Dear Fellow Workers,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "One man with courage makes a majority." --Andrew Jackson
"BLESSED BE THE DEAD WHO DIE IN THE LORD...so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." (Rev. 14:13) Elizabeth McCutchen, whom we became acquainted with at Zachary Church of Christ in Zachary, LA passed from this life yesterday. She was one of the nicest people we have ever known. Elizabeth and her sister, Maxine, were quiet a pair and we enjoyed many laughs with them! As a strong and generous supporter of our TZ work, Elizabeth was an encourager and quietly did her good deeds. We know her family will remember her with joy and she will be missed greatly.
NO HURRY IN AFRICA: Last Sunday we returned home quickly to await the census takers (in Swahili, the "sensa"). About 5 pm, a "sensa" worker asked us to remain at home tomorrow morning (Monday) until 8 am until the person came to count us. Two days later, on Wednesday, a census worker arrived and recorded our names, ages and our country of origin. A few days later someone else from the census office came, not knowing we had already been counted. At the risk of sounding cynical, we don't expect this census to be real accurate.
LET'S SCRATCH IT AND START ALL OVER AGAIN: Another government issue concerns the residency permits. All resident permits have been cancelled and everyone is being asked to reapply all over again and turn in all new documents. Can anyone spell F-U-N? ha/ha
NEW CONVERTS CLASS: Approximately 15 people listened as Jimmy taught concerning the memorization of Scripture as a help to have the Bible in our minds. Two new converts (Rehema and Nice), along with their families, will be moving this week to Kikatiti (near Usa River) to work on a farm. Lindsey and Abigail are especially disappointed these two young girls (early twenties, this is young in TZ) are leaving our neighborhood. However, jobs in Kisongo are scarce and people must eat. Jimmy has already looked into getting them in communication with the local congregation.
NO TRANSLATER, NO CLASS: Paulina's mother, recovering from eye surgery, became very sick last night and Paulina was not able to be at services today and translate for Trina. Lord willing, the Ladies class will resume studying Genesis next Sunday when Paulina returns. The ladies joined the men's class where Ahimidiwe continued his study of the book of Acts (and also preached). Stuart counted 99 in worship today.
KISONGO BIBLE SCHOOL begins the 2nd quarter tomorrow. Classes offered will be "Introduction to the Bible, Part II" (taught by Jimmy), "The book of Job," "Matthew," "Bible Geography," "Reading and Writing Swahili" and "English." Because flyers were posted around town advertising the English class, a lady came inquiring about them and stayed for Bible class today.
KENYA SCHOOL OF PREACHING: Forgive us if this sounds weird, but the TZ 2000 Mission Work reminds us of an old horror movie called "The Blob" (maybe an episode of "The Twilight Zone") which was viewed when young (keep reading before you cancel your support ...ha/ha). If you saw the movie you will recall this big rubbery-liquid black "blob" going all through town growing bigger and bigger as it traveled, affecting everyone in its path. No one could control it or stop it because it had a mind of its own. The bigger it became, the more powerful it was. In a strange sort of way, we see similarities to the growth of the TZ 2000 Mission Work here in East Africa! It is exciting news that, sponsored by the Charlotte Avenue church of Christ in Rock Hill, SC, the Kenya School of Preaching is scheduled to open its doors in October! This school is the result of the efforts of Bear Valley Bible Institute, Mike Reese, Keith Kasarjian and the Charlotte Avenue elders. Charles Ogutu, valedictorian graduate of the ACSOP class of 2007, will be the director of this school. And, almost all instructors scheduled to teach are ACSOP graduates. We believe we can safely claim that this type of growth was beyond anyone's expectations. To God be the glory that a graduate would help establish a preaching school in another country so soon after graduation.
ACSOP STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Isaac Richard Mwangonde, a Master's student, is married to a Christian, and has three girls. After growing up in a Presbyterian family with an alcoholic, polygmous father, Isaac was honored as the valedictorian when he graduated with his B.A. several years ago. While his home congregation is in Mbeya (southern TZ), he preaches about 60 km from there at a new church plant consisting of two members. Isaac was taught the Gospel in Malawi during his secondary schooling when a member of the church visited and distributed tracts. This church member was also allowed to teach Bible to the students. Isaac was baptized in September of 1985. "Greek" was his favorite undergraduate course and "Criticism of the Old and New Testaments" were his favorite post-graduate classes. Isaac loves the ACSOP library facilities.
LET NO ONE DESPISE THY YOUTH: Lindsey and Abigail recently left to conduct their regular Sunday studies at the homes of Grace and Nice today. As their mother, Trina is more than thrilled at their maturity and love of lost souls at such a young age. All four older girls also enjoy preparing meals for new mothers or people with sickness in their families (and had occasion to do so twice this past week). Speaking of Nice, a former Muslim, she changed her Muslim name to "Nice" when she joined the Pentecostal church. Thankfully, she is a New Testament Christian in the church that Christ purchased (but doesn't need to change her name again).
KARIBU (welcome) ... to Adam Miller (returning worker) and newcomer Scott Baggett who arrived this past week! They have been doing campaign follow-up work in Kwa Mrombo. Today they worshipped in Moshi where they will work for the rest of the week. We appreciate their hard work and dedication to the church in Tanzania.
THE ANNUAL TANZANIA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE is scheduled for October of this year. The Bible character/topic assigned to Trina was "Abigail" and her contribution to the Kingdom. She is looking forward to learning more about her through study and teaching the ladies about her life and characteristics so we may emulate her strength and courage.
"May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!" 2 Thess. 3:16. Thank you for your support!
In Christian Love,
The Jimmy Gee family