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

Kyla Marie Gass

Our baby girl arrived Monday evening just before 6 o’clock PM. She and mom are both doing very well. Thank you all for praying for health and safety!

We had been praying specifically that when the time came, we would be able to make it to the hospital safely. Similarly, friends who have come here for their children’s births shared how they prayed: that “the hour” would not come during the Nairobi rush hour. While they were able to make their trips to the hospital in the middle of the night, God chose to keep us safe through the middle of that notoriously bad Nairobi rush hour traffic. We are all glad that is over with and that the result is simply beautiful. Thanks again for praying with us.

November 25, 2014   7 Comments

November 2014 Prayer Update

Nairobi Skyline
Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya! We have temporarily relocated here, anticipating the birth of our baby girl. Thanks to all who have prayed us through this transition; it hasn’t been without its challenges. We had planned for Laura to fly up to Nairobi. In preparation for her flight, we jumped through all the necessary hoops to grant her permission to fly after the airline’s normal deadline for pregnant passengers. Regardless of all the written and oral agreements we had obtained earlier in October, she was denied permission to fly on the day of the flight. We could say that this was a misunderstanding or even a capricious reinterpretation of prior agreements, but of course it looks much different from God’s perspective: there was no mistake as far as His intentions are concerned.

By God’s grace we all made it to Nairobi safely the next day. The desire to avoid subjecting Laura to the 12-hour road trip was based on a difficult experience in 2012. At that time we were just over a month away from Ian’s birth, making regular day-long road trips, visiting churches in the States. In March of 2012 we ended up in the hospital with what we later realized was just a false alarm. Thankfully, this time there were no problems.


Ian’s first Ice Cream Cone

We are now settled into a great situation in Nairobi with access to good healthcare. Matt is writing up his study on culture; Laura is remembering how nice it is to have a microwave!

Special Church Meetings

Dan Eads and the Tanzanian churches have started regular discussion meetings on the book of Acts. As we consider how the early church fulfilled its responsibilities, we pray that these Tanzanian churches will be helped as they evaluate their own priorities. Choosing what the church should give its attention to is always an important decision, but it is much more critical at this time when strength and money are particularly scarce. Deciding whether to purchase chairs, help the pastor make ends meet, or host an outdoor evangelistic service can be a painfully difficult choice.

Though I don’t question the wisdom in being in Nairobi for my family at this time, it is difficult to be away from the ministry in Tanzania during this crucial season. Please continue praying with us, trusting that, by God’s grace, our labors far away in our closets are more than sufficient for the task.

Prayer Update

  1. We know that many have been laboring in prayer with us as we approach the due date for baby #2. God has responded kindly to us in getting us here safely and keeping everyone healthy. Thanks be to God!
  2. Pray for our teammate, Dan Eads, as he leads these church-wide and small group discussion meetings in the Tanzanian churches. May God open up His word to His people, granting them wisdom to honor Him and faith to trust Him (consider e.g., Col 1:9—14).
  3. The city of Mwanza has notified us with the results of the recent property assessment for our land in Shadi. The new land rent and assessment fees are outrageously high (initially $102,000 and about $10,000 each year thereafter!). We are challenging the quote, hoping that some adjustment can be made. Please pray that the amount can be reduced.
  4. Another teammate, Beth Roark, the director of Tumaini Children’s Home is recovering from pulmonary embolism diagnosed during her current visit to the US. She is showing great progress, although her return to Tanzania has been postponed for at least three additional months, possible more. Please pray for her recovery, for the kids and the ministry to them in Tanzania, and for wisdom as Beth discerns the next steps.
  5. Again, your prayers mean so much to us as we navigate through so many new experiences. We are about to welcome a new little one into our family. Please pray that we may continue growing in godliness for the sake of our Saviour and these little ones God has blessed us with.

November 11, 2014   No Comments