Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thank You!

Hello friends,

It hardly feels like it has been 3 years since we packed up and moved our family to Tanzania, Africa.  Time has flown by, and with your help, a great amount of good was accomplished. 

We asked you to help us with a four-fold mission:
  • Preacher Training – Directing and Teaching at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching
  • Personal Evangelism
  • Benevolence
  • Church Growth
I hope that you’ve been able to keep track of us through our blog and email reports, but if not, then let me give you a very brief synopsis of what was accomplished.  We were able to play a role in the training of more than 40 East African gospel preachers.  Through the efforts of our students, campaigners, teammates, and ourselves there have been hundreds of baptisms and restorations over the same time period.  Food, shelter, clothing, and education was provided for some very needy individuals.  The churches in the area, working together grew stronger in the Lord, and local leadership was enhanced.  All in all, we feel like it was a very successful mission and we’re proud to have been a part of it.

You might wonder, “What now?”  We plan to return to Tanzania each year to lead campaigns or teach short courses.  Any further donations that are received through Lehman Avenue will be dedicated to these campaigns or to ongoing benevolence projects.  Meanwhile the Maynard, Norman, and Storks families will continue to work full-time in Tanzania.  Let me know if you would like information about contacting these families to help with their support. 

Thank you so much for your support, prayers, and encouragement during this mission.  May God richly bless you.

Your fellow worker,

 Daniel Gaines

Our family walks to church on our first and last Sundays in Kisongo, Tanzania

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Do Short-Term Mission Trips Do Any Good?

     The internet is full of articles criticizing the value of short-term mission trips.  I'm often asked by our visitors about my perspective as a full-time missionary on these trips.  So I thought I'd take a few minutes to share my thoughts.

     I admit that some of the criticism is valid.  (I especially question the value of campaigns whose purpose is to provide unskilled labor for some work project, when they could hire local unskilled labor for a small fraction of the costs of their trip and provide badly needed employment.) However, I think that the criticisms can also be overblown.

     We have the opportunity to host numerous campaigners throughout the year, and I love it.  Some groups are more organized than others.  Some are easier to work with than others.  Some are better prepared than others.  Some are more effective at achieving their stated goals than others.  There are obviously strengths and weakness, mistakes and triumphs, that exist in campaign work.  (Perhaps another day, I'll share some thoughts about making campaign work more effective.)  However, I think that all of them have importance and value.  Even poorly run or ill-fated campaigns have value.

     In fact, I would like to suggest 8 reasons why short-term mission trips are valuable regardless of the immediate outcome of their stated mission.

1. Some Campaigners Experience Spiritual Growth - On some level, most campaigners are doing something that they consider to be bold for their faith.  This leaving behind of their own comfort zone can help push a person to higher levels of spiritual maturity.  Ideally campaigners have also undergone some preparations for the work they will be doing while on the field.  This preparation also helps their spiritual growth by forcing them to dig deeper into the basics of their faith than they might have previously.  

2. Some Campaigners Gain a Broadened Perspective of the Worldwide Brotherhood - For many Americans, the world outside the nation's borders is a scary place that they would rather ignore.  If you spend a little time outside the country, then you quickly learn that it's not so scary after all.  People dress differently and speak differently, but underneath those superficial differences people are still people.  Customs vary, but the drives that make us tick are really the same.  
     When you see your brethren from across the globe face to face, then they become more real in your eyes.  They are not stats and figures.  They are priceless souls with real needs, real strengths, and real weaknesses.  They are saved by the same blood of Christ that saves you.  They are just as important as you.  This perspective can help break down the "us" and "them" mentality, and the brotherhood is all the better as a result.

3. Some Campaigners Become More Evangelistic Back Home - Sharing your faith is easier on a mission trip.  It's what is expected of you.  There is no social stigma against it.  Some campaigners really try to share their faith for the first time on a mission trip.  They realize that it wasn't really as hard or scary as they always thought it was.  Emboldened by their mission experience, SOME campaigners go back home with a greater evangelistic zeal, and their local congregations are blessed as a result.  I know specifically of people whose lives have been changed by this phenomenon.  

4. Some Campaigners Become Supporters and Advocates of Mission Work - Remember point #2?  Having seen the field first-hand it is more difficult to ignore the importance of mission work.  They've seen the good that is being done, and the needs that remain. Maybe they're not ready to commit to moving to the mission field themselves, but they want to be involved.  So they enable mission work through prayers and financial support. They remind their church leaders that their congregations should be mission-minded.  Every missionary needs a solid support team back home or they cannot do their work effectively.  Some of the best "senders" are people who have been campaigners.     

