"...unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3)
Dear Supporters, Family and Friends:
Thank you for reading this report! Everyone is busy with their own lives, yet you take time to stay involved and informed about one of the fastest- growing mission works that we know of...the TZ 2000 Mission work! Team director, Cy Stafford, says, "What God controls, grows!"
This report will cover our past two weeks. Last Sunday, the Kisongo church listened to an inspiring lesson on "Unity" preached by Albert, an ACSOP student. Today Jimmy preached an excellent sermon on "Worship" focusing on knowing God as the foundation of worship. The ladies completed Genesis 39, learning from the life of Joseph.
Last Saturday, Jimmy planned a special surprise and took us to a free horseshow. We met eighty-three-year old Eunice Simonson, who has spent her last fifty-seven years in Tanzania. It was a joy talking about her many adventures in Africa. Jim Klobuchar wrote a book about her and her husband, David, entitled, "The Cross Under the Acacia Tree." (The Simonsons worked with the Lutheran denomination). Eunice wrote her own book a few years ago entitled, "I Count My Blessings." We ordered both from Amazon to simply get a "deeper" perspective of Tanzania. After being in Africa a mere eight years, we've only scratched the surface in our understanding of the people, culture and language.
Hongara! Congratulations are in order for former TZ missionary, Ben Thompson, on his recent engagement to Elizabeth Box.
A first-year student, Julius (featured in our last report) asked for prayers for his pregnant wife who has a growth near their unborn baby of 4 months. Right now, his wife is on some medication to help with the pain. He says there is a possibility the doctors will want to operate and "extract" the baby (who obviously will not survive at this stage). Pray this tumor or cyst will stop growing so this baby can grow to be full-term. You may find it difficult to believe what Julius and others have said concerning women and serious medical care in Tanzania (operations, cancer treatment, etc): that is, a grown woman cannot have an operation or treatment for cancer UNLESS her husband or mother-in-law signs for it giving THEIR permission (if single, a woman's father or uncle would probably have the say-so). A woman can be denied treatment based on her husband or mother-in-laws' opinion and she can also be forced to have an operation if the doctor and her husband agree. Simple freedoms enjoyed in America are strange thoughts in other lands, especially in East Africa.
Sijui (see-jew-ee) One of our favorite visiting teachers, Buddy Fry, mentioned in his last class that he remembered the Swahili word "sijui" but had momentarily forgotten the meaning. After asking several Tanzanians what the word meant, he was surprised that all the students said, "I don't know." He laughed when our daughter Lindsey finally cleared things up by saying, "The word literally means 'I don't know!'"
After noticing that Rosie came to Bible class without a Bible, we invited her to our house to get a brand-new one from the supply bought by the Union Grove church of Christ (Cleveland, TN). Their gift is still blessing people. Can you imagine people in the states not having enough money to buy a Bible?
"We've come a long way, baby!" Speaking of money, the furlough funds still lacking are only $4000. Will your congregation be one of four that we hope will send a check for $1000? Our heart-felt thanks to all the congregations and the many individuals that have sacrificed! The new departure date is April 28th (giving us extra time to receive the immigration visas and make the 10-hour trip to the Embassy in Dar es Salaam).
No better news could end this report! A soul was washed clean and added to God's Kingdom today! Esther, pictured on the left with Ahimidiwe, was immersed for the forgiveness of her sins. She was pictured in a previous report and was attending the Kisongo Bible School trying to learn how to read.
Stop the Presses! We've been informed of another baptism just minutes ago. Witness, from the newly established White Rose congregation, decided to become a Christian.
Thank you for letting us be a small part of bringing "the Light" to Tanzanians.
With Love from Africa,
The Jimmy Gee family