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Mid April Report

Mid April Report

Farming

The rainy season has not come this year as usual. Some districts around us are getting occasional showers that we hope will sustain their crops but Kisongo is not getting even that. We request your prayers for the farmers whose crops still have a chance. Even if it started raining now the majority of our crop, if not all, would be lost but we hope that is not the case for the other farmers.

While this news sounds terrible – we have two years worth of corn stored from past harvests. But pray for those whose livelihoods depend on this rain and these crops. The school will be fine, it is just a setback, but many others desperately need this rain and these crops to feed their families.

We continue to harvest greens, onions, and other small crops on our raised drip beds. We are grateful for this technology that allows us to conserve water and still harvest.

Because our corn is a loss this year we will not be able to use the stalks for silage for the cows. But also, because there is no rain, grass is scarce even on our farm. Because of this we went ahead and bought 400 bales of hay before prices go up due to the drought. This is the first year since we moved to Kisongo that we have had to buy more than just a few bales where we ran out of silage a few weeks early.

Evangelism

It was not included in our last report but for the last month Anna has been visiting many women in our churches who are suffering for different reasons. Pray for our churches and pray for those who satan is trying to break them by others attacking them, attacking their marriages, their crops dying and not being able to feed their families and so many more reasons. It has been a difficult month but we know it is one of the reasons we are here. Despite the losses that continue to come we teach that God is still good and our hope is not in these things.

I am preparing and teaching a course on Christian evidences at ACSOP.

Please pray for rain. We need it for the crops but also to refill the water table that feeds most of the wells. And, as many of you know, power is ran on hydro-electric here. We need rain for many many reasons.

We are grateful to our Tanzanian family who is one by one in their own ways celebrating our last 3 years here and saying their goodbyes. This last week we went to the home of Bomoa for dinner. We have not seen more spiritual growth or maturity from anyone since 2015 as him and his family. It has been an incredible journey to watch and we are grateful to have played a small part.

If you don’t get their reports know that our teammates, Philip and Bekah Duncan, are a great fit here. Philip has helped tremendously with the farms budget but more importantly he has dedicated his time and effort to the teens at Kisongo. This last Sunday, it was awesome to see so many of our teens home from boarding school. But it was even more awesome for them to have a class, led by Philip and Rodrick, to help grow them spiritually. We hope that more churches take the time to begin teaching and training their teens in the Lord.

On Sunday it was announced at Kisongo that the church at Mto wa Mbu is in the processes of installing elders. We were thrilled to hear this! It is so great to see more and more churches choosing the biblical model of leadership. Keep this church and their possible new elders in your prayers.

End of March

End of March

Farming

Now that government regulations are more stable we have our broiler project back up and running. We currently have 800 and hope to be able to maintain this project again. Each 200 batch are about one weeks apart to hopefully get back on a good rotation.

We had to spray for fall worms in our corn again this year. However, if we don’t begin receiving rain soon (even just small showers) then we are going to lose this crop. The highest chance for rain is in the next few days so please pray it begins to rain.

Evangelism

I have spent the last two weeks teaching two short courses at Andrew Connally School of Preaching. The first week I taught Bible geography. Thanks to John Moore and his lesson plans and our 2018 trip to the Holy Lands I was able to provide the class with lots of information and pictures of the places in the Bible and how that affects the stories and our understanding.

This last week I taught a course on personal evangelism. I have enjoyed this class a lot as it is something I’m familiar with here and it created a lot of conversation with the students.

We meant to post this in our last report but forgot… we are so grateful to the North Tuscaloosa church of Christ. Since 2015 they have been so involved here with us and been a constant encouragement. Before we left to come back this year they sent us 10 water filters for families! Last year they sent one and it has made a HUGE impact on the family it was received by. Their children who were constantly at the doctor haven’t been sick in a year! Clean drinking water is difficult to come by here and the water filter they sent has been a major blessing. So, we passed out 10 more thanks to North Tuscaloosa and the recipients and their families are so grateful. (Yes, we know only 7 are pictured below but 3 had to leave.) And the man on the far right was the original recipient last year and showed the others how to use them!

Thank you all for your continued support as our time here is growing short. We are grateful to all of you for helping the church here in Tanzania.

 

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Mid March 2019

Mid March 2019

Farming

The first week of March we were blessed to have Don Hendricks and his son, Corey, with us. They climbed Kilimanjaro and then came to us to help on the farm. We are grateful to them for their hard work. Sometimes farm work isn’t glamorous, just hard, and they didn’t complain as we dug ditches for several more days. We finally have trenches that run the length of the farm. We have also redone all of the raised beds to prepare for the rainy season. With that being said, we have only had a couple of small rains since the crops were planted. However the corn, beans, and sunflowers are all out of the ground. It has rained all around us but not in Kisongo this past week. So please pray that we soon begin receiving rain.

The farm continues to run well as we are still ironing out all of the last minute details for our summer departure. We know that even after we leave there will be things we did not anticipate so please be praying for all of those things and the transition for our friends and fellow workers.

