Learning To Sing In Swahili...

What a month!  Since our last newsletter, we have been busy, busy, busy.    We left off last month telling you about a campaign being conducted by a group from Hoover, Alabama at the Ilkiurei congregation.  The next week, a group from Oklahoma was here to do some work with the church at Usa River.  Then we welcomed Jonathan Page from Kentucky.   Jonathan is here to spend the month working with the church in Moshi. 

The highlight of these visits from American workers for me was this past week when my brother, Jared Gaines, was here.  Jared helped out with follow-up work left from the great campaigns we just had.  He also conducted a workshop to help in the professional development of the staff at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  Meanwhile, his wife and mother-in-law (Lena Gaines and Karen Baskin) helped Tiffany conduct the inaugural children’s seminar (VBS) at the Njiro Chini congregation.

All in all, in the past few weeks hundreds of mosquito nets were distributed to the community along with literature about the church.  Numerous Bible studies have been conducted.  Dozens of baptisms and restorations have resulted, and the church is growing.  For example, the attendance at Ilkiurei has nearly doubled during this time period.  God is good, and He is blessing His work!

Planning for Furlough
It is time to plan for our first furlough back to the States.  Our plan is to be there for the holidays.  I would like to get around to report to as many congregations as possible, but there is only so much time available.  If you would like for me to make a presentation to your congregation, then send me an email, and we will get you on the schedule. 

Communication is the most important part of teaching the Bible. When you work in a country where you cannot fluently speak the language you heavily rely on translators to relay what you are saying. While we are trying to learn Kiswahili, we do not know enough to teach alone. We can decently get through day to day interactions, but not an in depth study. Thankfully we are blessed with sound, hardworking translators that are often ready at a moment’s notice.

Our translators work to translate Bible studies, sermons, Bible class, ladies’ lessons, children’s seminars, written songs and lessons and so much more. These men and women will leave their work to translate for campaign groups and meetings. (Sometimes when you campaign for a week it is easy to forget that the next week other’s come and do the same thing using the same hardworking translators.) Communication could not happen here without teamwork and we are definitely blessed with a great team of translators.

Just recently I had my sweet friend, Neema, translate some children’s songs into Kiswahili for use in Bible class. Now, I can teach them to the ladies at the Preacher’s Wives Class that we hold each month and they can in turn teach them to the ladies and children in their congregation. We have teams of Tanzanians that translate Bible pamphlets, correspondence courses and booklets for use while studying It is such a blessing to have those who are willing to help communicate the need for Christ! I will continue to learn Kiswahili, but while I learn I am so thankful that there are those willing and able to be my mouth and ears when mine fall short.

Here’s a well known song in Kiswahili AND English:

Anipenda ni kweli (Jesus loves me this I know)
Mungu anena hili (for the Bible tells me so)
Sisi wake watoto (Little ones to Him belong)
Kutulinda si zito (they are weak but He is strong)
Yesu Anipenda! (Yes Jesus loves me!)
Yesu Anipenda! (Yes Jesus loves me!)
Kweli Anipenda! (Yes Jesus loves me {truly})
Mungu amesema! (The Bible tells me so!)


Posted on July 27, 2014 .