Dear Supporters, Family and Friends,
POSSESSED? We hope you enjoyed your Sunday, worshipping God and spending time with family and friends. At Kisongo, ACSOP students taught the Bible class and preached. After class a discussion on modern-day demon-possession ensued. Many Africans, afflicted with physical or mental problems, are thought to be possessed and, sadly, do not receive needed medical attention.
IT'S A BOY! Our new member, Agness, gave birth to a healthy son just six days after her baptism. Both are doing well. The Kisongo congregation welcomed a new "babe in Christ" this morning, a man baptized by the ACSOP Swahili director, Christopher Mwakabanje. We still do not know the new convert's name because it was not announced. Names do not mean as much to the Tanzanians as they do to Americans. As you may imagine this is frustrating to us Americans. After the invitation song, people needing prayers remain standing so the song leader can go to each one for their requests. So, we hear something like this: A mama (the Swahili word for lady) is sick with a headache. Or, the man's wife is sick at home. Since there may be several prayer requests, it leaves unanswered questions such as: Who just had a baby? What is the new Christians' name? Who is repenting of sin? After services end, we ask different people to try to get some answers. It's not a given that the announcer even knows their name. Now, you have another tidbit of African culture (which, to me at least, seems to indicate that the "individual" person is not highly valued...or at least their name isn't.)
BAPTIZE A DOG? No, but Trina used the illustration (in her study with Agatha) that IF a baby can be scripturally baptized than so can a dog. Just go through the steps and see. However, she WAS thinking of baptizing the crowing rooster outside and holding him under just a little longer than usual. At first, Trina wasn't sure that Agatha truly wanted to study because of her "hostile" answers. She learned it was actually her husband who asked our guard to find someone to study with her. Recently, they had a big argument so perhaps he wanted Trina to emphasize Ephesians 5:22-24 (smile). Toward the end of the lesson (1 1/2 hours) Trina was thrilled that she became truly interested after reading scriptures contradicting Catholic doctrine. Sadly, she knew very little Bible (and doesn't even own one but we will remedy that), hardly knowing where books were located. Trina has a lot of work to do before the next study on Thursday to try to answer her many questions. Her husband and his brother have requested that someone study with them. Also, Agatha's mother-in-law sits in on some studies, making comments from time to time. Trina studied with Agatha's 15-year-old niece, Grace, this past week. Abigail is going to conduct the next study with her. Trina is really enjoying and being challenged by these studies.
MORE GOOD NEWS! A few weeks ago we told you of man who invited some of the men of the Kisongo congregation to his home. Because the congregation had been so good to the family after the death of their son he was convinced that this was the Church he wanted to be a part of. Well, Jimmy, two men of the congregation and two students went to his home today. Their time there went well and a study will take place this week, conducted by one of the men of the congregation. Please pray that all goes well with the study. Thanks again for all you do to make it possible for us to be here.