5. Some Campaigners Become Full-Time Missionaries or Ministers - When I was in 8th grade my life plan was to be a wealthy businessman, or maybe a doctor, or possibly a lawyer.  In any case I was going to make a comfortable living.  The following summer I went on a campaign to Suriname.  Honestly, I wasn't very useful on the campaign.  I was too young and inexperienced to be of much real help aside from handing out flyers.  However, a seed was planted in me.  This was the beginning of my desire to become a preacher.  Whatever my plane ticket cost that week, I think it was worthwhile in view of the years of ministry that eventually grew from that seed.  
     Obviously not every campaigner will become a full-time minister or missionary.  However, almost every missionary that I know was influenced in that decision by having participated in a mission campaign earlier in their life.

6. Excitement is Stirred Up Among the Local Population - This can give a shot of energy to their regular evangelistic efforts.  Our local evangelists pour in countless hours of work in pre-campaign and campaign follow-up efforts.  While they work steadily through the year, things get shifted into a higher gear surrounding the campaigns.   There is a buzz created in the neighborhood, and the local congregation experiences an increased profile and sense of "legitimacy" because of the international presence.  

7.  Locals Feel Connected to the Worldwide Body of Christ - Brethren from across the globe share fellowship as they work side by side for the cause of Christ.  People that would have never met or even known of each other's existence become friends because of campaigns.  I am often asked by locals for news from their friends in America.  It is a beautiful thing to witness the relationships that form between repeat campaigners and the locals that work with them.

8. Missionaries Feel Remembered
- Even though we are rarely actually alone because there is always someone needing our attention, mission work can sometimes feel very lonely.  The missionary is isolated from his home country and culture.  Sometimes it can feel as though he is sending reports into some sort of void, unsure if anyone is actually reading them or cares about his efforts.  However, when people visit on campaigns they often reaffirm the value and importance of the mission effort.  Even though we get lots of visitors, I have friends at other mission points who would love for someone to come, but can't get anyone to.  They feel neglected and abandoned by their supporters.  
     Are campaigns disruptive to our routines?   Yep.  Do they cause extra work for us?  You bet.  Do they sometimes accidentally create problems that we have to deal with when they leave?  Yeah.  Are they worth the trouble?  Absolutely.  I say bring them on.  Karibuni sana!  (That's Swahili for "Y'all are very welcome!")

Campaign Wrap-up

     Over the past 3 weeks, we've had the pleasure of working with about 25 campaigners from 3 different, overlapping groups.  Kensington Woods, North Tuscaloosa, and Hoover all brought groups to work in the area.  It was great to see some old friends among the campaigners as well as get acquainted with some new faces. The efforts resulted in at least 16 baptisms in Njiro alone with others taking place near Namanga and in other neighborhoods.  There was a great deal of door-to-door evangelism as well as a VBS for the children.  VBS continues this week at Ilkiurei and later at Kisongo.  The Njiro effort was capped off by an overflow crowd at Sunday morning worship service at Njiro.  I counted 89 in attendance, which far overflowed our little tent built for a crowd in the 20-30 range.  
     We are also happy to welcome our newest teammates, Todd and Susan Storks, who arrived last week.  We hope that they will have years of productive service to the Lord here in Tanzania.  

     As always, thank you for being teammates in the work here.  Your prayers and support mean more than we can say.

Till all have heard,

Daniel Gaines

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Short Report - May 29

Greetings fellow workers,

     With the preaching students returning home this weekend for summer break, our attention turns fully to campaign season.  We currently are enjoying having Brian Anderson, Brittany Higgins, Anna Byrd, and Kendyll Covington visiting and working here in Arusha with us, while Tom Watkins is here working near the Kenyan border.   As I type, a group of eight campaigners from the Tuscaloosa, AL area should be very close to arriving in Tanzania.  Also, a large group from Hoover, AL will be arriving later in the week.  They will all be joining the efforts at the Njiro Chini congregation.

     Speaking of Njiro Chini, there was standing room only for worship this morning.  Elly Martin had to provide additional chairs from his home to help accommodate the full house.  Please join us in praying for God to provide a good harvest for his reapers.

Enjoy some scenes from the day:

Brittany and Anna B. teach children's class in the foreground, while Anna M. and Kendyll conduct a personal bible study in the background.

Standing by the door with no seats to be found

Brian Anderson and Elly Martin

Daniel Gaines and Rene Bahatti

     I shared with you recently that we had an opportunity to preach a seminar at an area Pentecostal church.  In the aftermath, one of the elders of that church was baptized and has begun attending at N'gordoto.   I'm happy to further report that yesterday his daughter was also baptized.  That makes at least seven members of that church that have responded to the gospel recently.

