Maynard Mission Report
The rainy season began at the beginning of March. Toward the middle of March Agustine and I went to John Deere to discuss planting beans. Here, the rains will stop for a week or two and everything will dry up before the rains begin again. In this dry time farmers plant beans. While we were talking with the farmers at John Deere they received a report that fall army worms had been found in their own fields. These worms devastated the crops in South Africa and we were not aware they were in Tanzania. In order to kill them you must catch them in the egg or larvae stage because there are no chemicals here to kill them in the third stage. We were fortunate in timing to learn all of this and went straight back to our farm to look for the worms. We found the eggs and immediately went to town to buy chemicals. It took three days of spraying because we could only do 16 liters at a time. We are keeping an eye on this situation. Please pray for the farmers in Tanzania. Yesterday, I received pictures from a preacher a few hours away from us. He asked why his corn crop had died. After seeing the pictures I had to tell him the fall worms had destroyed his crop. We are afraid this is only the beginning and are trying to spread the word to other farmers to be looking and spraying their crops.
We have also been taking this dry time to plant three acres in beans. We had almost gotten three acres planted last week when a large rain came. It muddied everything and we were not able to finish planting. Hopefully, the rain will hold off another day or so and we can finish planting.
Anna continues to go every week to our local church members and study with them, their neighbors, and visit all of the new babies born in our church (there have been five in just the last month). The local school has been out for the last two weeks on Easter holiday. Anna will resume classes with them next week.
I have begun a series on leadership at the Kisongo church of Christ on Sundays. This topic was requested by the men of the church and will be a precursor for a guest coming from Central church of Christ in Augusta, Georgia. We will be discussing in depth what biblical leadership looks like vs. cultural leadership.
Part of our goal for 2018 has been to strengthen and mature our local church (Kisongo church of Christ). One of those ways is through Anna’s visiting and Bible studies with the women every week. Another way is through inviting two families to our home every month for dinner. We want these Christians to know that we love them and see them as part of our family. In March we invited the families of Agustine and Bomoa. It was an uplifting and encouraging night for all of us and we are thankful to have the resources to share with our friends.
One last thing we would like to share with y’all is the maturity Kisongo Church of Christ continues to show. This year they are preparing to host the campaigns in their area. This is the first time it will be here. Last Sunday, after services, the church met to discuss preparations. The local preacher, Abraham Mrutu, said, “when guests come to our home our culture provides for them…. We want to do the same for the American guests”. We were blown away by this statement and what happened next. The church began to pledge food, money, and animals to be used or sold to help feed the American guests during the campaign. Anna and I watched as members handed over hard earned money, pledged 50 lbs of rice, and even pledged their livestock. We pray that the hearts of these members never change but only grow closer to God.