earthen vessels, East Africa, and the gospel
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Last Trip West of Chicago

…before we depart for Africa. We were able to cram much family and ministry business into our recent trip through Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. On July 8 we joined Prior Lake Baptist Church in Prior Lake, MN, for their worship services. After being introduced in the morning service, we joined the children with whom we discussed life in Africa. There we resolved the error that tigers and triceratops are roaming wild in Africa and explained why children all over the world need to hear about Jesus Christ. Dan and Jana Eads have visited this church previously, so we reintroduced the work to them in the evening.

My dad, Ian, and I

We met with the leadership families of Grace Community Bible Church nearby in Lakeville before returning to Iowa that week. My youngest sister’s wedding was the following Saturday, July 14. This event provided opportunities to discuss our ministry with many members of my family–many of whom are unfamiliar with our approach to missions work. We pray that God would use such opportunities as a testimony of the faith. Of course, my extended family was also glad to meet our son and have the opportunity to see us before we leave for Africa.

Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa

Unfortunately, that will be the last we see of Iowa for quite a while. That Sunday, July 15, we met with First Baptist Church in West Bend, WI. Pastor and Mrs. Dunford have met with us for lunch a year ago and greeted us at a pastor’s conference since then, so we were eager to meet the church which is benefitting from their service. After such an emotionally draining trip, we were glad to find much affinity between us and this church.

July 19, 2012   No Comments

Downsize Me

a moving sale on our front lawn, April 21, 2012

Little by little we’re preparing for the move to Africa. The process is something like moving across the country, but even less of our stuff will come with us. We will be using a shipping container to send some essential difficult-to-get-in-Africa items. Most of the container will be used to ship items donated to the orphanage. Otherwise, we’ll be taking over whatever we can fit into our luggage. After our baby showers, I wonder if half of our luggage will be taken up with baby supplies! Fortunately, we’re moving into a house that is semi-furnished.

There’s nothing like moving to help you realize how much stuff you’ve accumulated. It has been a tough but profitable experience trying to justify everything that we will be taking with us. Putting a value on everything¬†we have in this way is good to vet false priorities.

This past Saturday was our first moving sale (we’re planning one more). I was surprised at how¬†successful it was. We’ve had fantastic help. I’d say we sold close to 80% of the stuff we put out for sale. And, since we advertised it as a moving sale, a few people expressed interest in renting our house. God continues to be kind to us in many simple ways.

April 28, 2012   No Comments

Ian David Gass

Our son was born on Monday morning just after 7am. He was 9 lbs 6 oz and 23 in long. Laura and Ian are both doing very well. Thank you for praying for us.

Since the next thing you will ask me for is some pictures, I’ve included them here:

April 24, 2012   7 Comments

Grace Baptist Mission Property in Shadi Village

After my last trip to TZ, I shared that I will be showing some of the pictures taken there. The following collection of pictures will introduce you to the property God has provided for our home and ministry. (Click on a picture to enlarge and read more.)

[I’m sorry that some of you have received this twice by email, but clicking on the pictures should actually work now.]

April 14, 2012   No Comments

Laura and Children

Occasionally, when I’m not sure where my wife is, I find her with the church children. Somehow, they can sense that she was once an elementary teacher or just that she likes children. I took these pictures of Laura in her element recently (click the image to enlarge):

March 14, 2012   1 Comment

A Wonderful Reunion with Fellow Believers

We headed back to Delafield, WI for the weekend of January 15 to spend time with Lakewood Baptist Church, one of our newest partners. We presented our ministry to there back in June, so they invited us to come and worship with them and to meet many new friends that we had missed or who were not currently attending LBC in the summer. Matt and I had a wonderful time fellowshipping with the people of Lakewood during several opportunities for interaction. We also participated in their “Missions Sunday,” along with their other missionary family Josh and Rachel Roberts. We were greatly encouraged by the interest and knowledge that the people of Lakewood showed us in what God is calling us to do in Africa. We also appreciated their sincere desire to be godly ministry partners with us. Matt and I were asked how they as a church can help and support the ministry in Tanzania, and to us personally as we minister there.

January 26, 2012   No Comments