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

Developing Swahili Muscles

When we look at the progress in our language learning over the past two years we are very encouraged by the ground that has been covered. At every new stage of the process, however, there is a greater awareness of how much hasn’t yet been learned. In this stage I have been reminded of how much ground has yet to be covered in clearing up my pronunciation.

Swahili uses a lot of vowels. Especially for Americans learning Swahili, the vowels at the end of the word tend to be a significant challenge. I recently asked Pastor Samson if we could have some of his cow’s manure for our compost bin. The Swahili word for bucket is ndoo (pronounced n-doh) while the word for marriage is ndoa (n-doh-a)—only one vowel different. But instead of using the former, I accidentally asked him for a “marriage of manure.” Thankfully, he understood what I meant rather than what I said.

One project that I’ve taken on in order to improve pronunciation involves listening to more Swahili Bible recordings. In another, I’ve started to memorize the book of 1 Peter in Swahili. I’ve found it helpful to use a method that involves repeating the verse out loud 10 times with the Bible open and 10 times with the passage covered. The soreness of my jaw after each day’s exercise is proof that there is still ground to cover! For now, we’re pressing on; thanks for praying.

October 24, 2014   2 Comments

The Church in Sengerema

This is the fifth post in a series on the history and progress of the churches we work with. Preceding posts covered the churches in Sweya, Nyakaliro, Shadi, and Luselelo.

A Brief History of the Church in Sengerema

When we made our first visit to Tanzania in 2009, plans were already in motion to start a church in the town of Sengerema, the hub of the district immediately west of the Mwanza Gulf. Roads paved in 2010 connect Sengerema with the city of Mwanza, making its place in the region even more prominant. If you add to that Sengerema’s growing population and the attention it receives from health-and-wealth preachers, our efforts in establishing an outpost for the gospel here makes sense.

The church in Nyakaliro sent one of its deacons, Hamisi Paskali, to start evangelism in 2010. Dan Eads was also asked to assist in planting the church. They shared the preaching and visitation load.

Hamisi and Family at their Commissioning Service

Hamisi and family at their commissioning service

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October 14, 2014   No Comments