Dear Supporters, Family, and Friends:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." -- Henry Ford
THE BEAUTY OF GOD'S CREATION: There are many beautiful things about Africa especially the landscape and beautiful flowers. To us, beautiful scenery has both a calming and inspirational affect.
EAST AFRICAN GOSPEL MEETING: Below is an excerpt from Cy Stafford (Director of TZ 2000): ". . . the Gospel is having its way here in East Africa. Sean and I were privileged to travel to Mwanza last week to take part in the East Africa Gospel meeting. On the way we stopped in the city of Babati to meet with eight of the local evangelists to promote the Andrew Connally School of Preaching, encourage them, and . . . challenge them to a greater zeal and work in the Kingdom. Our time at Mwanza was insightful, encouraging, and very edifying. With the presence of 60 evangelists from four different countries, preaching and teaching God’s Power, the results were amazing . . . 12 souls added to the Kingdom. Sean addressed the men of the good being done through the ACSOP (packets of information and applications were left there). In the southwest part of Kenya... we met Mike Reese and his team who had come to work with the Ahono congregation (sponsoring a youth camp). The last word we received was that over 30 of the 200 plus youth had obeyed the Gospel."
HAPPINESS IS....thinking you have eaten the last jar of Welch's grape jelly (from the states) and finding two more!
ANOTHER BAPTISM . . . but of the canine sort. Abigail asked our guard, Deo, to dip her dog Oliver in some flea medicine. Deo didn't understand the word "dip" so half-jokingly we said "baptize" him because we wanted most of his body immersed. Later Stuart told us that Deo literally DID baptize Oliver, holding his mouth closed and quickly dunking him under (having applied flea medicine on other dogs before, we thought he knew not to get it in Oliver's eyes, nose, or ears.) Abigail is thankful her dog survived.
SERMON ON THE MOUNT: Abigail organized a girls' devotional on Saturday evening on top of a hill not far from our home. Caitlyn Middleton (has been working here for a few months) agreed to speak. Her topic, "Climbing the Hill of Christianity" was very appropriate and well presented to the nine teen-age girls attending. The girls played a couple of games and enjoyed Heather's chocolate oatmeal cookies!
WHY DID THE CHICKEN hide under the coffee table? We don't know but it startled Abigail when she walked in Grace's house for a Bible study last Sunday evening.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION is worth a pound of cure! I am seriously considering beginning a "Child Safety and Wellness" course due to the many people who come to us asking for transportation to the clinic for accidents/sickness regarding their children (and other relatives) and asking us to pay the bill. We want to help them (and are sympathetic for their situation) but much could be avoided if preventive care, proper supervision and proper teaching were practiced.
A DAY IN THE LIFE! If you are not familiar with the phrase "domino effect" please come to Africa so you will understand completely. Awhile back we needed water for a vase of roses. Since no water was coming from the faucet, we asked the guard to turn on the switch for the pump (so water could be pumped from the ground storage tanks up to the tower tank so water could flow into the house). However, the pump was not working and he did not know how to fix it. He called our main guard (at his house) on the phone. While talking, the phone minutes ran out, so we borrowed Lindsey’s phone. The main guard arrived about 30 minutes later, found the tools and repaired the water pump. In about 20 more minutes there is water coming from the faucets. All of this to simply put some water in a vase! This is a short "domino effect" . . . you may remember another report about the day(s) of the water truck breakdown right in the middle of our open gate, couldn't drive vehicles in or out, finally the water truck was repaired and the water was placed in the tanks. As the large truck was leaving, it struck a low-hanging electrical wire, severing the connection to everything including the water pump so we could not pump up and use the 10,000 liters just purchased and had been waiting on for two days. (ha/ha) We know the "domino effect" happens everywhere but, from experience, it seems to happen more here.
AMERICANS ASK QUESTIONS in a strange way (or maybe it's only us). We will frequently ask an English-speaking Tanzanian a question with a "negative" word in it. For example: Trina may say, "you're not attending school today?" To which they (if they are not attending school today) will answer correctly and say "yes" (meaning, it is true that they are not attending school today). However, we are expecting them to say "no" (meaning they are not attending school today). So around and around we go. Americans would say, "no" and then usually add, "I'm not attending school today" for clarification. If we remember to ask the question without the negative and just say, "Are you attending school today?" then the communication flows much better!
ACSOP NEWS: Sean Hochdorf was sick last week, so Jimmy used Sean's class hours to finish his course on Jeremiah and Lamentations. Therefore, Sean will begin his class on the Minor Prophets this week using Jimmy's class hours to finish his course before the term ends. Cy Stafford continues teaching Personal Evangelism to the second-year students. Each week they have instruction on one day and then, for their class-time the next day they go out and practice what they have learned. The second-year students are scheduled to graduate on November 24.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Gerald Chuchuba, the oldest student in the second year class (67 years old), is a joy to know and is so enthusiastic! Anyone who visits the ACSOP remembers this tall, talkative and friendly man who never meets a stranger. Mr. Chuchuba was educated in Catholic seminaries and was previously employed as the head master of a school. Married, with nine children, he frequently requests prayers that his children will obey the Gospel. Pascal (one of the first two Christians in the Ushirombo area), Yusufu Mdaki and John Hall (former TZ missionary) taught him the Gospel. Mr. Chuchuba says "preaching and bringing lost souls to God has been my zeal since my youth." Having taught many the (true) Gospel, his favorite topic of study at the ACSOP is "evangelism" and he loves "collecting teaching and learning material" in order to build his library. Mr. Chuchuba plans to preach in Ushirombo, Bukombe District in the New Region of Geita, Tanzania after graduating with his BBS degree in November of this year.
"WE'RE AMOEBA FREE!" With the same enthusiasm as Dave Ramsey's radio show listeners who call in and shout "We're Debt Free," we make this announcement (and hope to remain this way)!
"AN HOUR A DAY...keeps the devil away!" quipped Heather, after our discussion of how just one hour of daily Bible reading can help one build a strong spiritual foundation. The value of a day cannot be underestimated.
WE WELCOMED BACK Ahimidiwe (local preacher at Kisongo) after three weeks of traveling. All men and women joined Jimmy's New Convert's class (topic was "The Importance of Bible Reading) this morning because Ahimidiwe was too tired to teach the Men's Class and Paulina wasn't able to translate for the ladies class due to her asthma. Stuart counted 129 in our circle outside where we shake hands!
PRAYERS ANSWERED: Rosemary gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and both are doing fine!
KISONGO BIBLE SCHOOL begins their second quarter on September 3rd (designed for the "person in the pew.") Also, we are happy to report that the men of Kisongo "took the ball and ran" with Jimmy's suggestion that a "Reading and Writing" class be conducted for both members of the church and the community who are illiterate in their own language (Swahili). The aim is to enable church members to read their Bibles and serve as a community outreach program. The teacher is also willing to teach English to any who desire to learn.
"THE LORD SAID TO MOSES, 'TAKE A CENSUS..." (Num. 4:1) Kisongo church members (including us foreigners) were encouraged to "cooperate with the government" and go home quickly in order to be counted when the "census takers" came. If you are not counted then you must report to the "Ten Cell" leader (man who is over ten houses in the neighborhood) similar to how the Israelite leadership was organized (Exodus 18:21).
LOVE AND APPRECIATION is extended toward every one of you for your dedication to the souls in East Africa. We will end this report with the same closing that Terra Gobble used recently in an encouraging email to us . . .
Working for Him with You,
Jimmy, Trina and Family