Final Reports:  If you would like for me to visit with your congregation to give a final report on our time here, then I have dates available in September.  Please contact me if you would like to be included in our schedule.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Short Report - May 18

Greetings Fellow Workers,

     I hope this note finds you well.  We continue to enjoy seeing God's hand of providence at work here in East Africa.  For the past few several weeks, Nester and I have had a series of Bible studies in the home of a local Pentecostal preacher.  The studies have progressed well and he has been very receptive to the things we've shown him from the scriptures.  He invited us to conduct a seminar last Sunday afternoon at his congregation.  We (Daniel, Justin, and Mason) spent two hours exposing them to the gospel of Christ, and they were very receptive.  Meanwhile Tiffany, Anna, and Haley did a class with the children.  We've been invited back again to teach more at a future occasion.  The efforts are already bearing fruit as one of their elders was baptized yesterday, and intends to encourage his family to do the same.  This is an exciting opportunity, and we hope that you'll pray with us that God will continue to open doors for the gospel and give increase where the seed is planted.

     I also wanted to make you aware of a couple of pressing needs that the work has:

  • We have urgent need of a copy machine at ACSOP.  Our old one has breathed it's last breathe after years of faithful service.  This is the machine that we use to produce materials for the students, as well as for printing tracts for evangelistic outreach.  It will take $1,300 to replace it.  If you would like to contribute to this cause, then funds can be sent to either Lehman Ave. or Bear Valley.
  • As you know, the work here is in a period of transition.  Five new missionaries are in the process of transitioning in (Todd and Susan Storks, Wesley Storks, and Mason and Haley Norman).  Wesley especially has struggled to raise his support and could use help.  Also, Justin and Anna Maynard will soon be concluding their initial year with us, and will be returning to the US to raise funds to return for another 3 years.  The Maynards have proven to be invaluable assets to the work here.  As my family returns to the States in July, these seven individuals will be left as the stewards of the work here.  Please think prayerfully about whether you might be able to help them in some way.   
     As you may have noticed, Cy Stafford was able to send out a short report himself this past Sunday.  We are encouraged by the progress that he has made and continues to make.  He is even talking optimistically about making a trip over here later this year.  We will continue to pray toward that end. 

     Campaign season is getting kicked off as our first campaigners are arriving this week.  Tom Watkins and his team (Brian Anderson and Anna Byrd) got here last night, and will be spending their time working in the Namanga area.  Brittany Higgins will arrive Saturday to join that effort also.  Meanwhile the local evangelists are gearing up pre-campaign efforts in Njiro Chini in order to have plenty of bible studies set up for the groups arriving in the coming weeks.  Pray that God provides lots of good soil for His laborers. 
     Thank you all for being such great partners in this work through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support.  I believe that God is being glorified through our joint efforts.  We pray that He will continue to bless the work.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Missionary Mom

     Being a mom under the best of circumstances is a challenge.  What Tiffany has done over the last three years... well that's tested the bounds of reasonable expectations.  I asked her to move to Africa to do mission work.  She agreed and the adventure began.  With three children (2 under the age of 3), she packed up all of her worldly goods to sell, ship, or store.  She hugged family and friends goodbye and left a normal life far behind.

     She traded the mall for the market, and Wal-Mart for a duka.  She bid farewell to youth sports, car lines, easy fast-food, and everything familiar.  She said "hello" to power outages, a strange language, and doing everything the hard way.  While she was adjusting to a dramatically new life herself, she had to be a familiar anchor for three children who's lives had also been turned upside-down.  

     After she mastered mothering in the mission field, disaster struck.  We had a health issue with our middle child (our long-time readers know all about this).  She had to take the kids back to the states for 6 months while that situation was cleared up, effectively being a single mother during that time. 

    Having returned to the mission field she is helping to break-in new missionaries, while entering yet another period of transition as we finish our commitment here.  That means she's packing up AGAIN, and mentally straddling the ocean.  Meanwhile continuing to be a mom here and now.  Needless to say, these three years have had all of the stability of a rocking chair... on roller skates... on a boat.   

     Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been a lot of amazing experiences that have rewarded her efforts, and our family is closer than ever, but it wasn't at all easy.  Through it all, she's been a trooper, rising to every challenge.   I couldn't possibly have hoped for a better mother for my kids.  

     Happy Mothers Day Tiffany!   Thanks for being amazing!  

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Short Report - April 30

Greetings fellow workers,

     I hope this report finds you doing well and your service to God thriving.  Here's a glimpse into some of what you are facilitating through your prayers and support of mission efforts in Tanzania. 

John Class

     It is very bittersweet for me that we are in the midst of the last regular quarter that I'll get to teach at ACSOP.  It's been a pleasure to see this group of second years mature as Bible students.  I'm also thrilled that it just so happened that my last class covers the book that I most like teaching - the Gospel John.  It gives us such an personal glimpse into the ministry of our Savior!

Pentecostal Seminar

     Nesta and I have been having a series of Bible studies with a Pentecostal preacher in the area.  He's been an eager student and has been very interested in what we've had to say.  So much so, that he has invited us to present a seminar to the entire congregation.  This is a fantastic opportunity and we are very exited about it.  Please keep this in your prayers as we make plans and preparations for the event.  May God be glorified through it!

