Some ask about special needs that the work might have. Here are a few things that are on our current needs list:
Printing—$10,000: Our regular readers know that I have many times touted the value of the written word in Tanzania. With so few printed resources available in Swahili, the ones that we are able to produce become hot commodities. Printing is inexpensive, but we distribute hundreds of thousands of tracts and correspondence courses each year. At just 2 cents each, $10,000 will let us produce 500,000 pieces of evangelistic literature to distribute in 2015.
Bibles—$15,000: There is power in the Word. One of the greatest things that we can do for those who are spiritually impoverished is to place a Bible in their hands, and let them experience the transformative power of God’s word. At $6 a piece, $15,000 will allow us to purchase 2.500 Bibles to distribute to hungry souls in East Africa.
Sponsor a Preaching Student—$2,400/$4,800: The Andrew Connally School of Preaching will have a new intake of students in Feb. 2015. It cost $200 per month, per student, to operate the school. This includes: student support, staff salaries, food, utilities, etc. So, for $2,400 a year or $4,800 for the entire two year program, you can sponsor a student in his preparation to be a gospel preacher.
Gaines Furlough Fund—$2,000: An important part of the work of a missionary is to keep the brethren informed about the great things that God is doing in the area. A part of that is reporting to interested parties. It is a great pleasure to talk to our brothers and sisters about the work, but travel has its expenses. We could use donations to offset some of those costs. Also, we do have just a few slots available. If you would like for me to visit with your congregation, then contact me soon so that we can get you on the calendar.
We are thrilled to be hosting our friend and brother, Mike Greene, this week. Mike is the pulpit minister at our overseeing congregation, Lehman Avenue. He has come to help by teaching a short course at ACSOP and to get a first-hand look at the work.
It is wonderful for sponsors to send representatives into the field to visit the works that they contribute to significantly. This encourages the missionary and furthers the sending church—missionary relationship. If that is not the current practice at your congregation, then I encourage you to give it some consideration.
I’m tired. I’m tired of a foreign language, lifestyle, and culture. I’m weary of boiling water, bleaching vegetables, and being completely covered in dust 24/7. I’m exhausted from the lack of driving rules, constant power outages, and being judged by the color of my skin first and foremost. I’m broken from seeing poverty at it’s worst with large families in one room mud huts with no belongings, starving children, and lack of healthcare for so many. I scream on the inside as I see countless Muslim children that have virtually no hope of knowing our Savior.
After an entire year in Africa my life will never be the same. Living in a third world culture has impacted me in so many ways. I want little in the way of physical things and I want so much more in the way of spiritual things. I long for everyone to know Christ and for this time away from home and family to not be in vain. I pray that God will bless the people of this country and that we will be together in Heaven where we no longer worry about all of the things afore mentioned.
I’m blessed. I’m blessed to be able to live as a king among paupers. I am thankful God has allowed me to touch lives, hold orphaned babies, and sing praises in a foreign language. I am grateful that my children see daily what it is like to have nothing and to give to those less fortunate. I am shocked by the loving nature of those who are impoverished to be so giving from what they have. I am blessed to know Christ as my Savior and to have the opportunity to share that good news with others who are eager to receive His word.
This year has not been easy, but it has been bountiful and blessings abound. Please continue to pray for our work, the lives of Tanzanians, and that God’s will be done in all things. Mungu Akubariki! God bless you!