Preaching Student Spotlight:
Kelvin Yasin Myombe: Kelvin is a first year student in our Swahili program at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching. He comes to us from the Uzinje Church of Christ in Mbeya, Tanzania. Kelvin became a Christian in 2009 and had dreamed of finding a place to have formal Bible training since that time. In his words, ACSOP is a dream come true!
The first quarter of the year is drawing to a close. The students and I have broken each other in, so to speak. They’ve had to adjust to my accent and teaching style. I’ve had to adjust to their backgrounds and capabilities.
Some of the students are older men, who haven’t been in school for many years, and have had to learn how to be students all over again. Others are young and fresh out of secondary school. Some are married and have children at home. Others are single and looking forward to starting a family one day in the future. Some are from Tanzania, but many are from the surrounding nations. All have come together with the aim of deepening their Bible knowledge and being better able to share their faith with others.
I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers as they finish writing papers and taking exams. Then they will have a week off, followed by an intensive one-week short course. Afterwards we’ll be ready for the second quarter to begin.
Our team is about to shrink drastically. The McVeighs, a young couple here on a one-year missions internship from Bear Valley are approaching the end of their commitment. They will soon be returning home to continue their service to the Lord in the U.S.
Also the Gee family is reaching the end of the foreign missions portion of their lives and are preparing to return home after around 10 years of service in Tanzania. Jimmy has been a tremendous asset to the school and leaves a good legacy behind.
We are deeply grateful for the service rendered to our Lord and for the friendship given to us by these families. We will miss them greatly and wish them the very best of fortune in whatever their future holds.
If you have seen the ever popular movie The Grinch or read the Dr. Seuss book, you know all about Whoville. Well, that’s where I live. At least that’s where I live in my head. I live in a place where I don’t know the language and everything feels and looks different to me. When I am in worship I often feel like the Grinch at the end of the movie when they are in a circle singing the Who song and he just makes up words, i.e. “fa who ra moo...” to still be singing along. When I am at someone’s home eating or even at a restaurant the food is different, although not all bad. It reminds me of the Grinch as he is judging the food events as the Holiday Cheermeister. There are people everywhere in the streets rushing too and fro in vehicles that are strange and unfamiliar to this Alabama girl. The dress and hairdos are normal to them but make this Mzungu (white person) mama stand out like a sore thumb. I am the Grinch in a foreign country. I do not fit in. I talk different, look different, and act different. But, unlike the Grinch throughout most of the story, I am trying. I am slowly learning the language. I eat what is offered. I am adjusting to the crazy traffic and vehicles.
Although everything is so very different here in Whoville, I mean, Arusha, there are thousands of souls here that need Christ. When I see others I see a soul, not a skin color or strange dress. Underneath the different language, dress, hair, and lifestyle is a soul in need of the gospel. That’s when I realize I DO fit in. I too am a soul in need of the gospel and the saving grace of our Lord. We are all living different lives heading to the same ultimate ending. I want to go to Heaven and I want to take as many of these Tanzanian Who’s as I can! I want to sing “fa who ra moo” at the top of my lungs as we praise our Father. Because although we are different in so many ways here on earth, in Heaven we will all be one in the same.
DUE TO AN INTERNET GLITCH on the U.S. side, there are two reports from the Gaines family this week. The second, and most recent, is below.
Welcome to the Family Brother!
It has been a great day here in Arusha. This morning on our way to church, we were stopped by the guard at a security gate that we have to pass through each day. He has been filling out Swahili correspondence courses that I have been giving him. I thought at first that he was wanting the next lesson in the course. But he excitedly proclaimed that he wanted to be baptized after work today. We rejoiced together over the decision. After finding out when he would get off of work, we went on our way.
We were there promptly when work was over to take him to the school to be baptized. We introduced him to the students and to Ahimedewe (the evangelist at the Kisongo congregation), who warmly received and encouraged him. Then we watched as he reenacted the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ by being baptized. He then returned home with the bounce in his step that comes from knowing that his sins have been washed away! Praise God for making moments like this possible by His grace!
To see Daniel’s report with pictures and a video clip of the baptism, please click here.
Daniel Gaines family