Preparing for Campaign Season

     The area preachers gathered this weekend for our monthly evangelism meeting.  Beginning in late May we'll have about a month and a half of steady campaigning.  This influx of friends from the US is always an exciting time for the work here. You can look forward to reading in future reports some of the wonderful results of these efforts.  For now, pray for both the campaigners and the local workers as preparations and pre-campaign work is being done.  

Children's Seminar

      The monthly children's seminar has become everyone's favorite day of the month.  Let me share with you Justin's account of this month's exciting seminar:

     This month’s women and children’s seminar was held in the Ngorogoro area. For those of you familiar with the Ngorgoro Crater, we were at it’s rim for this seminar. We drove approximately two hours to the small village right outside the crater. When we were within a few miles of the church, our van could no longer travel on the roads. Due to the vehicle we drive, and the long rains turning the roads into a terrible mess, we had to get out and walk the rest of the way to the church building. 
In our vehicle we had myself and Anna, our new missionaries Mason and Haley Norman, and locals Jane and Desdery Massawe, and their oldest daughter Martina. The Gaines were in front of us with a better equipped vehicle for these conditions and all of the material for the seminar. We sent them on ahead and we all got out and walked. The roads we flooded and muddy but no one complained as we headed toward the church. The road vehicles take would have been a very long walk and so the locals led us to a shortcut. This shortcut required us to climb a cliff that leads up to where the church meets. Once again, everyone was in good spirits and even Jane, who is seven months pregnant, did not complain and it was a beautiful journey to the top. 
     Given the heavy rains, we did not expect large numbers. However, when we arrived at the top we were happily surprised. Under a tarp held up by tents (this was their church building) was around 41 children and over 30 women waiting on us. Men were scattered about awaiting personal Bible studies. Everyone split up and we quickly began. 
     Daniel, Mason, Desdery, Jasper Julius (a local preacher), and I began conducting Bible studies. Tiffany, Anna, Haley, and Jane began their prepared lessons the women had asked they come and speak on. Anna began with a lesson on Christian Life and Tiffany followed with a lesson on Perseverance. By noon both women’s lessons were finished and the rain continued to pour. Every few minutes the women had to knock the pools of water off the tarp to prevent the tent from collapsing in on them. For an hour and a half the women asked questions on marriage and family and how to live a Christian life. Daniel came and helped take over the Q&A with the women so Anna, Tiffany, Haley, and Jane could take the children to do their portion of the seminar. 
Due to the continuous rains, the only place to move the 4 adult teachers and the 41 children was an 8x8 one room, mud home. The children’s faces lit up with excitement over the colored pictures Tiffany showed them as she taught them about the Bible. After Anna taught them about creation and told them each they could take their coloring sheets and one crayon home with them, their excitement bubbled over. There was no room in the small house to allow the kids to color and due to the rain they couldn’t move outside. So, the children were thrilled to have their very own crayon (yes, just one each). 
     By three o’clock the rains were still falling and we decided if we wanted to try and make it home, we needed to leave. Daniel loaded his family, Desdery’s family, and the Norman’s into his vehicle (dala dala style) and headed back toward our car. Anna and I walked back down the cliff a few minutes before they drove down because the locals told us one of our tires on the van was flat. The path down the cliff had become a waterfall and there was no way to avoid water on the roads. The walk down was adventurous and cold but we enjoyed it. 
Anna and I reached the bottom around the same time the Gaines car came down with the others. We did indeed have a flat tire. The roads were soft and mucky, terrible conditions to try and jack up our vehicle. However, Daniel, Desdery, and Mason picked up on the car while I climbed under and was able to get the jack in place. We are thankful to God and His protection that we made it home on terrible roads, two hours away, with a flat tire that had to be pumped up every 30 minutes. 
Though this seminar presented many challenges God was glorified and the Word was spread. Pray for the Ngorogoro Kanisa la Kristo as they continue to evangelize the community around them. 
Anna and I have purchased our tickets for furlough. We will be leaving Africa August 25th. While home, in order for us to be able to come back and stay for three more years, we will have to raise support. If your congregation is interested in having us come and present our work email us at: Also if you would like to help the fundraising with a donation please send checks to Horton Chapel Church of Christ 925 Union Ridge Road, PO Box 1100, Belton, KY 42324. Put in the for line Maynard’s Mission Work.  
          -  Justin Maynard

 You can see some pictures from that day on our Facebook page (

     Thank you so much for the relentless prayers and support that you give on behalf of the work here.  God is powerful, and He is being glorified by our service together.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Short Report - April 13

Greetings fellow workers,

     I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued interest and support of the many great works that God is doing in this area.  You are valuable members of this team, and we hope that you'll continue to labor with us in your prayers.  Here are some of the things that have been going on recently.

