Dear Family, Friends and Supporters:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Because we invest most of our days working in exchange for money, there is a very real sense in which our money represents us. Therefore how we use it expresses who we are, what our priorities are and what's in our hearts." --Donald S. Whitney
The above quote is from the writer of the book, "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" recently used in the class, "The Spiritual Development of the Preacher." We believe the quote is a true statement and it really "packs a punch" (making us examine more closely how we spend our money).
The Storks and their friend, Brian Simon, have "kept the dust flying" (instead of keeping the pavement hot) with their studies and all their activity. We are almost afraid to mention all the names of people baptized for fear of leaving someone out. However, we will try: Basilika and Esther (mother and daughter with whom Steven Akin had previously studied with and Todd Storks continued), Alex and wife Joyce, Elias and possibly his wife, Naomi...all who live right here in our neighborhood. And also Mary, whom they met on the side of the road and asked her if she wanted to study. Susan and Haley Storks and Caitlyn Middleton also kept busy painting cardboard for VBS with Anita Hochdorf. When asked what was the weirdest thing she had seen in Tanzania, Susan replied, "A goat on a motorcycle...wedged between two people." That would have been a good picture! We've witnessed goats being crammed into the back of a dala-dala (mini-van) but not on a motorcycle. On a very sad note, we heard that while some of the Storks were conducting a Bible study that a small child died in the house (not sure why, but possibly from dehydation due to malaria or amoeba). As far as we know, Caitlyn is still busy with Bible studies and Lindsey and Abigail are conducting two at this writing.
Wesley Storks, son of Todd and Susan taught Bible class at Kisongo on Thursday. This young man has been to several preacher camps under the direction of Roger Shepherd. He had a very good lesson and delivered it extremely well. We know his mom and dad are very proud of him.
Ahimidiwe (preacher at Kisongo) has organized a visitation program to encourage the new converts (and one restored, a total of 14 people). Due to the low attendance for mid-week Bible study the past few weeks, Ahimidiwe met with us in order to keep us accountable for the person assigned to us. Speaking of Ahimidiwe, he will be traveling for three weeks to the East African Gospel Meeting, a youth camp in Ahono, Kenya and another campaign. Ahimidiwe is a product of the ACSOP and a real asset to the church in Tanzania, the preaching school and to the Kisongo Bible School. Pray for his safety, as well as Charles Heberth, Cy Stafford, Sean Hochdorf and Elly Martin as they also travel to some of the events, please.
Stuart counted 107 in attendance at Kisongo, where Emmanuel (Master's Student) preached a great lesson on showing love (in the church and in our homes). We were surprised that as a young, single man he had such insight. Abigail was unable to actually teach the children's class because her translator (Happiness) stayed home with her sick little brother. So Abigail sang songs with the children and let them color. The ladies class studied Genesis 28, discussing topics such as the wisdom of marrying within the "spiritual family" (Issac charged Jacob that he should not marry "from the daughters of Canaan" but should go "to house of Bethuel your mother's father" for a wife. He wanted Jacob to marry within their physical family.) Also discussed was the topic of "feelings' and how sometimes, like Esau, we make poor choices when hurt or angry (vs. 6-9).
ACSOP news: Due to Roger Shepherd's heart problems, he will not be traveling to Tanzania. Both classes he was scheduled for ("Church Planting and Growth" and "Cross-cultural Evangelism) have been assigned as independent study courses. Please pray for Roger and the doctors that attend to him.
TWO WIVES, TWENTY-FIVE CHILDREN, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN GRANDCHILDREN AND THIRTY-FIVE GREAT GRANDCHILDREN...comprised the family of the recently deceased father of Kisongo church member, Abbas (and you thought our family was large). Crowds of people attended and many were obviously well-off due to the number of vehicles. Chris Akin will never forget the question Mr. Abbas asked him the very last session of the Marriage Seminar. After eight sessions of all kinds of questions, this one "took the cake" so to speak. Chris put his hands up, shook his head and replied, "I'm finished" and sat down. It was one of those situations where it was very funny... but it wasn't. We're glad that the Akins plan to come over for several more summers and work here (regardless of the strange questions asked).
The children gave out tracts two days this week, in our neighborhood (two young men stood there for about 5 minutes reading them) and at the market (where several people were asking for them). The receptivity of the TZ people here reminds me of the familiar story of the two shoe salesmen who went to Africa. One returns with the sad story that it's hopeless because no one wears shoes while the other one sees a marvelous opportunity. Folks, I'm here to tell you that in terms of the Gospel, there is GREAT opportunity!
9/ll...At the orthodontist's office, Abigail was given a choice of three dates for the September appointment. Not thinking about the specific date, she chose Tuesday (the 11th). Our (very nice) Muslim orthodontist (from India) replied, "do you think you will remember or shall I write it down?" When Abigail smiled and said to just write it down, he said, "O.K. just don't bring a bomb."
MORE VALUABLE THAN HUMANS? An ACSOP student commented that if you kill an elephant in Tanzania (even if aggressive toward you or your life is in danger) without a permit the fine is six million shillings (about $3800). However, if an elephant kills a person, the government pays the deceased's family 200,000 shillings (about $125) which would not even pay for the person's burial. Something to think about and strange that true stories like this hardly phase us anymore because such are becoming more common (remember the man put in jail because he killed a large rodent in his garden?) JIMMY: CAN YOU FIND picture of man standing beside elephant or just elephant?
FAMILY NEWS: Saturday, we visited the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation center in Moshi (about a 1.5 hour drive). We came to check it out because we have an appointment in September for Matthew. For five days, he will be assessed by specialists of all kinds, given special therapy and we will be told what he needs to reach his potential. They provide wheelchairs and all kinds of quality equipment for the disabled. We've read great reports about this place. Jimmy, Abigail, Matthew and his therapist (Lucy) will stay in Moshi while the therapy goes on that week.
Lindsey just called and said Nice wants to be baptized into Christ! What a grand way to end this report! As always, we appreciate all of you and your dedication to the work here in Tanzania, East Africa! Thank you for your prayers that help make this work so successful!
In Christian Love,
The Jimmy Gee family