Much excitement as Tanzania Missions continues to expand
It’s hard to believe but this report coincides with the beginning of our third year since returning to Tanzania. Like life for all people around the globe sometimes it feels like time has flown by and other times it feels like the clock has stopped. Regardless of how it feels, the work here continues to go forward at an amazing pace. The mission team, coupled with so many local brethren, is overwhelmed (in a positive way) with the amount of work we are facing. It is a great blessing to have such a talented pool of people working in their various areas of expertise, all in an effort to broadcast the gospel. We have brethren that can preach, teach, evangelize and write. Others handle the work’s translation needs; both written and spoken, technical needs, printing needs, construction and facility improvement needs. Still others are nurses, cooks, cleaners, organizers, artists, facilitators, project managers and motivators. On and on the list could go and we are so blessed to be able to truthfully say so! And lest I be remiss, we have you, faithful, sacrificial and generous supporters – thank you! With servants on both sides of the world Tanzania Missions is a working picture of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. We realize, however, that there is always room for additional growth and it is here that we propose a golden opportunity for the furtherance of the gospel in East Africa.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION…ALMOST
While on furlough last year myself and Cy Stafford were blessed to be able to agree to terms with Rudy Cain, general manager of World Video Bible School in Maxwell, Texas, who had everything we needed to start a high quality video production studio. The equipment is almost new and is in pristine condition. The sticker price was in the neighborhood of $20,000+ and Rudy could have easily sold it and recouped his money. However, his interests were more toward the benefit of the kingdom and he agreed to sell it to Tanzania Missions for $10,000! Further to our benefit, Rudy is allowing us to pay it off over the course of 2014. How blessed we are, again!
We stepped out in faith and agreed to purchase the equipment. I brought everything back with us when we returned from our furlough and we are chomping at the bit to get set up and start recording.
In order to fund this endeavor, Cy Stafford, our mission team leader, has asked that each missionary family make a plea to their current supporters, and any other brethren that might be interested, to help us cover this investment. We need to pay for the equipment and complete a dedicated space for the studio. The grand total for the equipment and the space is estimated at $15,000. Thus far, others on our mission team have raised $1700 leaving us with a balance of $13,300.
Brethren, this is a tremendous opportunity to further help reach the millions of souls in East Africa. We know you are taxed with so many financial obligations but we beg on behalf of the lost for your help. God, through your generosity, can make this happen.
If you plan on helping it is important that you pay attention to this: DON’T SEND THESE FUNDS TO OUR REGULAR SPONSOR. These funds should be made out and sent to:
Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver
C/O (EARMARKED): TANZANIA MISSIONS VIDEO STUDIO
2707 S. Lamar Street
Denver, Colorado 80227
If you are going to help would you mind dropping me a line so I can let the others on our team know? By doing so we can share in the joy of your gift and keep track of where we are in obtaining our goal.
The picture at the top of the page is the Maji Ya Chai church of Christ. Anita and I had the privilege of visiting and worshiping with these good brethren recently. The Maji Ya Chai congregation has benefitted greatly from our sponsoring congregation, the 2nd & Adams church of Christ (2acoc) in Elk City, OK. 2acoc has held a number of campaigns in the area and has generously contributed by supplying the funds to build the church building and preachers residence. 2acoc plans on sending another group this June for further campaigns in the area.
Anita is well on her way of painting the mural at ACSOP. We are all excited to see what the finished product will look like. If you want to follow her progress, take a look at our Tanzania Missions Facebook page.
I have been working on the shelves and mobile work islands for the Arusha Bible School. Hopefully they should be done in a couple weeks. It is really easy to take for granted the resources available in the U.S. as this project has reminded me. There is no such thing here as a flat sheet of plywood and my work sometimes looks like a blind drunk put it together. In the end it will work, I just wish it looked a little better.
The Arusha Bible School (ABS) will be the hub for the new resource center. Books, magazines, brochures, visuals, DVD’s, computers with bible software, regular classes, etc., will all be part of the resource center. Area congregations will be able to check out materials to assist them in their teaching and evangelistic efforts.
While we are on the subject of ABS, a very encouraging thing happened there last week. A man came in and inquired about what type of school it was, how much is the tuition, etc.… The Massawe’s (a faithful couple that live and work at ABS) informed the man that they taught the Bible from cover-to-cover and that there is no tuition. It is free to any who wish to attend. He then related that he was a denominational preacher and he wanted to enroll and he wanted his entire congregation to enroll! He and several others in his congregation have already turned in their applications and will start school in the near future.
Recently we visited the home of Saitote, one of our guards, and his wife, Pendo. We enjoyed playing with their newborn son Joshua, having some soda and getting to know them a little better. I have had a few bible studies with Saitote and hope to have more with him in the near future. We hope he and his wife will come to Christ one day.
During the month of January we had the privilege of being the host for the Friday night mission team devotionals. Each week we get together for a potluck and have some good fellowship, singing and studying the Bible.
From time-to-time we are asked about the highs and lows, the victories and the frustrations, of being missionaries in a developing country. In the past week we were faced with one such challenge. I think what makes it so frustrating is that things like these are out of our control and we must simply deal with it. This past week our electricity cost went up. Sure, utilities go up, it’s part of the world we live in right? But when is the last time your utilities went up almost 45% without any warning?! To add insult to injury, this is the second time Tanesco (the government run juice supplier) has raised rates in the last two years. Our electricity now costs almost 90% more than it did just two years ago, that’s right 90%! The poor citizens of Tanzania are rioting because of the rate hike as they can’t afford it at all. Add this to a 7% inflation rate and, usually, no increase in pay and the poor only get poorer. Pray for them that there can be some relief.
As I close, Anita and I offer our thanks for your continued support. We hope and pray that your labor in the kingdom is filled with joy and that when discouragement and trials come your way you bless the Father and give no place to the wicked one. We pray for the church in America often and we ask that you petition the Father on behalf of the church here as well.
Until next time, take care and God bless,
Sean and Anita Hochdorf