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Mid August 2018

Mid August 2018

Farming

We have reached the point of trying to make every aspect of our farm sustainable in itself. This year we have reassessed each project and improved it. I have also turned over the managing position to Agustine. I am here, of course, to help when he needs advice but I am thrilled to say that this is going well.

The last two weeks have been spent harvesting this years crop. We had to harvest a month later than usual due to the continuing cool weather and rain

showers (uncommon this time of year). We spent the first week cutting the corn and then shucking. We had help from Kendyll Covington and the Duncan family (only 12 hours after arriving to TZ!) As we went through the crop it was quite discouraging. The corn was much smaller this year and unlike last year we only had one cob per stalk, two were very rare. However, God always shows us that He is in charge and He can make something out of nothing. We planted half of what we did last year in corn. If you remember we had hoped to have beans but all but a few bags were washed out. Despite all of this we harvested 27 bags of corn! Last year we harvested 85 bags on double the land. While this is still less than the approx 40 we should have gotten we feel like this is more than we could have wished for given the growing circumstances. Agustine while shucking next to Anna said, “This year is all extra. It’s okay it did not do as well. God is good.” He gave us a much needed reminder and we are grateful for that and give God the glory. Counting the new bags we have 88 bags in storage for the school.

We hope to start the final phase here which Philip Duncan will help us with. The last part of sustainability is budgeting. Please pray as we begin this next phase. We have worked some on this in the last three years but this year Philip will play a huge roll in being able to turn every aspect of the farm over to the Tanzanians.

Evangelism

Anna was asked to travel to a new(er) church outside Karatu and teach their women about how to serve in the church. Bekah Duncan, only 3 days after arriving, offered to go with Anna. Together they spent the day with the women at Endamarariek talking about the 3 reasons we often give for not serving and how to serve despite these 3 things. The women were very engaging and the local preachers have asked if they could come and do the same thing for the other Karatu churches. We are praying that if the Lord wills they can go and help mature these other churches.

 

I have been invited to a second church in Dar es Salem to give lessons on leadership. The church heard of our work at the Temeke church last month and asked if I could come and help give lessons on elder to elder relationships, elders to deacons, and elders and deacons to member relationships. Please be praying for this effort and if the Lord wills that we can travel to Dar again in the upcoming months.

Please keep the Duncan family in your prayers. They moved here on August 8th and have been pitching in from day 1. We are waiting to sign a contract on a house for them to rent so please pray that works out and goes smoothly.

We will be ordering tickets for furlough soon. We will update you all in the next report about when and work out coming to all of you. Thank you for your continued efforts in this work.

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End July 2018

End July 2018

Farming

The farm is doing well and we give thanks to God. We currently have two rooms of broiler chicks growing out at different stages and are preparing to add a third room of baby chicks soon. The school and Anna and I are grateful as chicken is hard to come by lately due to supplier and boarder issues.

We have spent the last few weeks cleaning and preparing and replanting the raised beds. Next week the students return from their break and food will be ready for them.

Harvest season is just around the corner. It has taken much longer this year for things to dry out but we will be very busy harvesting our corn in the next few weeks.

On a personal level – we were gifted rabbits as a thank you a few months ago. We are now bursting at the seams with baby rabbits. Anna and I are grateful, if you know us you know we loved raising meat rabbits in the States. Hopefully, this will help us since chicken is sometimes not available lately.

Evangelism

This month we had 3 guests from Tennessee come and help us with post-campaign work. We are grateful to them for their efforts. Many new Christians have been visited and encouraged and more souls have been added to the Lord’s church.

The Kisongo church is working hard to finish their building and we are so happy for them. They are also working hard with many classes to provide spiritual nourishment to all ages at the church and the new converts. On Sunday morning there are now six different classes for the church and we are happy to see them trying to encourage and mature one another.

Anna continues to teach two bible classes a week to different children (day care and local public school). She is also going out one day a week to evangelize and one day a week to encourage and strengthen our women in the church through Bible study.

