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!