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Mid April 2018 Report

Mid April 2018 Report

Farming

This month we have had several setbacks. The rains have continued to be heavier than normal for the month of April. We received a large amount of flooding rains a week ago and because of a new road built on our property the heavy rains flooded our fields with no where to escape to. Our beans, corn, and even the raised beds flooded. The pictures attached are after the waters had gone down a few feet. We spent the next few days trenching and pumping water out. We were relieved to get the water to a much lower level when more heavy rains came and continue to come.

So, what does this mean? There is a good chance our beans are lost. With the water receded our raised beds can be used again. The corn we are not sure about but we are praying it still does well though it may be stunted in growth.

The good news is that last year we stored more than enough corn for the school for three years. We continue to pray that we will have a good harvest.

We have also spent the last week reconstructing our broiler chicken house. We have made it into four rooms so that we can grow out more chickens. The plan is to grow 200, wait a week and do 200 more, wait a week and 200 more, then continue this process so we have chickens to sell every week. This way we can be a constant supplier at a smaller level making it easier for us to sell.

We have also had our first calf of the season born! It is a bull that will be raised for meat.

Evangelism

I am continuing the Sunday morning leadership classes at Kisongo church of Christ. We have discusses why the church needs elders, what a biblical leader looks like, and how we are not looking for a perfect man but a man with a heart for Christ.

Anna has added a new class to her weekly schedule. As we have said, our focus is on building up the church in our area. There is a new daycare, opened by friends, less than five minutes from our house. Every Wednesday morning she is going to teach their 3-5 year olds. She has around 20 children in her class. This is a another way, like the local school on Fridays, for the community to learn about the church.

We are also continuing to invite two Kisongo families to our home every month for dinner. This month we hosted the families of Ahimidiwe and Daudi. We have learned that the Tanzanians love pizza and chips (french fries) and so far no one has went home unhappy. Tanzanians have a tendency to be wary of American food (it is an unknown) but pizza and chips have won everyone over two months in a row. We are enjoying getting to know our brethren here better.

Keep the upcoming campaigns in your prayers. The first guests will begin to arrive in three weeks and we, along with local preachers, will begin setting up Bible studies in our community. We are looking forward to this opportunity to be able to reach our community by such a large number of people.

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March 2018 Report

March 2018 Report

Maynard Mission Report

Farming

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.

Evangelism

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.

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Feb 2018 Report

Feb 2018 Report

Farming

We are happy to report we are back in our home of Tanzania. Thank you for all of your love, support, and encouragement on our furlough. We truly enjoyed getting to see all of you and get to know you all better.

The long rains are approaching and so we have spent the last two weeks preparing the land for planting. Agustine, our farm manager, broke his arm in December. As a result, I had to finish the ripping and tilling this year because his right arm is still very weak. Please keep him in your prayers as he gains strength and mobility back.

After Agustine and I met with the farmers up the road who do large scale crops here we decided to plant only 3 acres in beans this year and the rest to plant in more corn. If the rains flood like usual the bean crop may not do as well. We are praying that is not the case but are preparing incase we need to sell corn in exchange for beans for the school.

While we were gone the fruit trees planted in November have really grown, especially the banana trees. A greenhouse was also added and I will begin showing our farm workers how to use the greenhouse to grow tomatoes and other vegetables that are getting eaten by bugs. Also, the lemongrass that was planted in the fall is now large and plentiful. The school can now use this at morning tea time every day.

Evangelism

Our first Friday back Anna was able to go back to the local school in Kisongo with Paulina. It is a new school year and they are beginning again with new and old students. Last year they were able to go through Genesis to Judges and this year they hope to go just as far or further. We are thrilled to be able to continue this ministry in our local school.

Anna has begun encouragement studies for our local members at Kisongo. She is focusing on one family for a few months (she will still be doing other studies as well) whose wife cannot read and who are also caring for there elderly parents along with six children of their own and in the extreme poverty this is a difficult situation. Pray as they increase in knowledge and pray for wisdom in the choices made for the future.

