Greetings Fellow Workers:
We greet you with hearts of joy and thanksgivings. You are making a difference in the lives of countless souls here in Tanzania, throughout East Africa, and to the glory of God. Much has been accomplished on the one hand, yet there is so much yet to do. We are often reminded of the fact we are at the right place, doing the right thing, and at the right time. As we have seen in the case of Ukraine, doors can open and doors can close!
This past week, I was privileged to teach on “Foundations for Missions.” It was refreshing to see the students light up as they began to really understand the true purpose of the New Testament church, yes, their (our) purpose. In the afternoons, as part of their class work, students went into the community meeting and studied with the people. Toward the end of class, each of them expressed their delight in what they had learned and for the amazing experience of sharing God’s love, grace, and the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. One commented, “It was not as scary as I thought and so encouraging to see the joy in the people when they learned of God’s love for them and of the hope of salvation in Christ.” Here are a couple of quotes from one of our text books. I really got a lot out of these quotes and hopefully you will as well:
Have you ever asked yourself the following question? “What is the task of the church of our Lord, our task?” The task we are commissioned with can be glorious and challenging, exciting and frightening, refreshing and exhausting. As Henry C. Thiessen puts it in seven statements: ‘The purpose of the church is to “glorify God, to edify itself, to purify itself, to educate its constituency, to evangelize the world, to act as a restraining and enlightening force in the world, to promote all that is good.’”
Hugh Thomson Kerr puts the emphasis where it ought to be: “We are sent not to preach sociology but salvation; not economics but evangelism; not reform but redemption; not culture but conversion; not progress but pardon; not a new social order but a new birth; not revolution but regeneration; not renovation but revival; not resuscitation but resurrection; not a new organization but a new creation; not democracy but the gospel; not civilization but Christ; we are ambassadors not diplomats.”
It is a beautiful thing to witness first-century Christianity alive and well in the twenty-first century. May we, the church, awaken to the great need of this world, EVANGELISM! We are thankful that our brother Neil Richey and four others have arrived safely. Neil will be teaching in the ACSOP this coming week while the others engage in follow-up Bible studies here at Kisongo, resulting from the East Africa Gospel meeting that took place in August.
Let us be reminded; “They went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs followed.” (Mark 16:20) So must we!
Cy, Stephanie & Granny