Sunday, January 26, 2014

Marriage Seminar in Arusha

Saturday at the Arusha church we had the opportunity to take part in a marriage seminar.  It was part three of a series of four such seminars aimed at strengthening the christian families in the area.  Strong marriages lead to strong families, and strong families make for stronger churches.  Tiffany and I both had the opportunity to teach sessions, as did Gary Fallis and Christopher Mwakabanje.  The attendance was good, with people coming from as far away as Moshi (could take a couple of hours on public transit).  The ladies fixed a delicious, authentic Tanzanian lunch of rice and paluao with spinach and a slice of fresh pineapple, all of which we ate in true African style (with our hands).  All in all it was a full and enjoyable day.  You can see more pictures here.  Also we owe a special thank you to the McVeighs for watching our kids ALL day so that we could participate in the seminar.  It's great to be a part of a team :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Seven Churches of Arusha - Soon to be Eight

    Saturday we enjoyed our monthly evangelism planning meeting with the preachers from the seven churches of Arusha.  The highlight of this month's meeting was our plans to plant a new congregation in the area known as Njiro chini.  This is part of our overall goal of having a church every five kilometers in Arusha.  This would put the whole city's population within reasonable walking distance from a congregation of the Lord's church.  During the month of February, each existing congregation will take one day a week (Ilkuirei's is Fridays), each week, to canvas the Njiro neighborhood doing Bible studies.  We ask you to join us in praying each day that the Lord will go before us and prepare hearts to be receptive.

     We are glad to have Gary Fallis visiting with us from the States.  Gary is a veteran teacher having worked with both the Brown Trail School of Preaching and the Bear Valley Bible Institute.  He is here to teach two short-courses at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  He'll be teaching both Hebrews and the Gospel of John, both of which are incredibly rich texts and should be a blessing for his students to study.  We were glad to have Gary preach for us at Ilkuirei today.

     Speaking of Ilkuirei, we are happy to report the baptism of a man named Gerod.  We hope that he'll be a great addition to the church family there.  We also rejoiced to see a lady at church today who had been unfaithful of late, but after several home visits and studies has returned.

Personal Notes
    As many of you know, our container finally arrived on Christmas Eve.  With much unpacking to do, and not wanted to rush through the family Christmas festivities we decided to arbitrarily set a later date to have Christmas.  We took our time, kept some traditions, and made some memories.  With our tree and a bountiful supply of presents from the container, we enjoyed a personalized visit from Santa this past Friday night.  The boys are too young to read a calendar and were none the wiser to our date change.  It was great morning in the Gaines home.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


     As was mentioned in our last newsletter, we have begun to work with the White Rose or Ilkiurei congregation in Arusha.  I wanted to make you aware of a couple of the challenges/needs that the congregation has.  We are fortunate to have a mostly completed building in which to meet.  It is simple, comprised of only one large room, but we are thankful to have it.  There are two things that stand out as needing urgent attention however.

     The first is that we need a better place to have children’s Bible class.  Currently, the children are meeting outside next to the building.  It would be very much preferable for them to have a place sheltered from the elements.  Our purposed solution is to construct a movable partition that would section off an area of the building for Bible class, then could be moved out of the way to make more room for the worship assembly.  This will take about $320 to build.

     Secondly, we have very noisy neighbors.  A religious group meets in the building right next door to us.  All day long, they broadcast loud music and yelling over a PA system.  It is very distracting and makes the environment not conducive to serious worship.  We have planted trees to become a noise barrier, but they will take time to grow.  Earlier, I mentioned that the building was “mostly” completed.  One thing that remains to be done is to install glass in the window openings in the wall.  If the windows were glassed in, then we could close them and reduce the noise pollution that we are facing.  Each window will costs about $250.  With four windows, that’s a total expense of $1,000. 

    If anyone would like to help with the expense of either of these projects, then your contribution would be most welcome.   Thank you for your continued encouragement, prayers, and support.  May God bless you and yours.