Sunday, December 29, 2013
To get to the area in which we live, you have to pass through a gate. There are several men who share the duty of keeping the gate. We have made it a point to stop and speak to the guards every time we pass through. Sometimes it's a quick greeting, and sometimes we chat for a few minutes (as best we can with my limited Swahili and their limited English). We've learned their names and use them each time we see them. We have given them biblical reading materials which they have happily received. They have read them and shared them with each other.
Today as we came home, one of them asked where we had been. We said we were on our way home from church. I asked him where he went to church, and he told me. Then he let me know that there was a rumor that I was a preacher. (I hadn't mentioned that to them yet.) I confirmed that I was and told him that I was with the kanisa la Kristo. On his own, he said, "I want to go to church with you Sunday." I was thrilled and told him what time services were. I don't know if he'll show up or not, but the conversation was an encouraging reminder that we always represent our Lord to others. Even in the little things, like the way we drive through a gate. We would all do well to keep that in mind more often as we conduct the business of everyday life. People are watching! And God is watching too.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Here is one of the roads that we commonly drive on. To be fair, there are some good roads here too, but this gives you a sampling of some back road driving. Maybe another time I'll post some urban footage for you. That's a real adventure!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
provided by TZ2000 director, Cy Stafford
We rejoice knowing we partner with others of a like-minded faith. In an effort to carry out
God’s will, “seeking and saving” the lost of this world, we know that training men in their
own country that they might in turn take the saving message of the Gospel to others, is
perhaps one of the best ways to “evangelize” the world.
Total number of graduates: 134 (undergraduates), another 20 from the Masters program. It is our hope to have our largest ever intake in Feb. 2014 with an enrollment of 30 new students. We are thankful for the 10 Short Course teachers that came our way this year, they are such an asset and encouragement to the team and school.
The following numbers are from 14 of our graduates (representing about 10% of
1. Campaigns - 57
2. Baptisms - 278
3. New congregations established - 47
4. Active Christians - 881
5. Backsliding Christians - 148
6. New born Christians from Christian families - 28
In the Arusha area (not included in the above numbers, we conducted three Safari for
Souls campaigns resulting in 84 new converts.
At the ACSOP we hosted the annual Tanzania Leadership Conference. This year we
had around 140 participants from over 56 different congregations, and from 7 different
We also host the annual Tanzania Christian Camp. This year we had between 80-90
young men and women from many different congregations. The Lord blessed His
church with an increase of 17 souls from this camp this year.
We will also be hosting our annual Future Preacher’s Training Camp this week, we expect around 35-40 young men.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Being south of the equator, our seasons are opposite of the calendar back home. Thus, rather than summer camps, "Christmas camps" are common here. People have some time off and some locals go on vacation or send their kids to camp. One of the events that we were really looking forward to this year is Tanzania Christian Camp.
This past week a group from the U.S. was here (Ben Thompson, John and Denise Rice, and John Tyler Rice) to help bring the Bible camp experience that so many American young people love to Tanzania. There were 84 campers between the ages of 15 and 25 that showed up for a week of fun and spiritual growth. Tiffany and I had the opportunity to participate as teachers and counselors, and it was a wonderful experience. Of those 84 campers, 64 completed their memory verse assignments - not a bad ratio.
I'm also happy to report that that so far 17 baptisms have resulted from the camp! It is so wonderful to see people responding to the Gospel message. It was also encouraging to see that some of the greatest evangelists of the week were the male campers. Several of them were very active in having Bible studies with other students, a good many of whom were baptized subsequently. What a wonderful example of young Christian leadership!
Now please enjoy some pictures to highlight some of the week's events:
|A young lady enters into Christ through baptism|
|These young people all had their sins washed away during camp!|
|Tiffany teaches Bible class|
|Ben addresses the campers.|
|Anita and Paulina dish out some physical food to go along with the spiritual feast. It takes a lot of beans and rice to feed a crew this size!|
|Beautiful singing is a staple at Bible camp. TCC is no exception.|
|Students search their Bibles as they ponder the message being taught to them.|
|Two campers have a person Bible study during some free time.|
|It takes a lot of water to meet the needs of camp. When the local supply is insufficient, then a truckload has to be purchased.|
|John Rice wrapping up a powerful sermon|
|Daniel teaches class while one of the campers serves as a translator.|
|Tiffany's class is reminded of the importance of supporting one another through this activity.|
|Tiffany poses with her class|
|The campers get to decorate their t-shirts to help remember the week|
|Abby shows us her finished product|
|Daniel and Gasper pose with their campers|
Saturday, December 7, 2013
After a slow and grueling search, we have finally found a place to call home! We just don't have any furniture to put in it or a vehicle to get us to it, but hopefully those things will come soon. It's a little small, but it has a very safe feel to it. I think the family will be very happy living there. As you can see in the picture above, the children literally danced for joy at having a place to call their own after months of living in transition.
On a different note, we are happy to welcome Ben Thompson and the John Rice family. They have arrived safely for Tanzania Christian Camp. I'll post more details about that later in the week. This looks like it is going to be a very eventful, and wonderful week.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
|The Andrew Connally School of Preaching graduating class of 2013|
A village leader was also there to offer congratulations and be a testimony to the good relationship that ACSOP has with the surrounding community. Good Christians also tend to make good citizens and are a blessing to their communities. Righteousness does exalt a nation as Proverbs 14:34 reminds us.
Additionally, there were three men who graduated from the Arusha Bible School. None of these men were Christians when they enrolled in the school, but they wanted to know the Bible better. During the in-depth Bible study that they did at school they discovered the truth of God's Word and were led to Christ. Their conversions serve as a testimony to the power of the Gospel for anyone who is willing to give it honest study and "search the scriptures".
|Randy Pyle, minister at the Meridianville church, addresses the graduates.|
|Tom Brandon, elder at Meridianville, AL joins Ahemidewe Kimaro (Dean of Students), Christopher Mwakabanje (Swahili Director), Jimmy Gee (ASCOP Director), and Cy Stafford (TZ 2000 Director) in presenting the graduates with their degrees.|
|I offer some final words of encouragement to the new graduates.|
Here are the names of the men who graduated in this year's ACSOP class:
Albert Donasia Jacob Shirima (Valedictorian)
Ayubu Z. Laizer
Njile Makungu Kazungu
Godwin Elisha Malley
Godlisten John Mbise
Jackson K. Andrea
Josephat Mkwaya Mzima
Joseph Zephania Mhilu
Justine K. Nkelego
Maurice Gasper Wissibo
Naaman O. Sheiza
Philemon David Jakobo
Remmy Mwaituka Simkoko
Silvester Bahati Kanego
These are the graduates of the Arusha Bible School:
Clement S. Masimba (Valedictorian)
Happygod Silas Maleo
Amani Fransis Kimario
Please join with me in praying for these men as they move on to new phases of their life and service to God.