November 12th Report
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see IF there are any who understand, who seek after God.” Psalms 14:2
The Lord blessed us with a huge rain last night. Everything is looking bright and green (and in places where there is no grass, like huge fields of swirled chocolate). The children just came in excited that they found a 3 foot long snake skin. No worries as long as we do not find the snake!
Trina taught the Ladies class (reviewing Genesis chapters 29-30 and completing chapter 31 today). Due to the rain, none of the new converts showed up until more than half-way through the Bible class hour. So, Jimmy did not have class but sat in on the men’s class. The Kisongo children listened as Abigail taught the Children's class about Hezekiah saving Jerusalem.
Gary Fallis, from Texas, is due to arrive Friday night. As the Director of Graduate Studies for the Bear Valley Extensions he travels to many of the BV extension locations teaching graduate, as well as undergraduate, classes. Here he will be teaching The Scheme of Redemption to the second-year students who will graduate the following Saturday, Nov. 24. There are a total of eight undergraduates and nine Master’s students who will get their degrees.
Abigail teaches 16-year-old Grace nearly every Sunday (her father will not permit her to be baptized but is allowing Abigail to continue studying with her).
Here is a note received from Innocent Mafayo, preacher at Monduli: "Halo all. wishing you all the best. Great news! The diabetes patient (Sokoine) who is Masaai is baptized today. He is the first one to be baptized in the new baptistry at Monduli church. Pray for him. Please. Amen."
Upcoming events are: Future Preachers Training Camp (first full week in December) and Tanzanian Christian Camp (second full week in December). Christopher Mwakabanje has directed the Future Preachers Training Camp for several years now. He has asked Jimmy to speak two times during the camp. The rest of the lessons will be brought by the local brethren, all of them graduates of the ACSOP.
As you are aware, our furlough is scheduled for April 2013 (only about 23 weeks away). While very thankful for the funds that have been received, we still lack $18,500 for the plane tickets. Our furlough comes around every 2 1/2 years and, no doubt, is very expensive for a family of our size. If you receive this newsletter and your congregation has not committed to helping with this, please do us the favor of approaching the elders or men with this request (perhaps there could be a special contribution). OR...if you know of a congregation or individual that is not involved in this work, this could be a great opportunity for them to be a part. All missionaries go to the field in faith...faith in many things...one being that the funds will be available for furloughs (after almost eight years here, we have only taken two). While we are anxious to see our families (and grandparents anxious to see the grandchildren), most of our time will be spent traveling reporting on the work. As our supporters you have always come through and we believe that this time will be no different. One of the hardest issues concerning mission work is raising funds. You already make sacrifices to keep us over here (and we are very grateful, especially during these difficult economic times) so it's hard to ask everyone to give a little more. However, everyone's little bit can all add up to a lot! From the bottom of our hearts, we say "thank you" for all you have done in the past! Thank you for your concern, prayers and generosity! Furlough funds should be earmarked: “Gee - Furlough” and sent to the East Side congregation. The address is on the first page of this report. May the Lord bless and keep you as you serve Him wherever you are!
With Love from Africa,
Jimmy, Trina, Lindsey, Abigail, Heather, Candace, Stuart, David, Naomi, Elijah and Matthew
November 19th Report
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "He who says to the wicked, 'You are righteous,' peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; but to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, and a good blessing will come upon them." Proverbs 24:24, 25
BATS IN THE BELFRY? No, but it seems there are "animals in the attic" that may be chewing on our internet cord. Abigail has been hearing lots of noises above her ceiling and our internet has been awful the last few weeks (more so than usual). The plan is to get that checked out this week so we may correspond with everyone better.
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS! We believe that was the name of an old Elvis Presley movie. Last Wednesday evening, seven girls from the Kisongo congregation were invited over. Added to our five, that makes 12 girls playing games, listening to a devotional conducted by Abigail, watching a couple of movies and spending the night. However, it wasn't as loud as you might expect because Tanzanian girls are generally much quieter, especially when at someone else's house. They were all very polite. Interestingly, most Tanzanians do not wear pajamas to sleep in but just wear their regular clothing (what was worn that day) to bed. This Tuesday, six more girls are invited to spend the night!
OLD HABITS DIE HARD. After playing an outside game and drinking water, TZ girls would toss out the last half-inch of water in their cup. This is something I've noticed with many other Tanzanians. Once when we had younger children visiting, I kindly chided them for throwing away good water (we use only bottled water to drink and cook with). When the girls were asked why, they did not know the reason for this habit, but just that they had always done this. Later I asked three adults and got the same answer. Personally, we believe it probably began generations ago when there wasn't always clean water to drink and the dirt settled to the bottom of the cup. It just makes sense one would throw it away. However, "old habits die hard" and people still do it even when the water they are drinking is clear and good. Of course, in Africa, especially after big rains, the water can still have dirt in it and people will let it sit for a day or so. It is a reminder of an illustration about women in a certain family who always cut off the end of their ham before placing in the pan. No one knew why they did it until they asked Grandma who said, "My pan was too small."
PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB! Ahimidiwe faced challenges this morning in keeping the attention of folks in Bible class; mainly because a race car was practicing in the open field next to the church building. The "revving up" of the engine would drown out Ahimidiwe's voice (and the driving around and around gave folks outside in the New Converts' class a dust bath). In addition, two phones rang, a car alarm sounded and one toddler screamed about every five minutes (obviously his sweet mother was not practicing the "true love" of a parent described in Proverbs (3:12; 29:17; 13:24) taught in last years' Child-Training classes).
"THE CANALS WILL EMIT A STENCH" (ISA. 19:6) The city of Arusha has been fixing their sewer system near Main St. They have closed off a side street and materials are scattered everywhere. They have also re-routed the sewer water onto the street, where many have to walk through it. The smell was pretty bad. Hopefully the work will soon be finished.
GARY FALLIS arrived safely and begins his short course on The Scheme of Redemption tomorrow. Lindsey and Abigail have completed their studies for their Associate's Degrees from ACSOP and are anticipating graduation along with the others this Saturday. Gary will be the keynote speaker.
LADIES DAY. Several Tanzanian women, along with Stephanie Stafford and Anita Hochdorf, conducted a ladies seminar at Maji ya Chai yesterday. Women here truly enjoy special days such as these and are uplifted by the Bible lessons and good fellowship.
BUSY WEEK. The graduates and Gary have been invited to our house for dinner MONDAY evening. TUESDAY evening, as mentioned above, the girls are having another spend-the-night party. WEDNESDAY the Chad Wagner family (missionaries in Chimala) is due to arrive to fellowship with the missionaries here for several days and for Chad to speak at the graduation ceremony. THURSDAY all the missionaries plus visitors and other guests from Arusha will enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Stafford's house. FRIDAY, we hope to have dinner with the Wagners, and, of course, graduation ceremonies are at 10 am SATURDAY morning!
May the Lord bless "You and Yours" as you reflect upon your blessings this Thanksgiving Day. It is our wish that your time with your families is filled with love and the warmth of "family." Speaking of blessings, you are a blessing to us and to the Tanzanian people. Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement! A special thought of love goes to our extended family from whom we are separated in distance again this Thanksgiving but together in spirit. Happy Birthday to Trina's sister, Denita!
In Christian Love,
Jimmy, Trina, Lindsey, Abigail, Heather, Candace, Stuart, David, Naomi, Elijah and Matthew