earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Posts from — January 2018

January in Nairobi

Early in January, the Gass family lifted anchor and temporarily moved to Nairobi, Kenya. Besides the food and flowers that aren’t available in Tanzania, Nairobi is a choice destination in East Africa for medical care. Kyla was born here in 2014, and Gassito #3 is due to arrive very soon.

Downtown from Nairobi National Park

Time away from some obligations in Mwanza has allowed for more freedom to focus on Bible Institute curriculum and preparation for our trip to the States later this year.

From here, we continue to join you in prayer for the ongoing work in Tanzania. Here are the highlights for January and February ministry:

  1. Churches are forming savings groups, electing group leadership, establishing rules, and starting group Bible study.
  2. The church plant in Bukokwa is teaching through the church and church fellowship constitutions in advance of forming a membership role.
  3. The evangelistic work in Mbugani is continuing with regular Sunday meetings on their new property.
  4. New Bible Institute students are doing home-to-home evangelism under the guidance of 2nd-year students.

Matters For Prayer

Here are some more specific ways to partner with us in prayer:

  1. As people are learning to share their faith and teach the Bible, please pray for courage to say what needs to be said and faithfulness to say what God has entrusted to us in His word. Consider specific situations of evangelism, Bible Institute teaching, and small group Bible study.
  2. I posted a more complete prayer guide for church planting earlier this month. Consider using it to pray for the advance of the gospel and health of the (future) churches in Mbugani, Bukokwa, and Usagara (which is technically a young church, approaching 2-years-old).
  3. The church in Sweya has been without a pastor for four months now. Please pray that God would provide the ability and the wisdom to call their next pastor, that they would not grow faint in doing good works (1 Thess 5:14; Heb 12:12).
  4. We look forward to meeting our new Gassito and introducing her to you. Please pray for health and safety. Besides traffic, this potentially is another complicating factor scheduled for the baby’s due date.

January 30, 2018   No Comments

Prayer Guide for Church Planting

Church Plant Map (2015)

Thank you for praying for the advance of the gospel in Tanzania. As you know, the primary objective of these updates is for informing your prayers. We’ve posted specific ways you can be praying for missionaries. More recently, we’ve updated you on the challenges facing church planting efforts in Mbugani. As you consider that church plant and others in prayer, you may keep in mind some of the following matters:

    1. Please pray that evangelism may reach various people groups (Acts 12:24; Gal 3:26—28; Eph 2:14, 15).
      • While women and children are generally responsive and available to talk about the gospel, it can be challenging to engage men with the gospel.
      • Pray for opportunities to reach less prominant tribes with the gospel.
      • Pray for opportunities to reach Muslims and others steeped in traditional religion.
      • Pray for opportunities to reach people that have been shut out from the community.
      • Pray for opportunities to reach people of different educational and financial conditions.
    2. Pray for good participation in evangelism (Matt 9:37, 38).
      • Pray for perseverance. In some cases, people are traveling hours by foot and bike to make evangelistic visits.
      • Pray for faithfulness to the gospel. None of us are worthy of the message we proclaim. May God’s grace to overcome our faults for the sake of His name.
    3. Pray that the gospel may bear fruit that multiplies (Matt 7:1–23).
      • Pray that people may receive the word of God, rejecting shallow and false substitutes (1 Cor 1:18).
      • Pray that God may open the eyes of their hearts so that they may begin to grasp the significance of the gospel in their lives (Eph 1:17–23).
      • Pray that God may protect against exceptional temptations, especially temptations to revert to non-Christian faith (Matt 6:13).
      • Pray that young believers may stand firm in the faith (Eph 6:10–18).
    4. Pray that people may be drawn to the church because of the gospel more than hope of foreign aid, choir music, or construction of a church building (Rom 1:16).
    5. Pray for those leading and teaching.
      • Pray that God would protect the church from false and otherwise unhealthy teaching (1 Tim 1:3–11).
      • Pray that God would provide for the needs of church planters and their families (3 John 7).
      • Pray that God would provide wisdom in learning how to feed and lead a new group of believers (1 Tim 4:15, 16).
    6. Pray for protection from those who would exploit a young church for their own benefit (Acts 20:28–31).

January 19, 2018   No Comments