"Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." Ps. 119:105
Dear Family, Friends and Supporters:
Thank you so much for your interest and support of our family these past ten years as we have worked with the TZ 2000 Mission Team (2001-2002, 2005-2014). As you may imagine, there have been the normal adjustments/challenges that all missionaries face plus many fulfilling and rewarding moments as people respond positively to the Gospel. However, after months of prayer, we are planning to return to the states on a permanent basis as soon as Jimmy secures a position.
There are several reasons a missionary (or anyone in any vocation) may decide it's time for a "new chapter" in their lives. Some missionaries return due to family issues, difficulty adjusting to the culture, illness, problems with their mission team or the church, or their term of commitment has ended. Although there are many positives about living and working in a foreign land, the biggest challenge for most missionaries has been and remains to be, fund-raising. Many more might go into the mission field were it not for the overwhelming stress of securing/maintaining funds. This fund-raising issue is the reason we are returning, and NOT because of any problems with the mission work, whether it be the direction or doctrinal stance of it. The TZ 2000 Mission work remains strong.
Many have given very sacrificially and have made this work "your" work. Our appreciation cannot be adequately stated in words. However, many times congregations and/or individuals find it necessary to discontinue their support...even if they are still in great favor of the work and the fruit it bears. Congregations may face many financial problems and feel they must take care of needs at home first. This is very understandable. During furlough last year, our family of 11 traveled 15,000 miles reporting on the work and trying to make up the deficit in our support. However, very little monthly support was raised.
For your loyalty and devotion, we thank you immensely. Our family has been privileged to have been a small part of the great success of TZ 2000. Our work has mainly centered around the Andrew Connally School of Preaching and the Kisongo congregation (Jimmy has served as Dean of Academics and continues to be an instructor and director as the new director is transitioned into the position). More than 130 men have been trained to preach and have graduated from the ACSOP. Numerous Bible classes, sermons, and seminars on Bible subjects have been taught to many people. Our family has also engaged in personal evangelism, encouragement and benevolent work.
Currently, the TZ 2000 Mission team consists of three other full-time missionary families (plus one intern couple) who will continue the work. Also, numerous Tanzanian evangelists work diligently to further the Kingdom in East Africa. It has been rewarding to see God raising up the Tanzanians into leadership positions. This work was not begun by the Gee family and will certainly not end with our leaving.
After ten years of service in Africa, a part of our hearts will remain with the Tanzania 2000 Mission work and hope you will continue praying for it. However, we are literally "taking our work home with us" in that four precious Tanzanian souls were adopted into our family and we will continue teaching them for a lifetime. While still waiting on obtaining immigrant visas, our hopes are to arrive in the states in mid-May of this year. If each of you could continue your support until the end of August we would be most grateful for your love and loyalty (while we find a job and settle into a new home).
Our daughter, Abigail, will be returning to Tanzania in the fall/winter of 2014 to continue her work of establishing a library (with an emphasis on Bible teaching) in Kisongo. With God's help and that of the brethren, this eighteen-year-old has obtained a sponsoring congregation, over 1,000 books and the use of two acres on the ACSOP property on which to build this library. An article concerning her dream to further educate Tanzanians has been submitted to the Brotherhood News, with hopes of publication soon.
Concerning the happenings for the past three weeks: Gary Fallis taught two short courses for the Masters' students ("The Gospel of John" and “Hebrews"). A new area is being evangelized this year (Njiro Chini) and the Kisongo church participated in "knocking doors" yesterday. Abigail held two Bible studies as the group worked to introduce this community to the church. Today, the very first worship service was held in that area. The new church plant for last year was White Rose and they continue meeting, worshipping and gaining new members.
Jimmy returned last night after teaching for one week ("The Gospel of John") at the Chimala Bible Institute in Chimala, Tanzania. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dennis Dickey and daughter, Mariah. Dennis will be teaching the Gospel of John to the bachelor level students and Mariah will keep busy with other projects that the missionary women have for her.
Kisongo Bible School just enrolled students in their new quarter. This school, designed for the person in the pew, accepts non-Christians but has a specified number of slots designed for Christians only (giving them first priority for a seat in the classroom).
Thirty-two new Swahili students have enrolled in the ACSOP and will begin classes this week. Jimmy continues teaching the Bible class at the Kisongo congregation on I, II, and III John. Last week, in Jimmy's absence, Edwin Kashumba (Master's student and valedictorian of his bachelor's class) preached on the subject of "Christian Service" as it pertains to helping others. He said that long ago, due to conflict in a congregation in Dar es Salaam and, simply on the basis of some complaints, he and some other church members were arrested and put in a jail cell early one morning. Other cell-mates in the jail were asking why Edwin was there. Being scared of all the criminals there, he said he momentarily thought about lying and saying he was a murderer in order to gain their respect. However, he realized he should tell the truth. One of the men asked if he would study the Bible with him after Edwin was released (later that evening). Long story short, Edwin kept in touch with him after the man was transferred to a maximum security prison. When the man was released, he was baptized and became a student at the Tanzania Bible School. Edwin was encouraging us to help and serve everyone in whatever situation we find ourselves in because great results can come!
Thank you again for your participation with us in the work of teaching and reaching lost souls in Tanzania and all of East Africa (where the ACSOP students return to their homes). We have enjoyed this journey with you and are looking forward to introducing you to those in heaven whom you helped hear the Gospel. What a wonderful day that will be!
With Love from Africa,
The Jimmy Gee family