Evans Family Visits
    We have enjoyed hosting the Adam Evans family this week.  Adam and his family have served at missionaries in Iringa, Tanzania over the last 3 years, and have been doing a good work there.  Last week taught a short course on Hermeneutics for our 2nd year students.  We've already gotten good feedback on the class, and are confident it was a blessing to our students.  We wish Adam and Megan a safe drive back home.

Daniel preaching in Arusha

Josiah showing his support for Daddy with an "I Love You" sign

Giving Series
     The Arusha church has asked me to do an 8-lesson series on giving.  I confess that I feel a bit awkward spending so much time teaching people with very little disposable income about the importance of giving.  However, the request is a good reminder that giving is an important practice for all christians, not just those who can afford large contributions.  It has thus far been a challenging study, but the brethren have been receptive.  I'm largely basing the study on a book entitled, "Beyond the Tithe" by Westley Hazel.  It is a worthwhile read, if you get the opportunity.

Njiro Evangelism
     The emphasis for our team evangelism has moved back to the Njiro Chini area for the next quarter.  We've had some good studies so far in the area.  For example, we studied with one man at his business for more than an hour.  Then he gave us directions to his house, and asked us to go and talk to his wife also because he wanted her to be in church.  I hope the future holds good things for this family.

Mason and Hailey Norman

New Missionaries
     This week we are thrilled to welcome a new addition to our team.  Mason and Hailey Norman will be arriving here on Wednesday evening.  This newlywed couple will be helping out and paving the way for her parents (Todd and Susan Storks) and brother (Wesley) to join the team a little later this year.  Please keep their transition in your prayers.

Local Reports
     Now enjoy some excerpts from reports we have received from a few of the local brethren who are hard at work in the Lord's vineyard:

Koimere Ndoosi at the Monduli Juu congregations reports about last month, "I have one man who obeyed the gospel and was baptized. Glory to God."

Ibrahimu Mrutu at the Kisong congregation says, "In this month I was able by the help of God to reach many souls and two of them were baptized. 1.Gabrely Peter 2.Roberty Simon"

David Bayi at the Kioga church says, "Brother, I have 12 classes and we have hope of baptizing one lady soon named, Evelina, and we have had one baptism this month already. So in general the work is going well."

Joseph Juma Withre of Mwanza says, "Since I said before last month I established 15 Bible classes with 31 people, and I said 11 of those people are very interested to come into the Lord's church.  Right now one person has already obeyed the gospel through baptism."

Elias Kwilasa from Mwanza says, "In my last report I decided to leave other Bible classes in order to concentrate on five Bible classes with 15 people.  For these Bible classes, I succeeded in baptizing two people and am still continuing to study with the rest."

Silivester Bahati of the Ibambula congregation says, "On my last report I wrote that there were 6 classes; these classes caused these results of 2 people to obey."

As you can see, there are a lot of people involved in spreading the Lord's kingdom here.  Thank you for being a part of this team also.

May God bless our continued efforts together.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Short Report - March 27

Greetings friends and brethren,

     I hope that you're having a great Easter weekend with your family and friends.  It warms our hearts to see all of the photos on social media of our friends enjoying Lads to Leaders or just family get-togethers.  Those are good times.  
     We're enjoying good days here as well.  The weather is beautiful and God's work is thriving.  Here are a few highlights of the work that you are helping to make possible with your prayers and support.

Children's Seminar in Boma Ng'ombe

     Last Saturday the Maynard, Gaines, and Massawe families were privileged to take the monthly Children's Seminar to the village of Boma Ng'ombe (which means "Cow House").  This little village at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro provided a great setting for the well-attended seminar.  As usual, Tiffany, Anna, and Jane taught the children lessons about the Bible, and gave the ladies some tips on how to better teach the Bible to their children.

     Meanwhile, Daniel, Justin, and Desdery had a Bible study with the men beneath the shade of a nearby tree.  Afterwards, three men expressed a desire to put on their Lord through baptism.  We promptly went down to a local river.   While ladies doing their laundry on the banks of the river looked on, these men were washed clean of the stains of their sins.

Plans for Family Seminar

     The rotating Spiritual Discipline Seminar has now run its course at all of the congregations on the initial schedule.  The area preachers met yesterday to discuss future plans.  Our next traveling seminar will be "What Every Family Needs", based on the book by the same name from Faulkner and Brecheen.  We are strategically enlisting the help of some of our older preachers and church leaders in order to benefit from the wisdom gained from their experiences.   The brethren seem to be excited about what this seminar will have to offer their congregations.

     We'll also be spreading the Spiritual Discipline Seminar to some congregations that did not get a chance to receive it the first time around.  This will be done by men who served as "Timothy's" during the first round.  After all, teaching to teach, and enabling men to share what they've learned with others is the name of the game around here.

