Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sometimes You Just Have to Do What You've Got to Do

     If you've ever been to Arusha, then you know that one of the biggest hazards that we face is simply traffic.  Motorcycles (they call them piki pikis here) swarm around, in, and out of traffic like swarms of bees.  They mostly drive on the center and side lines of the road, but can swerve across the lane with no warning.  Yesterday, we fell victim to just such a maneuver.  A piki piki swerved right into us, knocking off the rear quarter panel of our vehicle.  Apparently, not seriously injured (thankfully!) the piki piki driver quickly disappeared.  

     So what could we do?  It just so happened that we had some duct tape with us, but... it was my daughter's PINK duct tape.  Urgh.  How unmanly can you get?  Oh well, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.  So we taped it back on and went on about our day.  

So what do you think of our new detailing?  Looking forward to getting this fixed.

Revelation Class

     The school year is moving right along.  These men are just a few weeks away from graduation, but first they must conquer my class on Revelation.  It is proving to be a rich and rewarding study.  I hope they are benefiting from it as much as I am.

Would You Like a Visit?

     We do have a few slots left in our schedule for our upcoming visit to the U.S.  If you would like for me to come by and visit with your congregation, then contact me, and we will work it out.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Little TLC

Tanzanian Leadership Conference

Daniel teaches a lesson on the importance of prayer, and Michael provides translation

     Last week the brethren of East Africa got a little TLC.  Of course, I'm talking about their time at the Tanzanian Leadership Conference.  Church leaders from 3 East African nations gathered at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching for four days of fellowship and lectures aimed at improving leadership skills.  This year's theme was Lessons on Leadership from Nehemiah.  It was an enriching endeavor as Nehemiah does prove to be an excellent case-study in leadership.

     This was my first experience with TLC.  I found it to be kind of like an African version of Polishing the Pulpit or the Freed-Hardeman Lectures.  Many of the attendees were alumni of the school.  This was a great time to catch up with them, and see how their work is going.  There were also Ladies sessions, and Tiffany was honored to be among the women who taught lessons.  We were also glad to have American visitors, Ralph and Cindy Williams, and Garry Hill, participating in the event.

     Times like this offer encouragement in knowing how the church is thriving across East Africa.  We expect that God will continue doing great things hear, and that the harvest will continue to be abundant.  Take courage, my friends, to know that the kingdom is thriving and that victories are being won each day.

clockwise:  Cy Stafford addresses the attendees as Charles Heberth translates, Christian sisters work the registration table, Ralph Williams presents a lesson with translation help from Gasper Maurice, attendees listen to the speaker

Friday, October 3, 2014

An African Missionary Talks about the Global Pandemic

The Pandemic

      There is a disease that is wreaking havoc in Africa.  It is causing unbelievable amounts of suffering in those who have been infected, as well as emotional damage to those who love them.  Living in Africa, I have had the great displeasure of witnessing first-hand those who are suffering from this disease.  I’ve seen some who are desperate for a cure for their condition, seeking urgently for some relief.  I’ve also seen those who are not yet aware of the severity of the disease.  These have no idea what is coming if they don’t receive treatment soon. 

     This disease has even made appearances in America and other parts of the world.  Efforts to contain it are extremely important, but it seems to spread so very easily.  I’m very concerned about what it means for the future.  A true pandemic may be inevitable and unavoidable. 

     Untreated, this disease has a 100% fatality rate.  Many treatments have been tried, but there is only one that is effective.  There was one man who seemed to have immunity to the disease.  Transfusions of this man’s blood have proven to be a remarkably effective treatment.  So far, the only known power for cure is in his blood.  Without it the disease will spread unchecked and result in untold devastation for countless people. 

     It is hard to admit, but I, myself, have been infected by the disease.  I am happy to report however, that the treatment has proven quite effective in my life.  For this reason, I am anxious to spread the cure to as many as possible. 

     By now you realize that I’m not talking about Ebola, AIDS, bird-flu, swine-flu, anthrax, or any similar disease.  The disease to which I refer is much deadlier, and much more widespread.  It is sin.  All adults have been infected (Romans 3:23).  It is ultimately fatal (Romans 6:23).  The only cure is the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7), and healing can be found nowhere else (Acts 4:12). 

     This knowledge is why I am an evangelist, and why I think you should be too.  I don’t mean that you have to stand in a pulpit, or be on a church payroll.  I only mean that you should be doing what is in your power to spread the word to those who are within your realm of influence.  If you knew the cure to Ebola, would you keep it from your friend who was infected?  How much more then should you share the life-giving knowledge that can rescue others from the death that comes from sin?

     I am not afraid of Ebola.  I am not afraid of terrorists.  I am not afraid of poisonous snakes.  I AM afraid of meeting my Lord unprepared (Matthew 10:28).  I AM afraid of what will happen to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8), and I long and pray for their salvation (Romans 10:1). 

     The world is so distracting, but let’s do our best to keep the perspective that comes from setting out minds on things above rather than things on earth (Colossians 3:2).