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.
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.