Concluding Ilkiurei Quarter

     This year the focus of cooperative evangelism is on revisiting and boosting some of the newer congregations in the area.  The first quarter was spent at the Ilkiurei congregation, as area evangelists devoted a Saturday each month to doing personal work in that neighborhood. 
     In the coming quarter, our attention will shift back to Njiro Chini.  This will also be the location of some of the Safari for Souls campaigns that are making preparations to come in the next few months.  Please keep these efforts in your prayers.

New Chicken House

     Justin and the guys at the farm have been hard at work in building a new, larger chicken house for ACSOP.  Once finished, it will eventually enable us to increase our stock to 1,000 chickens.  This will be a great benefit to the school.

Cy Treatments

     Our brother, Cy Stafford, will take a new round of chemo treatments this week.  Please pray that the side effects are minimal, and that the treatments are effective.  He should also be having bone marrow evaluations during his stay in the hospital. 

     As always, thank you for being a valuable part of this team.  Together, God's kingdom is growing stronger and stronger.  May God continue to bless our service together.  

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Short Report - March 13

Garry Hill speaks at a seminar in Kisongo

Greetings fellow workers,

Things are rolling right along with God's work in Tanzania thanks to the prayers and support of people like you, and the efforts of the wonderful brethren in East Africa.  

Over the last week, we have enjoyed having Garry Hill from the Horton's Chapel church in Belton, KY.  Garry taught a short course for us, then conducted a Biblical Archeology seminar on Saturday that was open to the public.  It was very well attended, and the audience was blessed by the study. 

We are also happy to welcome this week Ralph and Cindy Williams visiting from America.  We're glad they had a safe journey, and we look forward to their work and fellowship here.  

Wednesday we will bid farewell to Samantha Edwards.  She has been here for the past 6 months, staying with her sister Anna Maynard.  Samantha has made valuable contributions to the school, the farm, and the Kisongo church.  We appreciate her efforts, and are sorry to see her go, but wish her well in the future.

Our brother, Cy Stafford continues with his physical therapy and it making good progress.  He still has a very long road to go, but by God's grace we pray he'll get there step by step.  Thank you for your continued prayers on his behalf.  They are the most powerful medicine there is.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

A little girl looks on playfully while I study with her neighbors.

Tiffany speaks to the area preacher's wives at their monthly meeting. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Short Report - February 28

Greetings fellow workers,

God is continuing to bless the work here, and demonstrate his goodness.  It's an honor to serve Him along side of each of you and together with the soldiers of Christ here.

Bible Tracts

We are absolutely thrilled that Mission Printing has chosen to send a treasure trove of biblical tracts and materials to us.  This week an entire shipping container of materials arrived at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  We'll serve as a distribution point, and some of these materials will go to other mission points across East Africa.  As you can tell from the pictures, there's plenty to go around.  This will be a great blessing to the work here.

Students unloading the shipment of tracts

Daniel inspecting a box of tracts

Levi shows us how high the boxes are piled

Area Reports
Here are some excerpts from reports we've received from some of the area preachers about work taking place at their congregations.  Be encouraged at all of the work being done for our Lord.

From Yusuph:
The outline of Baptisms and restorations for all congregations on Lake Zone this February,
USHIROMBO - 3 restored
LULEMBELA - 13 souls
IMALAMAGIGO -8 souls IBAMBULA - 3 restored
SUNVE - 4 Soul restored and 5 baptism.

From Joseph Juma Withare:
For two last month I was established 12 Bible Classes with 25 people right now I have 15 Bible Classes with 31 people I was also visiting the church members who are hack sliding for many years I succeed to restored one, also working for other back sliders.

From Ibrahimu Mrutu at the Kisongo church:
The church is rapidly increasing it’s number, the attendance now is awesome. We are absolutely thanks to the might God for the great chance to preach the Gospel.
The great challenge that we have is building. Our current building is now small, some times members stands outside.

From Hamidu Mohamed at the Kazibizyo church:
Within this February GOD has been added 10 souls (Ten) in his kingdom, the big effort caused this result to appear look these result on January if you are remember I wrote 20 twenty souls were obeyed, so that we have 30 new converts within these two month and according to these results the number will increasing because the church have made plan to encourage every believers to make sure that are invite their neighbors or relatives or friends so the work of evangelism are becoming very easy.

Cy Update
We rejoice that Cy's cancer has gone into remission.  He is currently undergoing physical therapy in an effort to get strong enough to continue on with the treatment plan.  Please continue to pray for him.

Enjoy some pictures from the week:
Daniel poses with Josiah and Levi outside of the Kilimanjaro Bible School

Daniel preaching at Moshi 
Daniel preaching at Njiro Chini

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Short Report - Feb 14

Greetings Fellow Workers,

     It's been another wonderful week in Tanzania.  The students have returned to the Andrew Connally School of Preaching for a new year of study.  We were happy to welcome about 30 new students into their first year of training.  Meanwhile, it was great to see the familiar faces of our returning second year students after their break.

