March 6 was the one-year anniversary of Kellie opening up the nursery. The kids still get excited every service to have their own area where they get to play and interact with each other. Kellie surprised the workers with a mini-party of donuts and a bottle of pop in between church services. Most, if not all, of the ladies had never had a donut before. They seemed to enjoy the treat. The ladies work hard every month to help Kellie run the nursery. It is definitely not a one-person job!
We have had a revolving door of visitors these past two months. In March, we had a couple here from Washington, Iowa. They were a blessing to us and the Wyatts during their visit. The wife spoke at a village Ladies’ Meeting, which we host every couple of months. While she was teaching, a huge branch from a palm tree broke off and fell to the ground! It was quite the distraction; thankfully, no one got hurt, just a little dirty. The second set of visitors was a youth group from Urbandale, Iowa. They arrived the day before Easter and stayed for 10 days. While they were here, they helped with our annual English Service that we host every Easter. Then the following day, we held Teen Camp for our Swahili- and English-speaking teens. Both events went smoothly, and the teens responded well to the messages that were preached at camp that week. Because it is a bilingual camp, we have a preacher for the Swahili-speaking teens and a preacher for the English-speaking teens. All of the other activities are done together.
The third set of visitors came at the end of April. We hosted a vision-only clinic with Medical Missions Outreach. This is the first year that we have done vision only. Every patient who is seen by the medical team and volunteers is presented with the Gospel afterwards. We saw over 1,300 patients, and over 600 people trusted Christ that week!
One of Kellie’s new behind-the-scenes projects is printing out four Swahili Bible lessons for our village Bible Clubs. The materials are from truewaykids.com, and they have recently been translated into Swahili by another missionary. Kellie has used these lessons to teach her English Sunday school class. She prints out, cuts, and laminates the lessons each and every week. We basically have a printing press in our living room. One of our Bible Club teachers was struggling with his attendance; he was greatly discouraged and wanted to quit. I helped him canvass the neighborhood one weekend and pass out flyers promoting the Bible Club. Prior to our canvassing the neighborhood together, his weekly attendance was 2 or 3 kids, and now he is averaging 30!
Landon celebrated his third birthday on March 29! We held a birthday party that weekend and invited over some of his toddler buddies. He really enjoyed his party and thinks every day is now his birthday.
We have had a busy and exciting time within our ministry these past couple of months, but we have also had some great sorrow within our personal lives. My Uncle Kip, the one with the brain tumor, passed away on April 2. We flew home on April 18 to be there for my family. We spent eight days in Iowa, and it was as much a comfort to them as it was for us. We may never understand the reason why God chose to take Uncle Kip. We know he’s in a better place. He is cancer-free now, but we miss him terribly. Please continue to pray for his wife Nelly and their children—Remington, Royce, and Victoria. His siblings and their families and his mom need your prayers as well. Uncle Kip was also the pastor of our sending church, Victory in Grace Baptist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They are now without a pastor and have formed a pulpit committee. Please pray that God will comfort their hearts and give them wisdom as to how to move forward.
Your missionaries to Tanzania,
Montana, Kellie, and Landon Morrow