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

June in the Detroit Metro Area

We just reached a major milestone in our pre-field ministry. Our little car passed 200,000 miles on the way into Chicago this past weekend. Other than a few more inexplicable noises, it seems to be running fine. July will be a high-mileage month. June, on the other hand, has allowed us to stay in the Detroit until this week.

On June 3 we had the opportunity to update our ministry partners at Huron Baptist Church in Flat Rock. I shared a few current prayer requests and filled the pulpit for their Sunday morning worship service. Since our last visit to Flat Rock was pre-Ian, we were glad to introduce them to our son.

That evening we visited Warrendale Community Church in Dearborn. They invited us to share our ministry with the church. After the service we joined everyone for their monthly potluck supper, which provided more opportunities to get to know the church and answer questions. Not that I have been keeping precise account of this, but Warrendale is probably in the top 5 for highest percentage of people signed-up for our monthly email updates. Thanks!

On Sunday, June 10, we had the privilege of presenting our ministry to Tri-Lakes Baptist Church in Brighton. Although we have known a few of this church’s members through our seminary, this was our first opportunity to visit the church. Tri-Lakes has been involved with the work in Tanzania for many years now. We are excited that they are interested in remaining involved with the ministry and have decided to partner with us.

June 25, 2012   No Comments

June 2012 Prayer Update

We are three months away from beginning work in Tanzania and everything seems to be moving so fast. We are glad to have the opportunity in these upcoming months to continue building relationships with the churches who have partnered with us. The other big items on our to-do list involve moving out of our house and spending time with family. Here are some current praises and prayer requests.

Praises:
  1. Another successful bible institute session was completed in May. The students considered the doctrines of God, man and sin. Based on their feedback, it seems that these men are appreciating the importance of these doctrines.
  2. Our meetings with churches continue to be blessed with great conversations and positive responses to the presentation. God is answering our prayers for blessed meetings and mutually committed partners.
  3. There has been a good response to the Tumaini donation project. We are approaching our deadline and there are still a number of needs remaining, but there is no shortage of generosity in this case.
Requests:
  1. Please pray that God will provide renters for our house in Michigan. Ideally, the situation can become a mutual benefit to us and the renters.
  2. We are focused on preparing for departure. Our most earnest prayer request in this regard is that God would use these remaining months to prepare us spiritually for serving him in Tanzania. Pray that all of the logistical work is completed so that it doesn’t become a distraction to more important matters.

June 11, 2012   No Comments

Unrest in Zanzibar

In 1964, three years after Tanganyika gained its independence, it was united with the islands of Zanzibar and became the United Republic of Tanzania. Interestingly, Zanzibar remained semi-autonomous after the merger; only some of the government’s services are shared with the mainland. There is, however, there is at least one major distinction between Zanzibar and the mainland: Zanzibar is proudly 98-99% Muslim, but on the mainland more people profess Christianity than anything else. Until recently, the whole country has enjoyed political stability–and that is highly unusual for this part of Africa.

Tension has been escalating over the past several weeks as Islamists have moved from mosque to mosque, building up support for independence from the mainland. Riots broke out in Stone Town, Zanzibar, last week on Saturday night and continued through Sunday.

It seems that these are religiously-motivated political riots. Two churches were burned and the Islamist party implicated in the riots is openly opposed to secular government. For now, the conflict is at a stalemate, but it is likely that tension will build as the country moves toward writing a new constitution by 2014. We are praying for the safety of Christians in Zanzibar and the sort of peace that would continue to permit the open proclamation of the gospel.

June 3, 2012   No Comments