Daniel offered me the opportunity to write a guest post this week so I could share with you my impressions from visiting Tanzania and experiencing the mission work firsthand.
This is my 7th time to travel to Africa, dating back to a survey trip to Cameroon in 1980 a few months before we moved there to fulfill a two-year mission commitment. My only previous trip to Tanzania came in 1999 when I traveled with Cy Stafford to investigate the possibility of joining him in the early days of the Tanzania 2000 work here in Arusha. Ultimately, I did not commit to come to Africa at that time, but I saw the tremendous potential for what Cy and Stephanie were planning to undertake.
Now 15 years later, it is easy to see how much progress has been made. All the missionaries who have served here have contributed to some remarkable progress in the Lord’s work. The Andrew Connally School of Preaching has been training preachers for most of that time. Teaching a short course this week to the second year English-speaking students gave me a chance to learn the high quality of young preachers who are graduating from ACSOP. I am highly impressed with these young gospel preachers and what they are going to be able to do for the church in East Africa. I’ve also met several graduates of the school who are already involved in various aspects of planting and strengthening churches in the area around Arusha. New congregations are being established and the cause of Christ is prospering.
If you will pardon me for exhibiting some natural fatherly pride, I must take time to tell you what a fantastic job Daniel and Tiffany Gaines are doing here. They are just a little over six months into their three-year commitment, but they have acclimated themselves to living and working in Tanzania very well. I know well from personal experience that those adjustments are not easy to make. Daniel has made good progress toward being able to communicate in Swahili. He is still studying and will get better, but he is already comfortable communicating in basic conversational Swahili. Daniel is involved in the work of neighborhood congregations around Arusha. He tries to carry out some evangelistic Bible studies each week as well as carrying a teaching load at the school. While Tiffany has her hands full homeschooling a middle-schooler and being Mommy to a one-year-old and a three-year-old, she finds time to get involved in Bible teaching activities with women and children. Bias freely acknowledged, but I think they have become very effective in the work they came to Africa to do.
I know they are grateful to everyone who has supported their work and made it possible for them to be here. Please let me assure you that your support is a great investment in reaching souls and in building up the kingdom.