earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — July 2014

The Church in Shadi

This is the third post in a series on the history and progress of the churches we work with. Preceding posts introduced the church in Sweya and the church in Nyakaliro.

A Brief History of the Church in Shadi

The third church in our fellowship is located a 15-minute-drive South from the church in Sweya on the same side of the Mwanza Gulf. In comparison to Sweya, Shadi is farther removed from the city, though still within the same rapidly growing area. A piece of land along the Gulf was purchased for the future location of a church. Since then, it also become the location of Tumaini Children’s Home, and the Bible Institute classrooms and offices, and our own home.

Grace Baptist Mission Property in Shadi, 2012

Grace Baptist Mission Property in Shadi, 2012

Evangelism in Shadi produced an organized church in 2005. The missionary who planted the church in Sweya was Shadi’s first pastor. He remained in that role until 2009 when Samson Madoshi was called.

Evidences of God’s Grace

The church in Shadi enjoys steady growth in number and spiritual depth. There is no doubt that some of this is due to its proximity to the Bible Institute and Tumaini Children’s Home. A number of current students and graduates are members here, faithfully contributing to the ministry.

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July 24, 2014   1 Comment

July 2014 Prayer Update

“What are you Doing These Days?”

A large portion of my daylight hours are used in discussion with the people in the surrounding villages. We talk about leadership, how African traditional religion affects daily life, and the condition of other churches in the area. A second but nearly equal amount of time is spent in the office, recording information from those discussions or studying Swahili. A third portion is occupied with a few significant building projects (like this one) and correspondence (like these blog posts!).

Since the word has circulated that I have begun preaching in Swahili, I’ve suddenly found the pace of invitations to preach pick up significantly. While it is a wonderful privilege, I am finding the new interest in my Swahili preaching an opportunity to exercise the art of turning down invitations so that I can manage the other work on my plate.

Prayer Update

A missions advocate and writer recently argued that gospel partnership cannot be outsourced; playing some role in the advance of the gospel is incumbent upon everyone who participates in the gospel. Likewise, the gospel itself provides the strength for all our work in this partnership. He writes,

Paul underscored this truth in Philippians, from the opening verses with its joyful prison prayer (“because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now”) to the closing lines of the letter, the power of partnership is bound up in the gospel itself. The humility, joy, prayer, and side-by-side labor flowing out of pursuing Christ fuels more and more gospel advance.[1]

Thank you for partnering with us in the gospel. Here are a few ways we can continue laboring in prayer for gospel advance:

  1. The pastors and deacons in our fellowship of churches are planning a meeting for July 8 to discuss the current state of their churches. We thank God that they are taking this initiative on their own and pray that it may make wisdom in these matters more plain to them. The challenges at the churches of Sweya and Nyakaliro are part of the agenda.
  2. Thanks to God’s kindness and the generosity of teammates in Kenya, plans for our trip to Nairobi for the birth of baby Gass #2 are gaining traction. We continue praying for wisdom and a means to make this work out safely and economically.
  3. Tim, Lori, and Analise Struska just arrived this week from Wisconsin, beginning a two-week visit with us. Please pray that their time here would help them discover ways they may be able to serve the Lord in contexts like this one.

July 4, 2014   4 Comments