I (Jimmy) have safely returned home. I appreciate all who helped make my trip successful. Thanks to Ralph and Mimi Samples, the Rivergate (Nashville, TN) congregation, my family in Cleveland, TN, Dupree and Soniea Galloway, and the congregations at Capitol Heights and University (both in Montgomery), Dr. Rodney Cloud, and my son Todd. It was great to be with everyone and I appreciate the help that each gave. Over the last two Sundays Trina has sent me a report for each week. However, I was so busy I did not get a chance to send them. So, this week we will play “catch-up” and send the reports for those two weeks (July 1 and July 8).
Dear Supporters, Family and Friends,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "If you have a dream, wake up and pursue it." --- author unknown
What a wonderful day! Stuart counted 113 in attendance at the Kisongo congregation as we all shook hands outside (normal procedure after services end...everyone shakes everyone's hand forming a circle)! We had three visitors and a great sermon by Ahimidiwe entitled "Who Will You Serve?" One visitor was a former ACSOP student named Elijah (whose last name I can neither pronounce nor spell) who has moved to Kisongo to help evangelize the Kisongo area. I (Trina enjoyed teaching Genesis 26 to the Ladies.
Tomorrow, Teresia (from Kisongo) will join the youth from surrounding congregations and travel a long way to Mbeya, arriving about midnight for an annual Youth Conference. What a great opportunity for the youth to hear many speakers, increase their Bible knowledge and fellowship with other Christians!
Yesterday, about 30 ladies from the Kisongo congregation met at my house to formally welcome the new converts worshipping at Kisongo (whose conversions were made possible mainly due to recent visitors). While drinking our morning chai (hot tea), each lady introduced herself, telling the circumstances of their conversion, how long they had been a Christian, etc. Teresia (named above) said, "I was a member of the Pentecostal denomination and wanted to know more about the Bible. My pastor said he would find someone to teach me but never did. One day my neighbor, Sophia, had a guest (Edith Kincaid) teaching her and I sat in on several studies. When Edith left, Lindsey (Gee) continued teaching me. After I was baptized, many in the Pentecostal church talked behind my back and were angry with me." So while the Pentecostal preacher did not find someone to teach her, God did! After a lesson on the importance of Bible reading and assembling with the saints, we sang one of my favorite songs in Swahili ("God is Love"). Afterwards, we enjoyed a "get-to-know-each-other" game and had a fun time watching women (blind-folded) apply make-up to others! Our lunch was rice, beans, mango and sodas. The purpose of the day was to encourage the new Christians and to strengthen the bond among the ladies. Also in attendance were two non-Christians who accompanied their friends.
Lindsey continues her studies with non-Christians Rehema (Teresia's older sister) and Nice (Teresia's friend) and conducting follow-up studies with Teresia and Mary (new Christians). Abigail continues to study with 15-year-old Grace, who also attended worship today. In Tanzania, there is NEVER a shortage of people to teach! Tomorrow, several young ladies from the Kisongo congregation have been invited to spend the night at our house to have a devo and watch a movie.
On the home front, a great therapy program for disabled children was located only about 30 minutes from us. Although Matthew has a daily therapist (Lucy) who comes to the house, this new half-day program (M-F) will give her more training and experience as local and foreign therapists (physical, occupational and speech) offer additional instruction and continuing education. Either myself or one of the older girls will always be with him (and Lucy) when he attends. At the pediatric assessment, I was highly encouraged by the doctor. He commented that among all the CP patients he has seen, Matthew was "among those in the best condition." Although Matthew's cerebral palsy has been diagnosed as "moderate," the doctor thinks he will be able to walk one day. Matthew is almost 6 now. Please pray for Matthew's progress.
Lindsey and Abigail are staying busy trying to finish up their high school work and plan to take several more classes at ACSOP this year. Lindsey is looking forward to a 2-week short course on raising rabbits and tilapia (fish). This training will help the ACSOP students support themselves while they preach. Other news: our daughter, Heather, turned 14 in June and Lindsey and Abigail will turn 17 this month. We miss (very much) our oldest son, Todd, who is a student at Faulkner University. We are thankful to God for all of our children who bring much joy to our lives.
Speaking of thankfulness, we are always grateful to you all, the back-bone of this work, the unsung heroes. Have a blessed day, knowing that you are a part of something big, something that will have far-reaching results in the salvation of the lost. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be here.
In Christian Love,
Jimmy & Trina and Family
Dear Family, Friends and Supporters,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34.
Greetings from Kisongo, Tanzania, East Africa! It's a beautiful, sunny day with just a "nip" of coolness in the air (similar to autumn in the states). We are looking forward to Jimmy returning to Tanzania at the end of this week.
As I type, a car race is "gearing up" behind the Kisongo church building where there is quite a bit of undeveloped land. This event seems to happen at least twice a year. Speaking of the church building, a good crowd listened as Cy Stafford preached this morning (in the absence of the regular preacher, Ahimidiwe Kamaro, who is in Mbeya with the area youth). The Ladies continued learning in Genesis, finishing up chapter 26. One of our topics was "mother-in-law and daughter-in-law" conflicts as referenced in the last verse. One lady spoke of a barren daughter-in-law and how the mother-in-law would speak badly about her behind her back. This bit of culture seems very strange to us Americans who would be sympathetic towards a woman who wanted children but unable to conceive or carry. This problem also leads to another in which a man fathers a child before he ever thinks of marrying someone to prove he is fertile (so his future wife will be blamed if no children are produced and he can retain his honor). This information comes from the Tanzanians themselves and not just an observation from foreigners.
Both Lindsey and Abigail (turning 17 tomorrow, July 9) are conducting Bible studies at this moment (one of their students is only off from work on Sundays). Concerning the rest of the family, we are fine. At a Fourth of July celebration (hamburgers and hotdogs) at the Stafford's house, Naomi made a funny statement. Lindsey was talking about the upcoming class at ACSOP (raising rabbits and tilapia) and 6-year-old Naomi said, "I don't like to kill animals just to eat!" Of course, she wasn't thinking about the meat she would soon be eating. As we walked around our neighborhood last week, David noticed a cow's skull up in a tree and replied, "The cow jumped over the moon and landed in a tree!" We are thrilled to have found a speech therapist (volunteering at a local school, but wanting to establish her own practice here) who will hopefully be able to work with Matthew a long time. (None of the sentences above have any connection except they are all about our children...family news.)
Thank you for giving so generously to this work. We appreciate all that you have done for the cause of Christ.
In Christian Love,
The Jimmy Gee family