earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — January 2016

January-Febraury 2016 Prayer Update

William's wife carrying a bench to worship in Usagara

William’s wife carrying a bench to worship in Usagara

As we say here, we have “crossed over” to a new year safely by the grace of God. Rain continues to be a major life theme here. We plan. It rains. We work around it. God is good to allow us opportunities for gospel conversations between rain showers and some good office work when holed up inside.

Ministry Objectives for 2016

Since there have been quite a few conversations about annual objectives lately, I thought it helpful to pass mine along to you.

  1. Meet and work alongside Wiliam Samweli 6 times per month for Bible reading, prayer, and visitation for discipleship and evangelism in order to lead the church plant in Usagara to exhibit the marks of a healthy church.
  2. Meet with pastors in Nyakaliro and Luselelo once per month for encouragement and accountability through Bible reading and prayer.
  3. Reach FSI/ILR level 4 in Swahili by focusing on expanding vocabulary regarding current events and correcting errors in grammar and pronunciation.
  4. Organize this year’s Bible Institute classes and prepare for the class I will teach in 2017, using lessons learned this year.

Prayer Update

  1. Since the last update renters have moved into our State-side house and a buyer has taken the old truck off our hands. Thanks to God for hearing our prayers!
  2. William Samweli and I are sharing the preaching and witnessing responsibilities for the church plant in Usagara. Please be in prayer for him and his family since the work takes time, compensation is little, and needs at home don’t get easier just because you go out for the sake of His name. Lord willing, William’s wife will give birth to their 3rd child in February. God has shown Himself faithful in all of these matters. Pray He continues.
  3. The Bible Institute will meet for classes the 2nd and 4th weeks of February. We are preparing a new course focused on the gospel and its implications for anyone in our churches interested in serving. Join us in praying Philippians 1:27 for the students.
  4. Besides my own, each of the Tanzanian pastors have shared his goals for the year. They include starting a Sunday School, leading family devotions, and training others in evangelism. Please pray that “by his power [God] may fulfill every good purpose of [ours] and every act prompted by [our] faith” (2 Thess 1:11).
  5. While away in the village for a week of Bible Institute this coming month, Laura will be holding down the fort. Please pray for God’s sustaining grace on her behalf.

January 29, 2016   No Comments

What Does Lasting Impact Look Like?

Paulo and I met at his place for my naming party. My Sukuma name is now official. The goat was too expensive so we slaughtered a duck instead. The food was good but the conversation was even better. As one of the first disciples our team of missionaries has ever worked with, he appreciates the long-term perspective of what God has accomplished here in the last 1–1/2 decades. His godly perspective of ministry ups and downs was a true encouragement to me.

Pastors' Discussion

If you want to hear a Christian perspective on traditional Sukuma culture, Paulo is your man. This makes him a good candidate for choosing a Sukuma name and one of the most grateful for God’s grace in redeeming him from the sinful corruptions of that culture. He sees the fruit of the gospel in his own life and in others who have discipled him. That is what was so encouraging to me about this conversation: Paulo credits the power of the gospel for preserving him through some difficult situations. [Read more →]

January 13, 2016   1 Comment