Browsed by
Author: Anna

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.

 

End of June 2017

End of June 2017

End of June 2017 Maynard Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

This has been a great “test” month. We are sorry you did not receive a mid month report from us but this is one of our busiest times of year. With so many visitors here it is hard to balance the farm and evangelism and guests. However, the whole goal of all we do has been to turn this over to our guys. This month they have done a phenomenal job of keeping everything running with little effort from us. This week we have been cleaning the raised beds and getting them ready for replanting. The school starts back in a month so we are working to insure we have food when the students arrive. Also it was a good time to introduce our guest Philip Duncan and my brother Jacob Maynard to how the farming is done with African tools. They have been a great help getting the beds ready and then planted today. Our corn continues to dry and is doing well. Also our 700 new egg layers are doing great. 

Evangelism:

Campaign season has been in full swing and it has been a great month. We were blessed to start the season off with Gary Box and Robert Youngblood. We were then joined by a group  from Lehman Avenue and the Duncan family from Byron Church of Christ. By mid-June the Hoover church of Christ was here. It is great to have so many people from different places all working for a common goal.

Our efforts this year were focused in the Mt. Meru area at the congregation Desdery and Jane Massawe work with. The Lehman Avenue group provided us with fun VBS materials. Each night of VBS drew in more and more children. The number started at 50 and grew to 160 by the last night.

The numbers from this effort continue to be  seen. We are all in the process of doing follow-up studies and the number of baptisms from Mid-May to now has reached 30! We are thankful to have had so many laboring in Tanzania for the kingdom of God. The last Sunday the Meru congregation had around 200 people attending.  People were having to sit outside all around the building. It is great that the church of Christ is being seen as active in the community.

From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank everyone involved in the 2017 Meru campaign.

End of May 2017 Report

End of May 2017 Report

End of May Maynard Mission Report 2017

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

The farm continues to do well. Our new 700 egg layer chickens are growing well. The cows and the new calfs are also doing great.  We are now waiting on the corn to finish drying to see what kind of a harvest we will reap.  The guys have all put in their guesses on how many bags we will get this year.  Last year we collected 25 bags this year the guesses range rom 50 to 80 bags so we will see.  The last few weeks we have not been able to personally do anything on the farm.  This time of the year our roles shift because of the campaign season. However the farm continues to run great.  This is a good test of what we are trying to do.  We want the guys to be able to run everything without us.  We have been working hard to reach this point, and have been blessed with great hardworking guys. We hate not being there, but are so excited to see the guys growing and being able to do everything without our help. We love this time of year getting to see everyone and all the bible studies, and it is great that we don’t have to worry about the guys on the farm, while we are out from morning till night doing bible studies.

Evangelism:

Campaign season has already kicked off and the blessings are immeasurable. Gary Box and Robert arrived and hit the ground running. They started off their trip going out to the Oltukai congregation they helped start in 2016. I had the privilege of traveling out with them one day. The congregation there meets in a large tree and it was a great experience. Gary and Robert spent time teaching and encouraging the current members but also 3 new Christians were added to the Lord’s church there.    

The last week all of us, along with Daniel and Abby Gaines and Andy Wright from Lehman Ave COC, have been evangelizing in the Mount Meru area. In every direction that we walk from the church people are wanting to study the Bible. In the last week 13 new Christians have been added to the Lord’s church in baptism. Jimmy Gee preached an open air meeting in the community Tuesday through Thursday on the one church and how to gain access to the true church of the Bible.   

The Duncan family from Byron COC in Georgia arrived this week. They are here not only to campaign but to learn more about the farm work that we do here. We are happy to have them and this opportunity.

Anna was able to spend the last two Saturdays studying with a friend’s neighbors. We are happy to have two new sisters who obeyed the Gospel in baptism. These women live near us and will be worshiping with us at the Kisongo congregation. We are looking forward to helping them on their walk in Christ.

Please keep our campaign efforts in your prayers. Please pray for everyone’s travel and safety as Gary and Robert leave Sunday, Jimmy leaves Monday, the Lehman Ave group leaves Thursday, and the Hoover group arrives Thursday.

Mid May 2017 Report

Mid May 2017 Report

Mid May 2017 Maynard Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

We have added 700 chicks this month! These will be added to our layer hens in about 5 months. The eggs our hens currently produce are sold quickly and the quality is being talked about around town. As a result we are able to sell all the eggs every day and people are constantly being told we are sold out.   

Our milk is sold quickly here, also. We have four girls that produce 50 liters a day ,and it is all sold immediately. In the next two breeding seasons our milk production should also double and we should be able to meet the growing demand, Lord willing.

The Lord has blessed us with adequate rain this year. The corn is doing great. All we are waiting on now is for the corn to dry so we can harvest. After clearing all the new land and with the tilling and planting we were able to do with the new tractor we should have double the harvest this year.

Evangelism:

We continue to work with the local congregation here in Kisongo. I am still teaching the book of Ephesians on Sunday morning. Anna is rotating teaching the women but it will be her turn again the next two Sundays.

Anna continues to work in the Meru area with Susan and Haley every Tuesday. This will be the focus of the campaigns this year and they are working with the pre, and eventually post, studies.  She also continues to do new convert studies on Wednesdays and Thursdays and is continuing to rotate teaching with Mama Kashumba at the local government school on Fridays. For the next few Saturdays Anna has been asked to study with some neighbors of our church members. Please keep these new studies in your prayer.