I have also been meeting with the men of the Kisongo church (where we attend). They are preparing for the 2018 campaigns in our area and are looking forward to this time. The church is also planning to begin the foundation work on their new building. We are encouraged by their handwork and commitment to the Lord and ask that you remember the Kisongo church in your prayers.

 

 

Mid-November 2017 Report

Mid-November 2017 Report

Farming

We are sorry you are receiving this report late. Due to power issues (and a dead computer battery) we are just now getting to send out our mid-November report. We have a lot to be thankful for this month and a lot to share.

The Mt. Juliet COC in Tennessee and the Central COC in Augusta, Georgia have been working in the Arusha area this month. While their main focus is evangelism the Central church took a few days to help us on the farm. Many of you know Anna’s sister, Samantha, what you may not know is that Samantha’s husband, Joe, owns a nursery in Augusta. We were able to use him and his talents this month. As a result of hard work and extreme generosity 200 fruit trees were planted on the farm this month! The trees include: mango, papaya, fig, apple custard, cooking bananas, small sweet bananas, and red bananas! Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude to everyone who made this possible.

Evangelism

Mt. Juliet and Central came to work with the Arusha COC here in Arusha, Tanzania. The locals have been setting up bible studies for weeks prior to their arrival. In two weeks time hundreds of Bible studies were conducted. As a result we have 52 new brothers and sisters in Christ. We were grateful to be able to work with these two churches from America. Anna and I conducted follow-up studies with the new converts throughout the last two weeks to try and encourage our new brothers and sisters. This is only the beginning for these new Christians so please keep them in your prayers.

We have two new women at our home congregation of Kisongo who have stepped up and asked to help teach the children. This is a huge step for spiritual growth. We currently have two wonderful teachers but one is pregnant and the other hasn’t had a break from teaching in a year! We are so excited that these women are stepping out of their comfort zone to help their local church.

The men at the Kisongo church met recently about their goals for 2018. We are so proud of them for their love and faithfulness to God and His word and for looking for more ways to serve God better. Please be praying for them as they try and live out the biblical model.

We have more guests arriving soon. We are praying for their safe arrival and that the Kingdom of God is glorified.

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Mid-September Mission Report

Mid-September Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Mid September Maynard Mission Report

Farming

This month we have started 17 new beds. Eight of these beds have been planted with potatoes. If you remember when we first moved here potatoes did not do well. We are hoping with better soil after two years of composting we will have a better crop. Nine of these new beds have been planted with onions, carrots, peppers, and eggplant. On top of the 17 beds we have planted 5 beds of mchaichai (lemongrass) which will provide the school with free tea for tea time every day.

Thanks to all of you and your donations we were able to purchase a small machine to chop up the leftover corn stalks. The machine is working well and we have more than enough food stored to feed our cows through the dry season. The chopped corn stalks will be mixed with molasses and water. This year, because we can chop the stalks, there will be much less waste and we are grateful.

Evangelism

Anna continues to work at the local school on Friday’s and to show the kind of impact this could have we wanted to share with all of you what happened this month. Anna teaches the younger children (think 5-6 grade) and a good friend, Kashumba, teaches the upper levels (7-8 grade). Two of the kids from Kashumba’s upper level class asked to be baptized this month! This was an unexpected surprise for all of us and reinforces why we are working in our local school.

While Anna has continued her women’s class at Kisongo and weekly Bible studies I have had to take a break. At the end of last month I had a seizure while driving the tractor. It is thanks to Agustine that the situation was not worse but I was beat up after falling on concrete. This was my third seizure this year. Anna and I have spent a lot of time having tests run this month and seeing a good European Neurologist two hours away. I have been diagnosed with epilepsy. I am now on medicine, and while it has many side effects, thanks to friends who suggested some essential oils, I am now managing the side effects easily. This has changed our daily life drastically. I cannot drive for the next 3-6 months, I am having to stay stress free, and rest a lot. We ask that you keep my health and both of our sanity in your prayers. We are thankful for good doctors and to be doing so well given the circumstances.