Evangelism

Now that we are back our routine is finally back to “normal”. Anna continues to teach her children’s classes at the daycare and local school every week. She is also back in the routine of follow-up studies and new evangelism studies with members of our Kisongo church. 

This month the women of the local congregations met on the first Saturday for Bible study. This is something they do every month. They asked Anna to teach on Obadiah and for her to teach on Malachi next month. Two Tanzanian women also taught and gave wonderful lessons.

We are also slowly visiting our Tanzanian brethren house to house as we say our goodbyes over the next few months. This is so hard on us and them and please pray for this process as everyone grieves and accepts change.

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End of Feb 2019

End of Feb 2019

Farming

The last two weeks of February have been slam-packed. Samantha and Joe Burns, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, came back to Tanzania with us to help us with some final projects. Joe is a horticulturist who owns a nursery in Grovetown, Georgia. In November of 2017 he came, and along with members of the Central Church of Christ in Augusta, helped us start our grove of fruit trees. Only one year later many of these trees are doing well. He helped us replant those that are not and reassess what grows well where we are and just overall improve this project. Fifty more trees were planted and all of the trees were trimmed and the Tanzanians were taught general maintenance.

We were also able to get the corn and beans planted. The rains are supposed to begin this weekend and we pray that God blesses this new crop.

The greenhouse was also cleaned out and tomatoes and peppers were harvested for the school. Then, we replanted sunflowers in the greenhouse in the hopes that this will keep out the birds.

Bekah, Anna, and Samantha harvested the carrots from the garden. It was awesome to see the improvement in our soil in the last three years. In 2015-2016 we tried to grow carrots but the soil was too hard. However, this month we harvested 75 kg of carrots (165 lbs), 8 kg of peppers ( 17.6 lbs), and 44 kg of tomatoes (96.8 lbs). More has been harvested over the last three months of the tomatoes and peppers this was just the final harvest before we cleaned the greenhouse.

Evangelism

Anna and Samantha had a busy two weeks while Joe and I worked on the farm. Two days after arriving in Tanzania they held a women’s seminar at the Kisongo church. The theme was “God Heals the Broken” and there was a great turnout and wonderful responses to the lessons.

Anna was thrilled to get back to her Wednesday bible class at the local daycare, Walk in Love. The children welcomed “Auntie Anna” back with gleeful screams and loved learning about Joshua and Jericho. The neat thing was many of the children were new but the nannies had taught them the Bible songs while Anna was away.

On Friday they went to the local school where Anna, Paulina, and Mama Kashumba (both Tanzanian members of the Kisongo church) taught the children at the local public school. This year they have more kids than ever before. Even the floor from front to back is filled! A quick head count showed around 160 children (last year averaged around 120).

On Saturday Samantha held a children’s seminar for the local children of Kisongo at the Kisongo church of Christ. More than 100 children came and learned about David and Goliath and having a shield of faith in their lives. There were lots of games (like throwing “tape rocks” at Goliath’s head and dodging satan’s fiery darts with shields) and the children even acted out the story of David and Goliath at the end.

We are grateful to be back home in Tanzania. Please keep the church here in your prayers and the wonderful work they are doing to further grow the Kingdom.

A Letter To Our Supporters

A Letter To Our Supporters

We hope this letter finds you all well. We wanted to update all of you on our future plans in both Tanzania and elsewhere. First, we want to start by thanking all of you. From day 1 of us joining the TZ missions team in Tanzania all of you have been 100% on board. We had heard horror stories of raising and living on support ,and it just wasn’t any of that for us. The Church stepped up and showed us their best side and have been behind us, not just monetarily, but behind us with love, prayers, encouragement, and with joy.

We knew going into this that we had to set an end-date. The end-date for the farming project was the fall of 2019. Unfortunately, this date has found us much quicker than we would have liked. However, we have full confidence in the farm team and Agustine’s leadership. They have been trained and love the project as much as we do and now it will belong 100% to them. We will be working along side of them until July of this year, 2019. Our roll will be a little different this year as we step back and work for Agustine but this has always been the plan and we are excited to see it in action. We also have several seminars set up for when we get back and lots of church and evangelism work.

But we ask that everyone no longer send money after July 31st, 2019. As of August 1st we are excited about the new work we will begin in Spanish Fort, Alabama. We will be working with the Spanish Fort Church of Christ as the youth minister. Many of you may be surprised by our stepping away from foreign mission work, we are too. But, on our flight home we prayed that God put us where He wants us to be not where we think we want to be. After many hours in prayer, talking to those we love and trust, and more prayer we feel like God has led us to a great opportunity to serve Him. We are so excited for this next chapter in our lives. Looking back we can see God’s plan for us in all of this and see how he has been preparing and leading us toward this. Pray for us as we are sad to see what we love come to and end ,but also thrilled to start this new role with a Church that in a short time we have grown to love so much.

Thank you all for your constant love and support. You have played such a huge roll in furthering the Lord’s Kingdom in Tanzania even though many of you have never been to Tanzania.

In Him,

Justin and Anna Maynard

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.