earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — April 2012

Downsize Me

a moving sale on our front lawn, April 21, 2012

Little by little we’re preparing for the move to Africa. The process is something like moving across the country, but even less of our stuff will come with us. We will be using a shipping container to send some essential difficult-to-get-in-Africa items. Most of the container will be used to ship items donated to the orphanage. Otherwise, we’ll be taking over whatever we can fit into our luggage. After our baby showers, I wonder if half of our luggage will be taken up with baby supplies! Fortunately, we’re moving into a house that is semi-furnished.

There’s nothing like moving to help you realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated. It has been a tough but profitable experience trying to justify everything that we will be taking with us. Putting a value on everything we have in this way is good to vet false priorities.

This past Saturday was our first moving sale (we’re planning one more). I was surprised at how successful it was. We’ve had fantastic help. I’d say we sold close to 80% of the stuff we put out for sale. And, since we advertised it as a moving sale, a few people expressed interest in renting our house. God continues to be kind to us in many simple ways.

April 28, 2012   No Comments

Ian David Gass

Our son was born on Monday morning just after 7am. He was 9 lbs 6 oz and 23 in long. Laura and Ian are both doing very well. Thank you for praying for us.

Since the next thing you will ask me for is some pictures, I’ve included them here:

April 24, 2012   7 Comments

Missions Conference in Port

I made a solo trip to Faith Baptist Church in Port Washington, WI, for their missions conference April, 14-15. We considered the theme “teaming up with missionaries whether it is by participating on the field, prayerfully supporting them, or giving financially.” My contributions dealt with prayer and understanding the biblical view of calling. In addition to meeting the excellent people at Faith Baptist Church, the conference provided an opportunity to fellowship with missionaries on their way to or back from other fields.

Meanwhile, Laura stayed at home. She’s done with traveling for a while. In fact, we don’t have any more church meetings scheduled for 4 weeks. As we wait for Baby Gass to arrive, we’ll continue getting our house in order to move out.

April 19, 2012   No Comments

Grace Baptist Mission Property in Shadi Village

After my last trip to TZ, I shared that I will be showing some of the pictures taken there. The following collection of pictures will introduce you to the property God has provided for our home and ministry. (Click on a picture to enlarge and read more.)

[I’m sorry that some of you have received this twice by email, but clicking on the pictures should actually work now.]

April 14, 2012   No Comments

“Quintessential New England” Meeting

Following the Sunday morning worship service with First Baptist Church of Duxbury, MA, on April 1, we were told that we were about to have a “quintessential New England afternoon.” Indeed we did. We had our mid-day meal with a family in their more-than-200-year-old home. Later, we enjoyed a drive around the old sea captain homes near the church. But, in contrast to the New England stereotype, we found the First Baptist to be very personable and welcoming.

I was interviewed during the church’s live radio program that Sunday morning. This was a new experience for me! I was also asked to preach for their worship service and present our ministry in their Adult Bible Fellowship hour. Throughout the day we were encouraged by the church’s interest in what God is doing in Tanzania and the challenges before us in moving forward. Their interest was clearly expressed during our prayer meeting with them on Sunday evening.

April 9, 2012   No Comments

April 2012 Prayer Update

One year of pre-field ministry down; only about five more months to go. But, my–what exciting plans we have for the next six months! Here are the latest praises and prayer requests:

Praises:
  1. A surprise gift from a friend allowed us to fly Laura out to Boston to participate in our church meetings at the end of March and the first of April. This has provided the opportunity for both of us to build relationships with these churches. Considering that she is now 36 weeks into the pregnancy, Laura’s health and strength have been great.
  2. God continues to provide abundantly for immediate and long-term needs. We are now being supported at 80% of our budgeted amount.
Requests:
  1. We’ve decided to rent out our home in Michigan since selling it isn’t a likely option. We’ll be putting our home on the rental market early in the Summer. Please pray that God will provide renters for our home.
  2. We are grateful to have people praying for the health of Laura and the baby. Baby Gass is due to be born on April 26.
  3. We are eager to begin our work in Tanzania, but there is a good deal of work to do before we leave. There are a number of tasks on our to-do list, but the most important parts of our preparation have to do with spiritual growth and ministry training. Thank you for praying that God would use these months to effectively prepare us for ministry in Africa.

April 3, 2012   No Comments