As many of you know the campaign season is about to begin. Our first guest arrived last week, three more arrive this Saturday, and the Gaines’ group comes in on the 25th. Many more will follow on the 31st and June 1st. Please keep all of these evangelism efforts in your prayers. We love the work here and are happy to be working with our brothers and sisters in the States to further the Kingdom here in Tanzania.

 

 

Growing Weary

Growing Weary

I sat there and listened.

The lesson was on hospitality, it was short, to the point and I thought class would end quickly. Instead, a mama to my left raised her hand.

“Swali” my translator said. She didn’t bother with the English translation. I knew the meaning. “Question.”

Questions at the end of class here are common but not amongst the women’s class. I was intrigued – it was a good and simple lesson, I wasn’t sure how there could be questions.

Then she started speaking. Before her question was even translated I understood. Tears filled my eyes, a stone hit my stomach, I silently prayed for grace and wisdom to answer this mama.

You see, her question was about Ephesians 6:9. This mama was weary of doing good and I could not blame her. She is poor, her neighbors are poor, and one neighbor in particular can’t feed their family. Every day, 3 times a day, this neighbor is knocking on her door for food. Was she responsible for her neighbor?

It was all I could do to swallow the lump in my throat. I have always had so much more than I needed. Even when Justin and I lived pay check to pay check barely scraping by we had enough. In small ways I could relate. Because I have lived a life where we had no excess but the American standard of poor doesn’t equate. I have given to my neighbor when I didn’t know if we would make it till our next pay check. But I didn’t have dirt floors. I had electricity. I had running water. I had a closet with more than a few outfits. I had a car (even if it had no a/c in an Alabama summer). I had enough. It is impossible to compare.

And so I looked at my sister in Christ. Her eyes were tired, a bright orange kanga was wrapped around her shoulders and head – to them it was a cold morning and they had walked miles through the rain and mud to church. I looked at the Bible, I looked at her, I looked at my translator – what did I say?

Every woman sitting in that room awaited my response. They knew cold, they knew hunger, and likely they were both as they sat in that classroom.

I drew a breath and began. I started by commending this mama for her love and kindness. I told her she was doing what was right by taking care of her neighbors. I told her it is hard – doing good. That is why this is written. The Apostles, Jesus, they knew we would grow weary of helping one another, especially when our lives are difficult themselves.

The mama nodded her head and then said, “With my children and parents I already feed 10 people. How many times am I responsible for my neighbor?”

My warm blood turned to ice in my veins and chill bumps ran down my arms. I know her children. One daughter in particular is near and dear to mine and my sister’s heart. She was in my sister’s Bible class at a youth camp we helped with. I worship with this family every week. I have been to their home. Honestly, I thought my heart might rip into pieces.

We talked a while more using only scripture.

But what I want to say is this – I have heard this same argument in America 1,000s of times but by people who have more than they need. By people who live in excess. People who have never known real hunger or cold. My blood used to boil, those of you who know me know how this topic angers me, and I would get so tired of telling others that they just need to give as the Bible says. Yet, the arguments would begin – if I give them money they may spend it on alcohol, drugs, etc. If I give they will become dependent. I already gave once – how many times am I to give? Or the one that really made me want to scream – they (other Americans) aren’t poor compared to others in the world.

My heart is beating out of my chest because just writing the arguments makes me angry. Jesus didn’t tell us give only under certain stipulations – He just told us to give. He told us to help. He told us to love. Stop making excuses, America. You have so much – why do you not love your neighbor enough to help?

Don’t take this story and want to help just here, in third world countries, take this story and look at your neighbor. Yes, the one in America.

Give friends. Give until it hurts. Love. Love until your heart feels it might explode from your chest. Then, give and love more.

Here is a woman in extreme poverty who has given until she is weary – what is your excuse?

Mid April 2017 Report

Mid April 2017 Report

Mid April 2017 Maynard Mission Report

Horton Chapel Church of Christ

Farming:

We welcomed our 4th and final calf for the 2017 calving season. To our delight, this calf is our fourth girl! Our milking herd has doubled in one calving season and we are thanking the One above. Included is a picture of our first calf of the season, Eve, grazing and our new calf resting. We are now collecting 50 liters of milk a day from our 4 milkers.

Thanks to the Lord, and your petitions to him on our behalf, we received heavy rains at the beginning of last week. They were steady for a few days. Our corn crop is growing very well. However, it is already beginning to dry here again. So, please continue to keep the rains in your prayers for the next month. We have seen the result of everyone’s prayers and are thankful.

Evangelism:

This month began with the monthly preacher’s wives meeting. Anna is still in the book of James and hopes to finish next month. More and more women are coming every month and we pray what they learn is beneficial to their spiritual growth.

Anna is also conducting new convert studies twice a week, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, with Stella, Neema, and Juliana. They are studying the Life of Christ. Currently, they are in the sermon on the mount and have found the studies to be very encouraging.

Our children’s seminar for April will be held in Monduli on the 22nd. Please keep that in your prayers and we will share the seminar with you in our next report.

I will begin co-teaching with Ahimidiwe the book of Ephesians at the Kisongo Church of Christ. Anna is currently going through the book of Esther with the women at Kisongo for the month of April.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to host Ralph and Cindy Williams this month. Ralph is here teaching a short course to the ACSOP first year English students.

Already we are gearing up for campaign season. May, June, and July are already filled with visitors coming to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and encourage the growing church here in Tanzania. We ask that you keep these visitors and the work in your prayers as we all work, together, to further the Kingdom of Christ.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.