Tanzania Chronicles...

Furlough Keeps Us Hopping

We hope this report finds each of you doing well in your labor for the Lord. We are well into our furlough having traveled nearly 11,000 miles reporting to supporters and presenting the work to prospective supporters. While our reports during furlough are short we nonetheless wanted to keep you up to date about what we are doing.

Our furlough began with our preparing for mom’s cancer surgery. Our prayers, and yours, were answered when the surgeon reported that all the cancer was removed and there was no need for any radiation or chemotherapy. At the time of this writing she has made a full recovery.

We were privileged to make the trek out to Sevierville, Tennessee for this years Polishing the Pulpit. Over 3000 brethren gathered for a week of classes, lectures, worship and fellowship. Anita and I attended most of the sessions about mission work and came away greatly edified. The week was such a shot in the arm that we are still riding high on the encouragement we received. If you have never attended PTP you are missing out. Take your vacation time, pack your suitcases, grab the family and go! You will not regret it.

Since we were already so far East we took advantage of the opportunity to report/present the work across Virginia and Tennessee. In every congregation we have been able to visit with brethren that have made campaign trips to Tanzania and hear them reminisce about their visit. Without exception, everyone we spoke with says their trip was a life-changing experience. Have you ever thought of visiting Tanzania or leading a campaign group over? It’s time to stop dreaming and start planning. We will do whatever we can to assist or encourage you and we anxiously look forward to picking you up at the airport for your life-changing journey.

After returning from our East Coast swing we spent some time making final preparations for Madeleine’s wedding. Finishing touches were wrapped up just hours before the ceremony and at 7:00pm on September 27th Caleb and Madeleine were married. We were very appreciative of the encouraging number of people there to witness the beginning of Caleb and Maddie’s life together. Please pray for them as they begin their journey.

Once the wedding was over we were back on the road the next morning to meet with a couple of congregations on Sunday. Lord willing we will continue to do so until our furlough comes to a close. We are still trying to make up a substantial budget shortfall. If you know of any person or congregation that might be willing to meet with us, we would be grateful for the contact information.

The work in Tanzania continues to be blessed by the Lord through the hands of our brethren and fellow mission teammates. I received the following from Cy Stafford, our team leader, this past Sunday:

Our dear brother Theofilo Songie, one of our 120 graduates, is a good example of what the Lord can do when we; “entrust God’s Word to faithful men, who in turn are able to teach others”, (note: 2 Timothy 2.2, Paul’s instructions to Timothy). Note a part of his recent report: “Brethren, I hope that our Lord is blessing you in all what you are doing in His kingdom. I am doing fine in the Lord. Right now I am visiting brother Francis Wechesa in Uganda. I came to share with him about my plans of taking the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to Lubumbashi my home town in Katanga province in D.R.C.

After living in Tanzania for 8 years God showed His mercy to me that the Gospel of our Lord Christ was preached to me and I became a christian. When God opened a way for the Gospel to be taken to CONGO, I was among those who were selected to go. We were sent to the Province of South KIVU in UVIRA town which is about 2,000 klm to Lubumbashi....We have planted six congregations in South Kivu that is, Uvira town congregation, Baraka, Kikwena, Lweba, Fizi, and Mboko. The total number of Christians in these six congregations are about 145 Christians. One Christian has been trained in Uganda by brother Francis and other six are being trained there now and will be graduating next year in May.”

Several of our graduates have gone out and planted and are working with several congregations. These are purely “indigenous”, self-reliant, self-propagating congregations of the Lord’s people. Yes, “what God controls, grows”. The number one problem we face today is training enough men to fill the needs of the many new church plants throughout East Africa. With God’s blessings, your prayers and help, we know this can and will be accomplished.

And so we close on that good note. Thank you so much for your prayer support and financial support. Until next time, take care and God bless.

Yours in Christ,

Posted on October 6, 2013 .