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

Encounters with African Traditional Religion

witchdoctor[image credit: BBC News]

I used to be of the impression that outward and ritualistic practice of African Traditional Religion had become so unpopular in Tanzania that it’s practitioners were now just a small and marginalized minority. I’ve since been forced to readjust my thinking. Belief in the supernatural aspects of traditional religion are alive and well. Perhaps the evidence of this is most visible in places like Lusolelo, where we are further removed from the city. Here are some recent encounters. [Read more →]

June 28, 2016   No Comments

June 2016 Ministry Update

The dry season has most definitely arrived. This is the time of year agricultural work slows down, building projects pick up, and we exchange all the rain clouds for dust clouds. As brown and dry as it is now, it is hard to imagine how everything was so green and wet five months ago.

Evangelism in Bukokwa, Usagara, and Malimbe presses on. In each place we have seen enough positive responses to begin regular discipleship work with young Christians. At the same time, we have been working long enough in these locations to experience disappointment over relationships that don’t carry on (usually because there is some disagreement with the gospel or our teaching).

William Moves to Usagara

William, Mama Eliya (Kristina), Eliya, Festo, and little Abigail moved from Shadi to Usagara this month. They were formally commissioned by their sending church in Shadi and generously helped by them to make the transition.

William packing

William packing with help from friends

They intend and we hope that this will make their work in Usagara both more effective and less burdensome. We also know that, like any move, they will be adjusting to a new place and figuring out how to keep up relationships with friends and family that are now farther away. Though the challenges are not as extreme in William’s case, past experience has demonstrated that moves for the sake of ministry in this context can be very difficult.

Prayer Update

  1. Wives of both Maiwe Livingston (language tutor and employee) and William Samweli (church planter in Usagara) gave birth to beautiful baby girls on April 29 and 30. Thank you for praying! All are healthy and starting to recover from sleep deprivation.
  2. Beginning this Monday (20 June) the church in Shadi is planning outdoor evangelistic meetings in their village. A meeting place will be made near the “center” of the village and the gospel will be preached there daily until Saturday. Please pray that the gospel may be clearly proclaimed, that God may graciously engage hearts and call people to give Him the glory He deserves.
  3. Thank you all for praying for the various church planting efforts. God has truly given us an open door to proclaim the good news (Col 4:3)! Continue praying with us that we may speak wisely to saved and unsaved and that this door may not be shut on our toes (cf. 1 Cor 16:9)!
  4. Work for the next Bible Institute class has already begun. Students who attended the class on the message of the Bible should be wrapping up their assignments by the end of July. These assignments include sharing the gospel with others and executing some expression of unusual kindness for fellow church members in need. Pray that God may use these assignments and the ongoing Bible Institute coursework to build His church.

June 17, 2016   No Comments