 baptisms and 15 restorations recently. The door stands open here!
There is so much more to share, so I'll write again soon. In the meantime, please keep the work here in your prayers. Also, let me know if you would like for me to visit with your congregation in person about the Lord's work in East Africa.
Today, I wanted to illustrate for you the difference that having outside support can make for a congregation while they are trying to grow to maturity. Our brother Yuseph surveryed the congregations in his area and brought back these results from the first half of 2020.
Congregations with regular outside support:
Ushirombo: 11 baptisms and 7 restorations
Lulembela: 14 baptisms and 5 restorations
Ibambula: 11 baptisms and 2 restorations
Kazibizyo: 10 baptisms and 3 restorations
Congregations with no regular outside support:
Imalamagigo: 4 baptisms and 2 restorations
Kahama: 1 baptism and 0 restorations
Mganza: 0 baptisms or restorations
Karoro: 0 baptisms or restorations
Of course, the goal is for all of these congregations to eventually be self-supporting (and we do have a plan for that), but you can see how much of a head start is made possible when their brethren from other parts of the kingdom partner with them. I want to thank you for being a partner in TanzaniaMissions. Whether you're helping through prayer, financial contributions, campaign participation, or all of the above, we're glad to have you as part of the team!
Would you like to know more about ways you can help? Would you like an in-person visit to your congregation? Let me know!