     The Njiro Chini congregation is between preachers right now, so Daniel is doing a lot of teaching there to help out.  Also, Justin is guest speaking at the Ilkiurei congregation for the quarter, while Anna and Samantha continue with the children's class at Kisongo.

     Saturday, both missionary families went to the Lerai congregation to conduct a seminar.  There were a couple of sessions for the children with about 130 in attendance.  There were also lessons for the ladies.  One was a lesson on unity, and the other was about how to better teach the Bible to their children.  Meanwhile, Justin and Daniel conducted Bible studies with the other adults.  You can enjoy some pictures from the day below.

     In other news, Cy Stafford continues to hold on.  He has had some small improvements, but still has a very long way to go.  Please continue to be diligent in your prayers on his behalf.  They are making a difference.

    Thank you for your prayers and support.  Your partnership is helping to make some wonderful things possible.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Daniel teaches a class of about 50 adults who gathered for the seminar.

Anna teaches a children's class while Anita helps out and Jane translates.

Tiffany teaches the women

Justin teaches a small group study

Samantha teaches the books of the Bible to a group of children while Daniel teaches a group of adults.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Tribute to Cy Stafford

Cy Stafford - My brother, my fellow worker, my fellow soldier, and my hero in the faith.

     In Philippians 2, Paul writes about a man named Epaphroditus.  He describes Epaphroditus as "my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier."  Paul admonishes the Philippians to "hold men like him [Epaphroditus] in high regard."  In other words, this is the type of man who is worthy of honor, admiration, and respect.  This type of man is a hero.

     Our modern world tells us to admire actors, singers, and athletes.  These are the people that children dream of being.  Our world admires those who make the most money, for these are the ones that society deems "successful."  Parents dream of this type of success for their children, so that they can have "better" lives than the parents did.  

     I suggest to you that the world needs more heroes like Epaphroditus.  We also need to identify men and women in our midst that are already like Epaphroditus, and honor them.  We need to point them out to our children as role models.  Friends, we have just lost one such man.  Cy Stafford has indeed been a modern-day brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier to the Apostle Paul and to our Lord Jesus Christ.  

     Cy has spent about 23 years as a missionary in Tanzania, Africa.  He loves Tanzania dearly.  I can't count the number of times that I heard him smile and say, "Ah, this is my favorite time of day in Africa!"  He would say this regardless of what time of day it was because he loves them all!  He would just take in stride the things that infuriated other missionaries about life in Africa with a shrug and a "T.I.A." ("this is Africa).  Cy often describes Tanzania as "the last, best place on Earth."  That's how he truly views it.  

     Along the way, he has impacted countless souls on both sides of the Atlantic.  His impact on the church in East Africa is immeasurable.  In addition to the evangelism that he directly participated in, he founded the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  This school has graduated almost 150 preachers and church leaders that are making the Lord's church a strong force in the region.  He has provided such tremendous, irreplaceable leadership and vision to the churches there.

     However, his impact goes far beyond conversion numbers.  There is no modern man more beloved by the brethren in northern Tanzania than Cy Stafford.  The difference he has made in their personal lives is incalculable.  His loss will be felt passionately by the christians there.

     Though he is an African missionary, he has also made a great difference to so many people in America.  The outpouring of loving messages and prayer requests that have flooded social media over the past year+ is a testament to that.  I've rarely encountered someone who seemed to mean so much to so many.  When people spend time with him, they walk away from the encounter with their faith strengthened and their evangelistic zeal increased.  It seems everyone has a favorite Cy story or quote.  The Wizard of Oz told the Tin Man, "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."  By that standard, Cy Stafford had a very great heart indeed.  

     Cy Stafford has made a huge difference in my life.  He is the man responsible for making me a Tanzanian missionary, and for teaching me how to fill that role.  He very patiently worked on me over the course of a decade, but finally succeeded in getting us to Arusha.  Any good that I did as a missionary is in large part a result of Cy's influence.  By his gracious example, he taught me the value of hospitality.  He is my mentor and friend.  He is my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier.  I will miss him dearly.  

     Though Cy is uncomfortable with receiving honor, and he always seeks to deflect attention away from himself, he has been a man that we should hold "in high regard."  This is the type of person that parents should hope their children grow up to be.  

     We thought we'd lost him over a year ago, but this miracle man persevered despite all odds.  We praise and thank God for the additional time that he granted our brother Cy on this earth.  However, the time to be selfish with Cy is passed.  He has gone on to receive great rewards and to forever be free of pain and suffering.  Now join with me in prayer for his sweet wife, Stephanie, and the rest of the family and friends that he leaves behind.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Short Report - Feb 7

Daniel addresses the Njiro Chini congregation while Elly translates

Tiffany teaches the children's Bible class

Anybody remember using a fan during church?  The practice is back on this sweltering Sunday!

