Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tanzania Youth Seminar

     This past week about 140 young people from all over Tanzania gathered in Moshi for the Tanzania Youth Seminar.  This was one of the largest turnouts ever for this traveling event.  As you can see from the picture above, the hand shaking line after services this morning was so long that it circled the whole yard and spiraled inwards two-deep.  We also had the opportunity to welcome 6 young people who were baptized during the week.

Is the white guy in the blue shirt wearing different pants in these two pictures???

     This week the Arusha church will conduct a campaign of its own.  There are no visiting foreign campaigners this time.  They will just rely on the efforts of local evangelists, members, and missionaries to reach out to their community.  All in all, it is a good time to be a Christian in northern Tanzania.  Join with us in thanking God for the successful youth event, and petitioning His blessings on the Arusha campaign.  To God be the glory!

     Also, if any of you are interested in having me visit with your congregation at some point this year, then let me know, especially those of you that we didn't get to visit with during our furlough last year.

(By the way, that's actually two different guys in the pics.  I'm in the one on the left, but that's Cy on the right)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Campaign Season

Sunday at Manyire

With 3 groups of campaigners in town, operating campaigns at two different locations, last week was a very busy and rewarding time.  Numerous people have been exposed to the gospel, and several brothers and sisters have been added to the body of Christ.  The campaigners that were working in Njiro Chini head home to Alabama today.  We loved having them here, and we pray for their safe travel.

Today I taught and worshipped at the Manyire congregation along with our remaining campaigners.  Following services, we rejoiced to go down to the river where we witnessed the baptism of a former Pentecostal preacher.  We welcomed him with great joy into the church family at Manyire.  

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Karatu.  There we visited with the local preacher about some needs of the local church.  We also had the chance to visit with two of our students who are home on break.  One of them, Jeremiah, operates a children's home supporting a handful of orphaned children.  They also train impoverished members of the Karatu community in the skills of sewing and weaving, giving them a trade with which to make a living.   

The other student we met with that day, Martin, told us of the grand opening of a new congregation that he was planting in the area.  We discussed some ways that we could help get the congregation off to a good start.  I appreciate so much the caliber of men that come to us for training.  It is always a great pleasure to hear of the good works that they are a part of.  I thought you would enjoy hearing about a couple of them as well.

Left: Jeremiah at the gate of the children's home   Right: Me hanging out with some sweet little orphans

Josiah Update:  Josiah has an appointment to see a neurologist on June 29.  We'll keep you posted as we get more information.  In the meantime, your prayers are very much appreciated during this trying time.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday at Kioga

     Today I had the pleasure of introducing the Spiritual Disciplines seminar to the brethren at the Kioga congregation.  There was a full house, and the lessons were well received.  Afterward, I enjoyed visiting in the home of one of the local evangelists as we encouraged one another. 

Daniel and Moses in 2010
              Those of you who have followed the work here for a long time might remember the interesting story of how this congregation was established thanks to "Blind-man Moses".  One day two young men showed up at the church in Arusha saying, “Moses sent us down from the mountain to be baptized.”  Sounds very biblical, doesn't it?  Those men were baptized, and one went on to graduate from ACSOP and is now the preacher at the Ilkiurei congregation.  It turns out that there was a brother living on Mt. Meru who had gone blind due to diabetes.  Thus he was unable to make the difficult journey down the mountain alone.  For awhile, the brethren would go and get Moses, but that soon became impractical.  So a church was planted in Blind Man Moses’s 9’x8’ goat shed.  Soon it could no longer hold the growing congregation, and a building had to be built.  Moses has since gone on to receive his reward, but the congregation continues to thrive.  Despite its remote location the Kioga congregation is the second largest in the Arusha area.  

             We're looking forward to a very busy week this week.  There's a large campaign group that arrived a couple of days ago.  They're joining a small group that was already here working in the Njiro Chini area.  Tomorrow evening another group will be arriving to work in the Manyire area.  It is exciting times as there is so much activity and energy being dedicated to the Lord's service.  Keep these efforts in your prayers.

              Josiah Update:  The family has made it safely back to the States, and has gotten the process started of seeing doctors and scheduling tests.  At this point we don't really know any more than that, but we're confident that he's in good hands.  Thank you so much for the countless prayers that are being offered on our family's behalf.