Denton Landon from North Carolina is here teaching two Master’s courses at ACSOP. I am grateful to be able to take these classes and have been encouraged to see how well they have been received by the local brethren.

August 8th the Duncan family will be moving to Tanzania to join the TZ2000 team. Please keep Philip, Bekah, Micah, and Nathan in your prayers as they transition to the work here. We are happy to have them and pray the Lord’s Kingdom grows.

Mid July 2018

Mid July 2018

Trip to Dar es Salaam

Anna and I had the opportunity to travel to Dar es Salaam this month. Word of the leadership/eldership classes I had conducted at Kisongo church of Christ reached a church in Dar, the Temeke COC, and I was asked to come and conduct classes for them.

Anna and I left our home, with Agustine, in Kisongo Thursday morning around 5:15 am. After traveling by bus more than 12 hours we reached Dar es Salaam that night. We were met at the bus station by ACSOP student Shadrack and his friend Henry. After two more hours we reached our hotel room.

On Friday we spent the day getting to know our brothers Shadrack and Henry better and touring their city. We got to eat plenty of fish and squid from stands on the side of the road.

The seminar began on Saturday at 9 am and ran (both days) until 5 pm. It is hard to put into words our experience with the church at Temeke but we want for all of you to hear about the wonderful works they are doing and the maturity they have shown us. 152 people were in attendance for day 1 of the Leadership seminar and 167 were there for day 2. Temeke had recently selected two elders. (Please be praying for these men) They wanted to better understand their roles and wanted the church to understand and have the opportunity to ask questions. On both days there were two 1 hour long Q&A sessions. We talked about what a Christian leader is verses what the world teaches us a leader is.  We also talked about all the different roles in the Church and their jobs and roles. By the comments we received from the congregation, and hearing our friends here tell us about talking to the members there, the seminar went very well and was successful. The members and elders of the Temeke church gave me the highest form of compliment I could have received. I was told by numerous people that they were unsure of me coming because they did not know me but often foreigners do not understand them or their ways and their lessons don’t help. However, I was told that not only did they understand but they said I “knew the culture” because I gave examples that showed I had talked to and interviewed people here. This may not sound like much to you but Anna and I have a deep desire to understand the people here and make sure our lessons and examples are understood and effective. I spent a lot of time this year working on this through talking to the Tanzanians and for them to have noticed was huge to me. Again, this has been our prayer and desire and I hope to continue to try and make sure my lessons are applicable in their culture while adhering to the word of God.

What amazed us most about the Temeke church of Christ was their maturity. They work with the other churches in Dar es Salaam to provide a Bible school at the church. They had 168 first year students and 72 second year students! Two people were brought in over the weekend to be baptized who had been taught, not by their evangelist, but by two different members sharing the Gospel. They also work with the other churches in Dar es Salaam to pay for four radio programs a month. The churches plan out curriculum and a schedule and take turns teaching over the radio. On Sunday’s, after church, every member is divided up into a zone group. The different groups go to their “zone” and spend the day evangelizing. After evangelizing each group goes to a shut-in and worships with them that night.

These are only a few things we saw (we are leaving many many out) but it gave us so much hope and encouragement for the churches here. Temeke is not the largest or strongest church in Dar but they are doing so much to further the cost for Christ. It is our deep desire to see the same for the churches here in Arusha. 

End June 2018

End June 2018

Evangelism

We are excited to share with all of you what has been going on for the month of June. We apologize for only sending out one report this month but with everything going on here the date to send out a report slipped by us.

This month the campaign “Safari for Souls” continued in the Kisongo area. The Hoover church of Christ from Alabama and the Son Valley church of Christ from Arizona both sent groups. Within these groups there were individuals from several other congregations.

With all of the evangelism over the last month 68 souls have been added to the Lord’s church. We are unbelievably grateful for this.

Now the Kisongo church is working to encourage and teach these new souls. 3 members from the Hoover church stayed behind and helped us and locals conduct new convert studies. A husband and wife, Jeff and Shawna Wiant, from the Bear Valley church of Christ have also come in and helped continue evangelism and encourage and teach our new converts.

