Thank you so much for praying for our church-covenant-signing service and second baptismal service. On August 7, 6 people were baptized (picture attached), bringing the total baptized this year so far to 22, with others already looking forward to the next baptismal service. Praise the Lord! We miss not being able to baptize on a weekly basis, but we have to fill up the baptistery, which takes a lot of water, by hand with water brought from a nearby well. We are looking forward to the day when we can have a water source, either from the city or a shallow well, right on the property. Our baptismal tank is outside, and the water “mysteriously” disappears within a few days. Please pray we can get a water source on the church property.
After the baptismal service, we had a church-covenant-signing service to start afresh and anew as Faith Baptist Church-Ipuli (FBC-Ipuli). We have had the privilege to be a part of four church-covenant-signing services here in Tanzania over the years. All have been so exciting, and it has been such a blessing to be able to be present and participate in them. We have also helped in the beginning stages of a few churches but were not physically present when they signed their covenants. It was such a blessing to have 33 baptized believers covenant together to start anew as Faith Baptist Church-Ipuli. Three more have joined the church since that day, with more already declaring their desires to join the church as soon as they can be baptized.
A few weeks back, we held our first Lord’s Supper. After preaching on the beginnings of the Lord’s Supper, it’s meaning for us today and a time of self-examination, it was so precious to personally be able to serve the elements to all of the members present that day. It was a wonderful time of remembrance and a time of looking forward to Christ’s imminent return.
Completely committed to the fact that we want God to clearly open all doors of ministry by His marvelous grace, we have patiently waited for Him to direct…and HE has! We have now begun to teach in the fourth secondary school. As mentioned in a previous update, we were invited to begin teaching in the first secondary school (picture attached) by the student leader of one of the religious groups of students that meet each week for 80 minutes. This young man is a faithful member of FBC-Ipuli. We were invited to teach in the second school by 3 students who began to attend FBC-Ipuli and heard that we were teaching in one school already. We were introduced by the student leader of that second school to the student leader of a third school, who promptly invited us to teach each week there as well. While teaching one day recently, we had a student leader from the fourth school visit. Within a few days, we received an invitation to come teach in that school. We did not seek any of these opportunities, insuring that it was by God’s direction and grace and also insuring that where He leads, He will enable by His grace. Finally, the opportunity we have been given (grace) to preach to over 300 secondary students from all over the country of Tanzania will be completely for His glory. Please pray God will really move on the hearts of these students. If there are still any unsaved students who attend, pray that they will trust Christ. Please also pray that those who have already trusted Christ will surrender to God’s will and direction.
We have attached a picture of the special Bible Day we held just a few weeks ago, during which we gave out Bibles to all of the church members. It was so exciting to see every member get his or her own Bible. Most have never owned a Bible. Others had Bibles that were barely being held together. We are so thankful that we already have enough Bibles to give out to the first 100 members of FBC-Ipuli.
In addition to those saved through the Secondary School Ministry, we have had the privilege nearly every week of leading people to Christ, either at the village church or at the city church in Ipuli. Among those trusting Christ have been several children from both churches who have heard the Gospel many times and have now taken the step of faith to trust Christ. Praise the Lord!
Life is simply our faith in HIS grace!