earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — March 2013

Rice Farming in Luselelo

Last Saturday I spent half the day helping cultivate a field for planting rice. The fifteen of us working that day included some from the church in Nyakaliro and others from the church in Sengerema. All had volunteered part of their Saturday to help Pastor Elias since he shouldn’t be engaging in physical labor until late April. (Elias pastors the church in Nyakaliro but the field they farm is located in Luselelo.)

The heat and the mid-shin-deep mud make cultivating a rice field hard work! This is good work, though. I am now harvesting language learning opportunities as I’m talking about my experience with people here in Shadi. My favorite reaction has been, “You [white guy] know how to farm???!” At that point, I can just show them the blisters on my hands. They get the idea.

March 23, 2013   No Comments

March 2013 Prayer Update

Maybe you know people for whom English is not their first language. Perhaps you have had awkward conversations with them, attempting to work through their accent. Well, this must be what it’s like for Tanzanians trying to understand my Swahili. Even if it’s technically correct, I must have a thick American accent. While talking with a couple in their home last week, the husband twisted his face in confusion and asked several times, “What did he say?” His wife then answered him by repeating my words precisely, relieving the painful look on his face. On another day last week a group of Tanzanians were attempting to place my accent. They couldn’t decide between Indian and European until they asked for my name.

I am grateful that some people are understanding some of my words. Having a few days recently where I was surrounded by Swahili speakers for more than 6 hours straight is forcing the process forward. Meanwhile, it’s more difficult to create similar opportunities for Laura, though she is making progress through book study and in-home language help. We appreciate your prayers as we fight the daily battle with our own desire to take the easier way.

Here are a few ways you can be praying with us.

  1. The doctrinal seminar for revising the churches’ statements of faith was decidedly blessed by God with good discussion and teaching opportunities. It is exciting to see more evidences that God is growing a burden for understanding our faith within the churches.
  2. Despite the language barrier, there are still opportunities for Christian fellowship and building friendships. In these opportunities, we see God’s providence and wisdom for which we are grateful.
  1. We are still waiting to receive the shipping container for us and Tumaini. The current issue is with our approval for tax exemption. While they are looking into this matter, there is not much else we can do but trust, hope, pray.
  2. Please pray with us that trials, whether little or big, would have their intended result in our lives: the strengthening of our faith in God (Rom 5:3–5; Jas 1:2–4).

March 12, 2013   3 Comments