We ask for your prayers for the Kisongo church of Christ. This is a lot of new members and a lot of work spread among very few people. Please pray we can work hard to retain these new converts!

The Kisongo church of Christ also continues to work on their new building. Keep this effort in your prayers as they desperately need a larger building (great problem to have).

We are also grateful to the Norman’s and Brad Whinery and the work their group from Oklahoma have come in and done on the other side of town. They have held evangelism, VBS, and seminars for the last week in the Maji ya Chai area. Many souls have come to be added to the church and we pray for their steadfastness in what they have learned.

This month we also held a children’s seminar at the Arusha church of Christ. 120 kids showed up and were taught by Anna, Shawna Wiant and Kendyll Covington. Leah Covington and Tiffany Roberts taught the women of the church and some visitors wanting to hear the gospel. Jeff and I went and shared the gospel with some people near the church. Keep these efforts in your prayers.

Anna and I will, Lord willing, be traveling to conduct a leadership/eldership seminar at a church in Dar es Salem in July. Please keep this effort in your prayers as well as safety in our travels.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us about our house flooding. We are happy to report that we incurred very very minimal damage. We are grateful to the Hoover and Son Valley groups for lending a huge hand in the cleanup.

End May 2018

End May 2018

Farming

Thank you to Rossville Church of Christ for donating the money for the farm to purchase two chainsaws. We hate we did not video the farm guys’ reactions to seeing a chainsaw for the first time. One of the men, Jemsi, spent the entire day saying “thank you, thank you” because he was overwhelmed with gratefulness by this gift that makes everyone’s work easier.

Because of this new gift we were able to cut more than $1500 in firewood in four days. This firewood will be used for the school’s cooking and for the Kisongo church’s campaign cooking this year. Thank you all for this great and much needed gift.

Thank you also to Mason Hinote from Central Church of Christ in Augusta, Georgia. Mason is ten years old and worked to raise the money for his plane ticket to Tanzania to work with Safari for Souls. But, he did not stop at the plane ticket. Mason worked until he had raised enough money to buy the farm a new bull. We are all so grateful and the farm guys were so impressed that he had worked and thought of them and their needs. Mason named the bull “Big Joe” after his friend and mine and Anna’s brother-in-law Joe Burns.

Evangelism

Safari for Souls began this week at Kisongo church of Christ. The week before the Kisongo congregation went out and set-up 75 studies. Central church of Christ in Augusta, Georgia came to kick-off this campaign. They worked together with the members of Kisongo and the work has been received so well by both the church and the community. In the morning everyone went out into the community and conducted evangelism and in the afternoons an elder from the Central church, Ben Lambright, conducted a seminar for the members on elders. While the seminar was going on, Jeremy Hinote and Bobby Pace alternated teaching a new convert class every afternoon.

In five days the 9 members of Central church, the Kisongo church, the Storks family, the Norman family, and Anna and I helped lead 32 souls to Christ! This morning 17 of those new converts came to class and church services. Some of the new converts work at A-Z factory and work on Sunday’s. The others we are visiting this week to encourage. We are grateful to everyone who has been involved in this campaign. The church has grown, it has been encouraged, and all the glory goes to God. Thank you all for your hard work and prayers.

Next week we, along with Kisongo, will set-up more studies and go back to encourage our new bothers and sisters. Please pray for all of the people coming to continue the campaign and that many souls are reached and God is glorified in the efforts.

Mid May 2018

Mid May 2018

Farming

On the farm the last few weeks we have been able to finally start some cleaning. We have had a few dry days and that has enabled us to start cleaning up all the weeds and plants that have died from to much water.

Evangelism

We have had the privilege of hosting Garry Hill and Mike Greene. Mike came and taught the book of Hebrews to the second year English students at ACSOP.

