May 27 2012 Report
Dear Supporters, Family and Friends,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Please don’t leave me alone. I don’t want to go back to the way I was.”---Job (new convert)
After his conversion, Job spoke these words to Chris because he wanted follow-up studies and knew he would need help to stay faithful. This past week has been a whirlwind of activities! The Akin crew (including Kevin Flowers) continued to study from morning 'til evening, with some studies continuing on Saturday. The First Annual Marriage Seminar (as Trina is calling it because she want it to be a yearly thing), which began last Sunday morning, continued three hours each weekday, and ended Sunday morning, has been a tremendous success because so many people heard so many Biblical principles. They were reminded of how to put certain principles into practice (the value of a godly wife, planning together as a couple, mutual respect and communication, biblical roles of husbands and wives, the importance of meeting needs, money problems, etc). There were always questions after each session, which included topics such as women yelling at men, how far the authority of the husband extends, punishing wives for their misbehavior, swapping cows for wives, and many more interesting topics especially concerning the Maasai Tribe. These questions lasted at least an hour each day.
There continues to be fruit from the Bible studies being conducted by the Akin Crew. So far these souls have been added to the Lord’s church: Asifiwe, Job, Datifa, Obadiah, Joyce, Hilda, Einoti, Violet and Neema. Four of the individuals above are husband and wife and have attended the marriage seminar. Others know someone (either a relative or neighbor) who is a member of the church. Einoti is the wife of David who was restored last week. Beth has a new study on Monday (Rehema, Teresia’s sister whom Lindsey and Abigail have studied with) to add to the other five daily studies. In the midst of all the busyness of transporting people to Bible studies and the Marriage Seminar going on, there has been sickness in the Akin family (Chris and Olivia), our family (Heather) and neighbors needing transportation to the Tanzania Christian Clinic. One such neighbor, little Stevin (son of recently restored member, David, mentioned above) fell backwards into a pot of boiling food, and was burned severely on his back, bottom and legs. It was Chris who saw the burns and advised that they go to the clinic immediately (the accident had occurred the night before). Stevin is recovering well thanks to Stephanie Stafford and the others at the clinic who have given him good care.
“GOD IS SO GOOD” was what Trina heard Elijah singing through a long black plastic pipe that he had stuck through the kitchen window. Although she appreciated that reminder, she had to interrupt his “piped in music” because she wasn’t sure for what that pipe had been used.
The church building was packed for not only Bible study but also worship today. This Marriage Seminar has really spiked the interest of many. The only “negative” comment made about the seminar was that it wasn’t long enough (it lasted EIGHT days!). When it comes to marriage (especially here in East Africa with different tribes and different beliefs and traditions) everyone is very interested in that topic.
Finally, the Oklahoma group has arrived! There are nine of them with four veterans returning and five "newbies" to Tanzania. It is always a joy to have them with us. They will be working in the Maji ya Chai (Tea Water) congregation starting on Tuesday and running through Sunday. The congregation, with the help of other Christians, has been doing pre-campaign work for the past two weeks. Over forty home Bible studies have already been established, so the work begins. Hannah Box also arrived safely this week. She will do great things in the kingdom also. And, please remember, Penny Cabler, Gary & Rachel Box, Forest & Teresa Rachels, and Caitlin Middleton who all will be arriving this week (Jimmy, along with Elly Martin, will go to Nairobi on Thursday, returning Friday, to pick up Caitlyn). Please pray that God grants safe travels for all.
Thanks for your interest in and support of this work!
In Christian Love,
The Jimmy Gee family
June 3 2012 Report
Dear Supporters, Family, and Friends,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals."---Zig Ziglar
When visitors to TZ return to the states they are often asked what Tanzania, East Africa is like. I'm told that, although they do their best to explain, one of their normal answers is, "You just have to experience it." It's difficult to explain 1) how so many people are willing to listen to the Gospel, and 2) the obedience of many when they believe what they are hearing is the truth. It's difficult to explain how hospitable people are who live in a mud hut and may not be sure where the next meal is coming from. It's difficult to explain the problems with water, police corruption, electricity, young children running around the neighborhood unsupervised, and the traditions of many tribes. Our visitors return with many wonderful, heart-warming stories and many heart-breaking stories.
We'll not even try to explain/report on Chris and Beth Akins' week (we couldn't remember half of it if we tried). We're hoping to attach their last two reports to this one today. All we know is they continue to study with people from morning until evening and more souls have been added to the kingdom. It's hard to keep up with. Steven, Kevin, Lindsey and Abigail also continue to study with our neighbors.
Today we worshipped with the Monduli congregation where Innocent Alfayo (ACSOP graduate) has preached for several years. Chris taught Bible Study (The Deity of Jesus) and Kevin Flowers preached to a full house about "The Great Invitation." Both lessons were excellent and much needed! Trina was introduced to Joyce who, along with her husband, recently became a Christian and she was very happy to see her "old" friend, Hilda (Innocent's wife). During services we had a slight distraction in that small caterpillars were occasionally falling from the ceiling beams and landing on people. But it was no problem for Beth who doesn't mind "creepy crawly" things. :) Our nephew, Steven Akin and our daughter, Abigail, worshipped with the Kisongo congregation where Steven taught Bible class and also preached.
The Oklahoma group, plus Penny Cabler, Gary, Hannah and Rachel Box (Alabama) and Forrest and Teresa Rachels (Tennessee) continue to work with the congregations in Maji ya Chai and Kwa Mrombo. Our appreciation goes out to these guests listed above (many who are "returning workers" many times over). Unfortunately, some of the guests were involved in an auto accident, but none of them were hurt. Involved also was a man on a motorcycle whose leg was broken. Please pray for his quick recovery and that a door may be open to teach him the gospel. Previous visitors know the dangers of the roads and how many drivers do not know the traffic laws and some don't obey if they know. One Tanzanian told of how he asked a policeman for a copy of the "Traffic Constitution" (rules of the road) so he would know what was permissible and the policeman said he didn't need to know the law.
Trina’s friend, Hilda (above) said her father and a couple of others were on a small bus (called a dala-dala) a few days ago and the driver said he could not take them all the way to the other bus station. Because it was already dark, her father and the others did not want to be let off on the side of the road. The driver and his "conductor" stopped the bus and beat her father and the others and then left them on the side of the road anyway.
On a better note...we are expecting the Hoover group this Friday night. Heavily involved in this mission work, this group normally concentrates their efforts on the Kwa Mrombo congregation (where they have not only opened up their hearts but their wallets to help in any way possible). These co-workers from Hoover, AL "take the ball and run with it!"
Today, Jimmy read the passage in 2 Cor. 8:1-5 before the prayer for the contribution. As he was reading, it reminded Trina of you, our supporters. If you don't know it by heart, look it up and read about saints who sacrificed for the cause of Christ. Please accept our deep gratitude for all you have done to help us in this mission work. When committed people work together toward a common goal, great things happen and success is inevitable. We continue to be thankful for the privilege of working here, teaching people who really desire to know and obey the Truth.
In Christian Love,
Jimmy, Trina, Lindsey, Abigail, Heather, Candace, Stuart, David, Naomi, Elijah and Matthew