Wagner Mission Report - January / February 2016

Working With Local Churches
There are so many struggling congregations in Tanzania! They need encouragement and to be “spurred on” to more work in God’s Kingdom. 

We drove to Chamoto, which is about 30 minutes away from the mission. We drove for quite a while into the bush of Africa looking for this congregation. We drove down the road, through muddy roads, trying to find the location for this church building. We reached the village but did not know where the location of the building was. We heard singing – which was quite encouraging! – but as we got close, we heard other shouting and other noises so we knew it wasn’t a church of Christ. We finally stopped and asked a lady – and she happened to be a member of the church! She showed us the church building and prepared the Lord’s Supper trays, but no Christians came to the building. We enjoyed the Lord’s Supper with this good Christian sister and departed back to Chimala.

If you remember last month’s newsletter, I told you of the new church at Mapangala whose building fell down in the rains. Howell and Mary Ferguson have been regularly working with this new church each Sunday and we decided to worship with them to see first-hand the growth of the church.  

After pulling into the community building where the church meets currently, I could tell that the ground was soft from the rains. Another car arrived carrying Christians from a church in Mbeya. They were there to give greetings to the church as well. However, their car buried up in the mud! After church, Howell pulled his Land Cruiser around to pull that other car out and he himself got stuck in the soft mud. We had to dig and find rock and wood to get both Howell’s Land Cruiser and the Mbeya Christian’s cars out of the mud! We did, however, have a very nice meeting with the congregation. They routinely have baptisms and the work is going well at Mapangala. Thanks be to God for new Christians in a new community!

Chimala B “Mission” Church
It is always a pleasure to preach at the Chimala “B” Church of Christ (a.k.a. “mission” church). The church is around 200 members each Sunday, has elders and deacons, and is doing quite well. It is good to see the church in Tanzania growing and maturing in the faith in the Lord! Since the church is doing so well, I do not worship with them often but I am usually out working with small struggling churches. This particular Sunday, however, was different. They asked me to speak at the church for both the AM and PM service. I taught Bible Class on the types of Psalms and preached on Psalm 1 (AM) and 51 (PM). The lessons were well received by all.

Summer Visitors To Chimala
During the summer months, we normally have quite a number of visitors come to Chimala. Some work at the hospital, some teach at the school, and others do a Vacation Bible School. This year is no different. We will have three college groups coming and one of those is one from Crowley’s Ridge College – including my two older daughters! They left in May 2014 and have not returned since so they are excited to come back to the mission and help in the Lord’s work here. While here, they will help with our annual youth seminar and conduct three more Vacation Bible Schools in various villages. They are in the fund raising process and they need a total of $3,000 for the trip. If you can help with their trip, please send me an email.

Chimala Bible Institute / Evangelism Update
The Chimala Bible Institute (CBI) continues to do well and we are thankful to God for His continued blessings. We have had four of our students baptized after coming to school and learning about the truth of God’s Word. They had doubts regarding their own conversion and wanted to make sure all was done correctly. We are thankful to God for their willing and open hearts to the Gospel. 

One of the students from Malawi had to return back his home country due to the death of his father. Death is an all too common occurrence here in Tanzania due to a lack of good medical care and also a lack of basic medical education to the general public. So many do not know the basic warning signs of danger and fail to get their loved ones to the hospital in time. At CBI, we are now going to be able to help the students with their medical care needs. They will be seen at our hospital and receive treatment AT NO COST TO THEM. Since the students cannot hold jobs while in school, they were in need of medical care while at school.

World Evangelism, a work of the Choate family and also Jerry and Paula Bates (regular visitors to Chimala), have sent over several cases of the Voice of Truth International. It has been a blessing to receive these booklets! We use them in multiples ways at Chimala. We hand them out to police officers when they stop me on the highway, give away when we visit government offices, and now, we use them to help our students learn the English language better. Some of our students are struggling with English so we will use these books to help them with reading and pronunciation. We are thankful for these needed and useful books.

Yikes! Snakes!
If you remember last month’s newsletter, we killed a 9’ long python. Well, the snakes continue to “visit” us here at Chimala. In the last month, we have killed around four snakes around our house alone! 

I also recently killed a “puff adder” along one of the trails at Chimala. Some of the guys threw rocks at the snake to get it to move away from the bolder and then I shot the snake with the shotgun. One shot! 

Chimala Mission Matters: Happy Birthday, Justice!
Ezekiel Mwambogolo, one of my CBI teacher’s son recently celebrated his 8th birthday. His parents decided to celebrate with a party! Since their son Justice plays often with Jonah, we were invited. We only expected a small gathering with some Pepsi, but we were surprised! They invited all of the CBI students along with Howell and Mary Ferguson to a feast! We were happy to go and celebrate with the family and many friends. Justice’s parents gave him a Swahili Bible and songbook for his birthday – what a gift!

Isaiah Graduates from the Secondary School
We have been blessed to know and assist Isaiah, a student at our Secondary School. We are thankful that a couple in OK has helped Isaiah with his school fees lately. He is a good Christian man with a promising future. That future is brighter now that he has graduated from secondary school last year. He also received his scores this month – he passed his Form IV exam and is able to continue on in school to become a doctor. This is all because of good, concerned Christians in the US who are making this possible. Thank you so very much for helping this good Christian. 

Upcoming Changes with the Wagner Family
When we moved to Chimala, we committed ourselves to serve 3 years at Chimala. After 4+ years here, we have decided to return to the US later this year. One of our daughters will be getting married this year and another will be graduating college soon. We are thankful for the opportunity that God has given us at Chimala to live and serve here. We also look forward to the potential opportunities that God has in store for those who serve Him.  

Chad Wagner

To see Chad’s report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on March 13, 2016 .