Our bus ride from Tabora to Morogoro, although a tiring 11½ hours, was uneventful, except for the music entertainment. When we asked one of the stewards to turn down the volume, he did so immediately. After a short time, however, the other steward turned up the volume again. When we asked him why, the driver overheard us and told the steward just to turn off the entire system. Praise the Lord! The rest of the trip was very peaceful. When thanking the driver, he said he had seen us at their offices talking with the founder of the bus line, which we do from time to time. Relationships still mean a lot here in Tanzania.
Talking about relationships, one of our neighbors around the corner was playing their music very loudly, so much so that it was pounding in our house, even with the windows and doors closed. I had been there to ask them to turn it down on two previous occasions. Rachel decided to go the last time and started going to the house in front. She greeted everyone outside the house but realized that it was not the right house. Before she left, she made an appointment to come back with me after church that night to share the Gospel and pray for an 80-year-old lady’s health. We did go back that night and shared the Gospel. Although she did not accept Christ, she did indicate a desire to come to church. You can imagine our excitement when she came to church two weeks later. After church, Rachel sat down with her, and this time she did trust Christ as her Saviour, as well as several others. Praise the Lord!
That same Sunday, a 63-year-old retired teacher, who had just become a member out at Faith Baptist Church in the village of Ndevelwa, came walking into the city church just as I was beginning to preach. He had suddenly moved, and nobody knew where. Turns out, he had moved in with one of his children in town. He used to walk about an hour one way to come to church. That day, he walked about the same distance, or maybe even more, to come find the city church to which he had never been. We were amazed and so thankful. Now, praise the Lord, he can ride a van to church.
As we wrote in our last prayer update, we were planning to go to Dar to pick up Sarah and a truck that would enable us to make trips to places where we have been invited but have not been able to go because of the condition of the roads, especially during the rainy season. Well, we did travel to Dar, and we did pick Sarah up from the airport on time and with all her luggage. However, the truck encountered challenges during the importation process. Although we still may not know all the reasons for the challenges while in Dar es Salaam, we do know they all were for His honor and glory, and we have the following thoughts: Jerry, Jr. had the opportunity to preach on two occasions at a wonderful independent Baptist church and was able to renew his license to perform weddings. We were able to take care of some very important business for Faith Baptist Churches of Tanzania. We had the opportunity to talk to new people about Christ. Sarah and Timothy were able to spend some extra time with their brother and his family in Morogoro. And last, but not least, some major repairs were made to the truck at no charge to us personally that will, Lord willing, provide many years of trouble-free driving. The church that was used of the Lord to provide the truck by HIS marvelous grace said they wanted to see the truck sitting in the driveway, thus the attached picture of it in our driveway. Please pray with us that the Lord would make it clear to us when to make a trip to Kigoma as soon as possible. They have really been after us to come.
On June 29, we had a Kids’ Day and were very thankful Sarah and Timothy were able to help run this exciting day for the young people. They helped with the games on Saturday and did puppets together on Sunday. We had a great turnout both days! Most of the children have made decisions to accept Christ in the past few years, and it was such a blessing to see their attentiveness to the Bible lesson and verse memorization. They are really growing spiritually, and some are already going through the discipleship lessons. We are excited to see what God is doing with these young people and look forward to their leadership in the future of this young church.
It is hard to believe, but Sarah is already back in the States. We had an incredibly wonderful time together. She was such an encouragement to us and the churches here in Tanzania. Please pray with us as she begins her second semester of her junior year next month.