Dear Prayer partners,
We just recently returned from Dar es Salaam where we had our annual AIM Tanzania missionary conference. The theme was journeying with Jesus. Together we shared testimonies about what it means to journey with Christ in this life. As you can imagine or perhaps know firsthand, journeys in Africa can be very different depending on the road. The paved road from Morogoro to Dodoma takes about 4 hours to drive and is about 260 km long. The unpaved road to our nearest AIM missionary neighbors also takes about 4 hours to travel, but is 100km long, filled with ruts, rocks and tsetse flies. Whether its a smooth road or not so smooth road, Jesus promised to journey it with us.
We were with our regional leaders, Colin and Becca when we left Dar early in the morning. Before leaving, Colin prayed for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone on the trip to Dodoma. Three hours in to the trip we stopped at a thatched roadside restaurant and settled in for a nice breakfast of eggs, chapati, coffee, and conversation among the four of us…….. only to have our own conversation interrupted, and our prayer answered as one of the waiters pulled up a chair to our table and started a conversation in which he admitted that he was reading the Bible and wanted to know if Jesus claimed to be God. We thought “Wow, OK Lord, I guess you want us to talk to this guy!” He peppered us with questions and statements, many he he had obviously learned from his religious teachers to try to refute or confound Christianity. So between bites of egg and chapati, we answered his questions, discussed some Bible verses, and Lord willing helped this gentlemen journey closer towards Jesus than he had been before.
Thank you for praying for us over the last month! We enjoyed some weddings in the local church, the Wairo outreach, a health committee meeting in Pahi, a great mid-term break with the kids and some friends, and then conference in Dar. Thanks for praying for the new car, we’re making progress, though slowly, one out of three documents has been sent to Dar, so only three more to go!
WAIRO OUTREACH – Thank you for praying for the outreach in Wairo September 22-24th. It went really well, one woman gave her life to Jesus in the middle of the outreach, and another re-dedicated herself. Two churches participated with lots of singing and dancing and preaching in the open air square of the village. That’s where we also shared the King of Glory film in Swahili. I gave the sermon on Sunday morning and was also encouraged to see so many turn up for the Msingi Bible study which Ndaki led before the service. They are working through the Bible study books we distributed earlier this year. Pray for continued fruit from the outreach. It was great to meet Musa, a new believer within the last few months, who used to be a slave to alcohol and a thorn in the church’s side!
PAHI TRIP – This last trip to Pahi to visit the clinic also brought with it a chance to catch up with Cloud and his family and also visit Patrick and his wife Mama Baraka who work among the R. people. We worked through some important items on the dispensary side of things, and also visited and prayed with Patrick and family in Busi.
THIS WEEK – Please pray this week, there are a number of different things going on which all begin on the 23rd. The eye surgery clinic will happen this week, with Dr. Kirumbi and his team from Mvumi coming to Magambua. Please pray for opportunities to minister to eye patients and successful surgeries. Also this week is an evangelistic outreach in Kwa Mtoro that Pastor Seseja is organizing. Friday and Saturday night we plan to show the King of Glory film in Kwa Mtoro, pray for the film to go well, and pray that many would come to know Christ through this outreach. Also pray for Cloud in Pahi, who is hosting a handful of people for an intensive Bible overview study which he is leading. One of those is a new Sandawe believer named Kristoffer from Tumbelo.
OUR KIDS – Please pray for our kids up at RVA, they are doing fine on the whole, but Rachel has had some tummy issues lately and also is getting checked out by student health, pray for healing for her. Josh is doing well, though navigating some of the friendship/relationship ‘drama’ in his class can weigh a bit on him. His friends come to him for advice and sometimes he feels caught in the middle. Drew must be doing OK, but emailing or calling Mom and Dad is not his strong suit!
MEDICAL WORK – Because of the poorer harvest this year, we’ve noticed some of the kids in our MCH clinics dipping in to the red zone on their weight charts. A few weeks ago, we made up some special porridge flour with maize, millet, and peanuts and are distributing 1 kg sacks during the MCH clinics. Also please pray for a little 2 year old from Kwa Mtoro who has burns over a third of her torso. She’s being treated and is responding well here at the Magambua Dispensary. The silvadene cream from Dr. Kim from West Lawn church is helping a lot!
The last journey I just took this past Saturday found me taking more sacks of maize to Gumbu and Motto for more hunger relief. On the journey back from Motto, I had the impulse to stop and pick up a woman who was walking to Kwa Mtoro for the market day. I don’t usually pick up everyone on the way (the car would get very full very quickly), but I greeted her in Kisandawe and we chatted in Swahili and turns out she was a Mus. woman from Motto who remembers Pastor Musa L. who used to live there. She mentioned him by his Sandawe name, asked me my Sandawe name, and then I was able to introduce her to Gidemahembu, the current evangelist in Motto who was in the back seat, whom she hadn’t met, but whose wife she knew. Gidemahembu didn’t have a Sandawe name yet, so she named him and promised to take some baobab seeds (my name means Baobab) to his house on my behalf.
You never know what twists and turns you might encounter on your journey, or who you might be introduced to along the way. Keep praying for opportunities for us to introduce Jesus to people, as we journey with them, whether it’s on smooth or bumpy roads.
Thanks for partnering and praying with us!
Blessings in Christ,
Jon for all of us