earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — December 2015

Foray into Conservation Agriculture

As we were describing the challenges facing the Tanzanian churches during our furlough, I sporadically mentioned the potential role of conservation agriculture. Many of you, in fact, proposed the same idea after hearing how the condition of a pastor and his family depends so much on how successful his and the church members’ farms are fairing. Regardless of the spiritual condition of the church, it is becoming more apparent that a church cannot become independent without sufficient giving. We have already seen is that as farms and fishing ventures fail, church giving suffers and the pastor is forced to take time that would otherwise be used for ministry and put it towards other means to put food on the table. If the pastor is forced to choose between his family and his ministry, the spiritual condition of the church inevitably suffers.

corn and jack beans

Excepting how unusual the current year’s weather is, the general trend seems to be that those who are dependent on their own farms are struggling more and more to produce a sufficient amount of food. Especially for the people near us around the Lake, the abundance of fish and staple crops that their parents and grandparents once enjoyed is no longer something that can be counted on. [Read more →]

December 30, 2015   2 Comments

December 2015 Ministry Update

For this ministry update we reflected on what has been accomplished in life and ministry this year and recorded it in a short video. Watch it here or follow the link to see it on Vimeo.

Prayer and Praise

  1. We anticipate that the new class of Bible Institute students will begin their studies this January and February. The first year of study will be open to anyone in the churches and focus on the gospel and its implications. Please join us in praying that this coming year of Institute work will help equip people to live worthy of the gospel (Phil 1:27).
  2. By God’s grace, both church planting efforts are moving forward. Evangelism continues in Usagara and Malimbe. In Usagara, Wiliam and I are also exploring what kinds of teaching and experience baby Christians need in order to understand who they are in Christ and what the church is. In Malimbe, Dan Eads and Makusudi are canvasing homes for evangelistic Bible study. Please continue praying for the advance of God’s word.
  3. We continue praying that God would enable us to be effective stewards of the things entrusted to us. Thanks to God new tenants have been found for our house in Michigan. We continue praying that our old truck in Tanzania may be sold.
  4. Please pray that God may use the relationships we are building with our neighbors for His purposes. We believe that this requires wisdom to know how to help those in need, how to speak the truth in love, and the opportunity to take the time with them that relationships require.

December 18, 2015   1 Comment