What a Year
We have officially made it a year in Alaska. This past year has been great and we are looking forward to many more to come. There have been many events this past year and we have many plans for 2014. The kids of course are continuing to grow like weeds and are now 2,4,6 and 8.
From the 12th of November through the 5th of December, Matt Haakenson and I traveled to Iringa, Tanzania (our previous home & work) to visit the brethren and help with the work. It was truly a blessing to get to spend time with so many that are dear to our hearts and to once again work alongside these wonderful brethren. I was very humbled to find that the Christians were doing great and the church was continuing to grow through the efforts of the local Christians. We were able to worship with the Mtwivila congregation of the Lord’s church for the first time. This congregation started as the Ipogolo congregation recognized the need to meet in Mtwivila as some of the Christians lived in the area.
We were also blessed with being witnesses of 2 ladies giving their lives over to Christ having their sins washed away being immersed. As a missionary, there is no greater blessing than seeing God’s family continue to grow in their absence. Paul said it this way, “ For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” (Colossians 2:5)
The Christians in Iringa send their greetings and appreciation for your prayers on their behalf. I want to say a special thank you to all who have helped us through our years in serving God in Tanzania and now as we serve in Alaska. Also, for all those who helped in making this trip possible, thank you, thank you, thank you! It is hard to put into words how encouraged I am in seeing our brethren in Iringa continue in the faith, I hope that you are encouraged as well.
Alaska Preacher’s Conference 2013
Our family had the privilege to attend the annual Alaska Preacher’s Conference in October. It was wonderful to get to meet many of the evangelist from throughout Alaska and learn about the work that is going on in this vast state. It was humbling and very edifying to sit at the feet of some very experienced shepherds and gospel preachers. I hope to one day have the experience and hopefully the wisdom of men like these, I was very encouraged to become a better student of God’s word.
We are working toward a small radio program to get the word out about the Lord’s church in our area. We hope to begin this sometime in the first quarter of 2014. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity to learn about radio work and its uses for the gospel. My respect for those who are involved in putting together radio/TV programs has grown already and I expect as we continue with this effort it will continue to grow. If you have any suggestions for material, topics, or any other information that could help us in this effort, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and Prayer Request
We have never regretted the move from Africa to Alaska. Bonnie has been able to be more physically active and get better healthcare than she would have in Africa. Unfortunately, her disease has been progressing and she now has a Lupus diagnosis. Recently she has been through a number of medical test. She has had a chest X-ray, EKG, and an Ultrasound. She has been having new chest pains that were ruled out as "nothing serious" at this time. There was a suspicion of breast cancer that has been determined as benign. She now has also developed a lump in a lymph node in her neck that is occasionally causing problems. The doctor wants to monitor it for a little longer before a biopsy is done. Her new doctor has put her on about 10 different supplements trying to get the inflammation in her body under control. She is having a hard time with "not being normal", so please keep her in your prayers. Kylie is still expected to have her umbilical hernia repair surgery later this year, so keep her in your prayers as well.
We appreciate your continued love and support.
Wishing you all the best in this New Year !
The Samford Family
Carey, Bonnie & the Kids