Furlough

We are planning our furlough now and would like to share the dates with you. We plan to fly out of Tanzania on December 17th and spend the holidays with our family. Our plan is to report throughout the month of January. Please contact us if you would like us to come to you and report. These are the dates we will be available:

Wednesday January 3rd

Sunday AM January 7th

Sunday PM January 7th

Wednesday January 10th

Sunday AM January 14th

Sunday PM January 14th

Wednesday January 17th

Sunday AM January 21st

Sunday PM January 21st

Wednesday January 24th

Sunday AM January 28th

Sunday PM January 28th

Wednesday January 31st

If you could contact us with a couple of dates we will make sure we come and visit and report to all of you. Thank you all for your continued support.

Mid-August 2017 Report

Mid-August 2017 Report

Mid-August Maynard Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

The students have arrived back at ACSOP this month! The farm is once again providing for them and the employees 3 times a day. We have begun shucking the corn. This is a long process since it is done by hand. We are two weeks in and only half-way through the corn. On Saturday all of the ACSOP students came out to help us shuck the corn. We hope to have an exact number for all of you at our end of month report. 

We received a wonderful surprise from Central Church of Christ in Augusta, Georgia this month. Thanks to their love and generosity and want to support the work here we now have a new trailer and sheller! The trailer already has been a big help bringing the corn in from the field.  Before, we did this with wheel barrels and carried sacks on our backs. This has helped the process speed up this week. Hopefully next week we will be finished bringing in the corn and can try out the sheller.    

Evangelism:

I am wrapping up the book of Ephesians in our adult class at Kisongo. It took almost a month to go through chapter 5 because they had so many questions on the family. Based on the questions and the discussions after class this was a much needed topic for the church. Anna continues to teach the women at Kisongo and they have begun the book of Proverbs. 

This month our children’s seminar was held at the Lerai Kanisa la Kristo. We have finally reached the point of visiting all the congregations within two hours, once. This was our second time at Lerai. We previously visited in Feb of 2016. The great part about this is we can follow-up with the congregations, provide encouragement, and give lessons on maturity needs within the congregation.

Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement.

Forty Days

Forty Days

A fellow missionary gave a lesson over the weekend at our monthly women’s meeting on the book of Jonah. One verse stuck out to me given events that had transpired over the past week. As many of you know, Jonah was sent to the wicked city of Ninevah to preach of God and call them to repentance. Of course, Jonah chooses to go in the opposite direction, fleeing God’s command, and is swallowed by a large fish. In chapter three, after being spat out by the fish, Jonah begins preaching to the wicked citizens of Ninevah.

It is verse four of chapter three that stuck out to me in light of recent circumstances:

And he (Jonah) called out, “Yet forty days, and Ninevah shall be overthrown!”

Forty days.

Forty days is what stuck out to me. Why forty? No, I am not speaking of the importance of certain numbers in the Old Testament. I am speaking of God’s love. God’s patience. God’s want for all men everywhere to be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

God doesn’t want us to perish. He wants us to repent and He gives us time to do so.

In May pre-campaign work began in the Mount Meru area for the summer evangelism campaigns. Justin teamed up with a local preacher from Arusha city and they began visiting a man who had contacted the preacher (he, the Arusha city preacher, has a radio show that is making the Gospel known to many and this man had contacted him after hearing him on the radio) to study the Bible. Justin said the man was very interested and welcomed them into his home time and time again. Justin and the local preacher studied with this man for almost a month. However, at the end of each day, the man did not want to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In June the campaigners came and Justin handed off the study to a visitor. Maybe another point of view would convict this man. Every day for a week this visitor went to the man. The man was welcoming, he had questions, he loved studying but at the end of each day he still did not want to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We continued to visit the Meru area for post-campaign work. The local preacher continued to visit the man. He never turned him away, he always took the time to read God’s word and hear what he had to say, but every time he presented him with the option to obey Christ’s word in baptism, he refused.