Greetings fellow workers,

     The rains are falling here in Africa.  The grass is green and the flowers are blooming.  It is truly a beautiful time of year to be here in this portion of God's creation.

     The Gaines family is safely back in Tanzania, and back in the groove.  Furlough was great, but it feels good to be back in the field.  We've missed this place and its wonderful people.

     The new school year begins tomorrow.  Students are shaking off the cobwebs of from their break and preparing to resume their studies.  We look forward to welcoming in a fresh class of Swahili students who are eagerly beginning the journey that their predecessors just completed.  One of the great joys of this work is knowing that it is never finished.  We have yet to run out of willing men who are seeking to strengthen their service to God, and the kingdom here is blessed for it.

     On a more somber note, our beloved brother, Cy Stafford, continues to have serious health problems.  It seems that one day brings bad news, but the next brings rays of hope.  During this turbulent time, a schedule for fasting and prayers of intervention has been organized.  We invite you to participate in this to whatever degree you would like.

Fasting Schedule:
-Bear Valley: February 1-10
- Churches of East Africa: February 11-21
- U.S. churches: February 22 - March 1

     Thank you brothers for your prayers and support.  This work wouldn't be possible without the participation of good people like you.

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Short Report - Jan 30

Greetings Fellow Servants,

We praise God continually from whom all blessings flow.  God's laborers continue to work the vineyards and fruit is being yielded.

Justin and Anna Maynard share this report about our growing farm project:

This month the farm has really grown. We extended our cow house to make room for new babies.  We were able to get it finished just in time and it was ready the day our first calf, Ruby, was born.  We should have two more calves due in the coming months.  Personally, we added two goats (male and female) to our project.  We raised dairy goats in the States and we want to see how successful they are here.  We will add this element to what we teach the preaching students.  If successful, dairy goats would be great for those needing to provide milk for themselves and their families but don’t have enough room or finances available for a cow. Also we have been in the process of adding 10 new beds to our already existing 20 small beds and 1 acre worth of double dig raised beds. Finally we are thankful that we were able to harvest beans this week.  The short rains here have still not stopped. Many of our surrounding farms lost all they had to excess rain. The Lord blessed us with a good crop of beans that we were able to harvest right before the rains destroyed most of the bean crops in the Kisango area.  

The Maynards have been doing a tremendous work with us and have been a Godsend during this chaotic time.  

Gary Fallis is currently in Arusha teaching a short course at ACSOP.  Anita Davidson will be coming soon to do some work also.  Also my family and I (Daniel and Tiffany Gaines and children) will be returning to Tanzania on Monday.  Please keep these travels and efforts in your prayers.

As you know, we've been requesting prayers on behalf of our brother, Cy Stafford.  As of writing, he is still in very serious condition and fighting for his life.  Please be relentless in your prayers on his behalf. 

Your partnership in the work in Tanzania is very greatly appreciated.  It is amazing what can be accomplished when God's people work together for His glory around the globe.  

Till all have heard...

Daniel Gaines

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Short Report - Jan 20, 2016

Greetings Fellow Servants,

As you might know, Cy Stafford has been undergoing treatments for aggressive leukemia.  His situation became very serious, very quickly.  At one point he actually coded, and was resuscitated.  The doctors gave him a 10% chance of surviving, and serious end-of-life decisions were being discussed by those close to him.  However, prayer-warriors all around the globe began crowding the throne of God with fasting and prayer.   Our mighty and gracious God heard those prayers and Cy has shown startling progress.  His white cell counts have risen, he's off of dialysis, and free from the ventilator. It has been so faith-affirming to follow his situation.  As we say in Tanzania, Mungu ni mwema! (God is good!)

While we praise God for His good response to our prayers, we recognize that Cy still has a long way to go.  Don't let up in your efforts to petition our heavenly Father to intervene for our beloved brother.  Cy has a rich reward waiting for him later, but there is still so much good work for him to do here :-) 

Now some news from the field:

One of our alumni, Geoffrey Nyaboga, reports that he has been a part of a new church plant that has seen 24 souls added to the body of Christ already.  More and more are coming all of the time.  In fact, others have charged these workers as being evangelism machines because of their tireless efforts for the cause of Christ.

Our brother, David Bayi, of the Kioga congregation reports: "This year we have two baptism,my daughter as non as Sarah obeyed the gospel,and also there is one guy his is Emanuel obeyed the gospel  it was January 3 the last Sunday .
The attendance on Sunday was 107 including kids,the middle week the attendance are 35-38."

The Gaines family will conclude furlough and head back to Tanzania in less than two weeks.  Please offer a prayer for their safe and smooth travel.  

Until all have heard,
Daniel Gaines