A team member had a birthday this week, so we hosted a party at her home, inviting several of the local girls to come and join us. It was a fun time with 10 local girls and a local Christian friend from church. After some games we ended the afternoon eating cake and watching the Jesus film for women. We gave out New Testaments to all who wanted them. One woman told a teammate that the movie touched her heart. Let’s pray that the truth of the Gospel seen and heard at this birthday party would stick with those who heard and be a seed that bears fruit unto salvation in their lives. His word does not return void!
“Lord, may whole Swahili families turn to Jesus with faith that endures and bears fruit.”
Our local church has just welcomed a Tanzanian family that is excited to serve the Lord in one of the unreached villages in our district. The plan is that this family will stay in this town for several months to build good, solid relationships with the church and team located here. Then, there is a possibility they will move to one of the villages we already do ministry in as further training before moving out to the more remote location that they will, Lord willing, one day live in to start sharing the Gospel there. We are excited to get to know this family! Be praying for them to grow in their relationships with Jesus, with each other as a family, with our local church and team, and for the Lord to fully prepare and equip them for the work that He has for them in the village. Pray that through them many Swahili Bantu will be saved.
The intern kids arrive for afternoon Bible story & play time at our home each weekday. Slowly more neighborhood kids (of our new or secret believers) have begun to join the intern kids in listening to the Chronological Gospel story from creation to Christ. Please pray the Lord would keep sending them to hear the beautiful story of the Gospel and that they would have a firm foundation established in the truth for all their lives unto salvation. Pray for us as we prepare for the upcoming seminar on Chronological Bible Storying for the intern families as well.
Mama S is beginning to grow in her relationship with the Lord – gaining confidence of who she is in Christ and intimacy with God in her prayer life with Him. Her children have a growing heart for Jesus as well. Although neither she nor her children are allowed yet to worship openly with us, we have seen a softening in her husband toward the gospel. But please pray for the protection of their marriage! People, including her in-laws, have begun to spread vicious rumors about Mama S’s character in the village with the goal of inciting her husband to divorce her. On their porch one afternoon, God opened the door to talk frankly with Baba S about what we saw clearly as a satanic attack to divide and destroy their family. Praise God Baba S acknowledged that this was true and he would not give up on his family! We know satan still wants to devour their family. Please pray for the Lord’s protection and salvation over their whole family.
This Easter, local churches from several denominations gathered in town to publicly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus together! We estimate that over 200 people were in attendance, both Christians and Muslims who came to watch. There was joyful and praise-filled singing by the choirs, children reciting verses they had learned in Sunday school, and money was even raised to help a regional school for children with disabilities. What a witness to our Muslim neighbors and friends to see Christians gathering and celebrating Jesus together despite differences of denomination! We are praising Jesus for what He was doing in our midst on Sunday and praying that He uses it to draw our Muslim neighbors closer to Himself so that they too might know the joy and hope of His resurrection that His people celebrated together on Sunday! Thank You, Jesus, for what You have done for us!
Continue to pray against the attack of Satan in attempting to divide and discourage Mama & Baba S. They have worked so hard & sacrificed so much to try to make a better life for their family. A giant python got into their chicken coup and ate 7 chickens before he was killed. For them, this is a huge discouraging loss. Pray they would see this as a sign that they are doing something honorable & Satan only wants to discourage & keep them trapped in the extreme poverty. Pray the Lord would use this to draw Mama S deeper into faith & prayer with Him & this would lead Baba S to seek the Savior! What Satan has meant for evil, may the Lord turn to good.
Praise God the beginning of a church is being planted in our village after generations who once resisted any church presence! A local believer, who has completed studies away at Bible college & is supplementing his income through work at our non profit, has been appointed to begin Sunday worship service in a classroom at the local secondary school with new local believers who are able to stand and join in this way. The majority of us long term outside believers will remain at our neighboring church so the new body can develop naturally it’s own indigenous identify as the body of Christ while receiving love & encouragement from us in the larger body of Christ. Pray for the Lord to build his church, his kingdom on the Swahili coast!
Our team has several friends that have dealt with, or currently are dealing with, sicknesses in their families. As individual teammates have prayed for these dear friends who have yet to know Jesus, let’s be praying that they come to see the power and love of Jesus through these prayers! May they see that Jesus is a God who cares for them personally, hears our prayers to Him, and answers! May God open their eyes to see His gracious answers to prayers in Jesus name so that they may know the power of the name of Jesus and believe that He truly is God.
In one of the villages our team does outreach in, there is a local sister who has just recently come to faith. She has been receiving some persecution from her neighbors and friends in her village because of her new faith in Jesus. Additionally, because the rains have been late this year, her field in which she planted rice this year is dying. Please pray for this local sister to grow in her faith and learn to cling tightly to Jesus in the midst of the hard things she is facing. Pray that Jesus would show Himself, His love, and His provision for her and her son in tangible ways. And, pray for the team and our local church partners to be given practical way to love this sister well and support her as the body of Christ. May her village see the love of Christ through all of this.