At the end of July, almost three full months (90 days) after Justin and the local preacher began their studies with the man, the local preacher went to visit the man by himself one afternoon. You see, these people weigh on our hearts. We cannot just, “let it go”, this man always wants to study more and the knowledge we possess from the Bible is a matter of life or death. Eternity weighs in the balance. And so this local preacher made his way up the mountain on foot.

But it was too late. He found the man had died.

My heart, Justin’s heart, the local preacher’s heart were heavy. You see, we did not know this man was sick and even the man did not know.

But God knew. And God was calling. 

God sent this man three men over a period of 90 days. Not just once or twice but too many times to count. God was knocking on this man’s door wanting him to know the salvation found only in Him and the man refused. God knew this man’s days were numbered and He desperately wanted this man to join Him in the land of eternal rest.

Too often we believe time is on our side. We will believe, obey, or repent later. We love the world and our physical lives and abandon the spiritual. We abandon the Father and his outstretched arms that are waiting for us. But He gives us the choice to obey.

It is always our choice.

What great love He has for us. 

TK

Photo by Tyler King

Mid-July 2017 Report

Mid-July 2017 Report

Mid-July 2017 Maynard Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

July has proved to be a busy month for the farm. As you saw in our last report, we are preparing for the ACSOP students to come back in a month. My brother, Jacob, and I spent more than a week rebuilding beds and planting greens for the coming semester.

For the last two weeks I have had the help on my brother-in-law, Jeremy Sentell. In preparation for the 700 new layers we built 96 more laying boxes to fill up the walls of the chicken house. We have also cleared three acres of corn. This has to be cut down by hand and stacked. The corn will be removed and bagged and ground to a fine powder as the school needs it for ugali. The stalks will be used as silage for the milk cows.

We have had a lot of visitors to the farm this month. A man from Karatu (2 hours away) heard of the success of our farm and came to visit and learn our techniques. We also had a couple come and look at our cows to learn what they needed to look for in a milk cow for a local orphanage. This is what this work is all about – teaching and serving others. We had a special treat at the end of the week when the “older kids” at the Neema Village orphanage in Arusha came to the farm for a field trip. The kids were able to milk a cow and gather eggs! It was a fun day for everyone and Anna and her sister, Lee, helped the kids put together a cow craft at the end of the tour.   

Evangelism:

We travelled out to Moshi for a children’s seminar at the beginning of this month. It was great to be able to take my brother to see this aspect of our work. Anna and Haley Norman taught the children while Jacob and I had a class of more than 30 teens to adults wanting to dig deeper into God’s word.

Currently, we are feeling like we need more hours in our day to get everything we need to accomplish completed. We are all still going to the Meru area at least once a week to follow-up with studies from the campaigns in June. Anna and her sister, Lee, are also going to Bible studies in the Kisongo area (where we live). 

Last week Anna and Lee put together a fun VBS for the kids at Kisongo Kanisa la Kristo. Thank you to Tiffany Gaines for the material you sent in May! The theme was “Faith In Action” and each night they explored new Bible stories of faith and how the characters showed their faith! This VBS topped out with 111 kids!

Anna has started back teaching Bible at the local public school here in Kisongo on Friday’s. They were on break for a month but are now back. They have finished Genesis and Exodus and Friday Anna summed up Leviticus and began the book of Numbers. She enjoyed being able to take her sister, a public school teacher in the States, to this work.

There is a team from Northport Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa working in the Mto wa Mbu area currently. We have not been able to visit them much due to our schedule but we have heard wonderful reports from their work. We are grateful to have Northport working here for the Kingdom.

Until all have heard.