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.
We were able to host a local friend, her little boy, and cousin over for dinner and watch the Jesus film. They had to leave early before finishing the movie, but we were able to finish the rest of the film with the friend at a later date. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would captivate these three locals hearts with this message of the Gospel truth and that the Father would draw them to His Son Jesus!
Mama N is one of those neighbors who has heard the gospel over and over, but is locked in her beliefs. She swung by yesterday and the Lord opened yet another conversation with Mama N about how I have assurance of my salvation by the grace of God through faith in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross for my sins. My husband had a similar conversation at a ceremony sitting next to the local Muslim secondary school headmaster. Please pray for their salvation and the salvation of their whole families!
Praise the Lord one of our brand new Tanzanian interns led a local man to Jesus as they were farming together in the field this week! Today the man joined us at church and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ before us all, to our great joy! Pray for his spiritual & physical protection & for the body of Christ to know how to best enfold him into our family of God!
Mama S has started coming every afternoon to learn to read & write Swahili! Not only is she learning in this way, but we have time together to pray & for me to share a Bible story with her. Praise God for providing this way for my sister to grow in her young faith and pray this would lead to her whole family’s salvation. Pray the Lord would protect, enable and equip her in all that she needs in Christ Jesus.
We spent Thursday evening visiting with Bibi H again, caring for some of her needs, making her more comfortable, and praying for and encouraging her in the hope of Heaven in Jesus. We knew her time was near. Bibi H passed away the next morning and became the very first Christian ever allowed to be buried in our village! I shared with her neighbor ladies as we washed and shrouded her body for burial and then I prayed over her again thanking God for her life & the hope of heaven and assurance of salvation we have in Christ Jesus. Her funeral was attended by the few Christians in our area and a surprisingly large number of Muslim neighbors. It was a peaceful witness of Jesus Christ as the church came together to honor her life and share the Gospel she had put her hope in. We can’t count how many heard the gospel that day and witnessed the Body of Christ lived out amongst them. I do know Bibi H had no idea how beautifully & broadly the Gospel would be shared through her death. She was probably the most insignificant weak powerless woman in our village and yet God chose her to make glorious history & share the gospel with more than ever before here! Praise Be To God!
In visiting Sunday with elderly Bibi H, we sensed she will soon pass. I shared the gospel of hope with her again and we all sang to her a Swahili hymn. She assured us she believes and is ready to see God. Please pray that what she has confessed to us with her mouth about her faith in Jesus, she has truly believed in her heart. We want to worship with her in heaven one day! Pray the Lord would mercifully bring her home in His perfect time.
She said she heard of Jesus, but had never heard he was God’s own Son, actually God with us who chose to be born a man to die in our place for our sins so we could be restored to relationship with our Holy God. She never heard that before today sitting on my front porch with me as I prayed for her healing in Jesus name. She said she believes she is a sinner, just like me, and we all need a Savior. I told her our Savior is Jesus. She said “God save me through Jesus.” I said Amen. Pray for her healing & new birth today!