Garry came and taught a preaching seminar at ACSOP every morning. In the afternoons he and I had the opportunity to share the Gospel. As a result, Dorcas put on the Lord in baptism. We spent the rest of our time doing follow-up studies with her trying to help set a good foundation, and encourage our sister in Christ.  Please pray for her spiritual growth, and steadfastness as she strives to follow what she now knows is the Truth.

Anna continues to teach at the local school and daycare every week. I had the privilege to fill in for the teacher of the older kids at the local school. The class went really well and I enjoyed being able to teach the kids about God’s promise to Abraham and how that relates to Jesus.

We asked for your prayers for the twin mama. Anna and Agustine were able to get her in a program to help for a few weeks. Anna and I went to visit yesterday and she and the twins are doing really well. A pediatrician from America has been checking on the every day and they are gaining weight. We are thankful for our friends at Neema Village and their help. In a few weeks we will transition the mama and her twins back to Kisongo and we ask for your prayers as the church tries to find her a home and begins caring for her again until the twins are old enough for the mother to find a job.

We also ask you to keep the Kisongo Church in your prayers as they continue the study of Elders/Leadership in the Church. I will finish my series of lessons this Sunday, and that will be followed by a week long seminar from an elder at the Central Church of Christ in Augusta Georgia. Please pray as they strive to follow the example found in the Bible for how a Church is suppose to be structured.

We are only a few days away from the start of Safari for Souls. Please be praying for the upcoming campaign and the wonderful Americans coming to serve here.

End April 2018 Report

End April 2018 Report

Farming

We have spent the last two weeks repairing the farm from the earlier flood damage and trying to prevent this from happening again. We finally received a break in the rains and were able to hand dig ditches through our crops and out of our fields. We also dug a culvert under the new road that was causing all of the problems. A steady flow of water drained through these ditches and out of the crops for almost five days straight. It was a lot of water.

Once the water receded we were able to go in and look at the crops. We

Trenching out the farm after heavy flooding. We have lost 20% of our corn. 30% is yellow and nitrogen deficient but we cannot get nitrogen to it until all the water drains off the fields. This means that around 50% of our corn crop is doing well and for that we are thankful.

 

While we were looking at the corn we realized the army worms were back. When we saw a short recede in rains (we only needed 5 hours but God graciously gave us 24 hours) we sprayed again to hopefully kill the worms.

Monday, we replanted our bean crop. We are praying these flooding rains are over and that the short shower rains will come now. If they do, we hope this replanted crop will do well.

Also, our farm manager, Agustine, and his wife had their fourth child Monday! We love this family dearly and are rejoicing with them on their new baby girl.

Evangelism

This month we conducted a children’s seminar at Manyire. Anna and Jane taught the children the story of the 1 lost lamb in 100 and about how God cares for all of us. The children, shepherds themselves, responded well to this story. Next, they talked about Paul and Silas in prison and how God cares for us even when things are bad and we can rejoice in that. It was a great day overall and despite the weather conditions we had many in attendance. While Anna was teaching I had the opportunity to share the. Gospel with a man in Manyire. He had many questions and even called his preacher and was upset when his preacher could not answer his questions. He has invited us back to meet with him and other church members including the preacher. Please pray for this man and that he will seek out the church and obey the Gospel.

 

Anna continues to teach at the local school and daycare. She also continues to go and do encouragement studies every week with members of the church. This week she went to visit and encourage a recent convert. This lady is 18 and recently gave birth to twin boys at 7 months in her shop in Kisongo. Someone took her to the hospital and thankfully the boys survived. She was in the hospital with the pre-mature babies until last week when they released her. She has lost her job and her home due to the hiatus in the hospital with her babies. The church has graciously been covering her needs. Please pray for this new mom who has no family here. And pray for the boys, David and Dennis.

I am also continuing the lessons on leadership/eldership at Kisongo for the past 5 weeks. The next two weeks we will start the qualifications and have a final week of question and answer before Central Church of Christ arrives and will be doing a seminar all week on leadership/eldership. Please pray for the Church as they look for spiritual leaders to guide them.

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.