We are missing the cooler weather right now! The temperature is warming up here. Going from four seasons to one is a challenge. With this kind of heat comes a lack of rain. All of the creeks are dry, and the people are struggling to find water on a daily basis. We are currently receiving water from the city once a week for a maximum of two hours. Like those around us, we have had to find water elsewhere. There is a lot that divides us from the nationals, but the lack of water has given us something in common. We may have more money and live in a different home than they do, but no amount of money can help us get water.
We are more than halfway done with our Swahili lessons. Kellie and I are both learning at different paces. She remembers more of the words than I do, but she struggles with forming sentences. I am around Swahili speakers more often and can understand more of what’s being spoken. I’ve even had people tell me that my Swahili is improving. Neither one of us is gifted with language, so there have been plenty of frustrations and misunderstandings. Our teacher is very patient with us and is more than willing to go over the areas that we don’t understand. We may never speak perfect textbook Swahili, and that’s okay with us; we just want to be able to communicate on a daily basis and eventually lead someone to Christ in their own language.
Back in March, the church opened up a nursery. There were eight ladies who volunteered, and since Kellie is the nursery director, it is her responsibility to oversee the scheduling. Things were going smoothly in the beginning, but over time, Kellie was filling in more and more during the services. Between her Sunday school class and the nursery, she was never in a preaching service. Because there is still a communication barrier, no one told her that a couple of the ladies were no longer helping in the nursery. She was getting overwhelmed and burned out, so with the help of our teacher, she put together a list of requirements and asked for more volunteers. The meeting was to take place between services on Sunday, and things were looking a little bleak. Kellie was starting to get discouraged because no one was showing up, not even the current workers. When she had given up, the ladies started to show up! Kellie had only asked for two more volunteers, but instead, she ended up with five new ladies wanting to help! This has greatly encouraged her, and things have been going better, even though it’s only been a couple of weeks with the new workers.
With language school taking up the majority of our days, our presence in the ministry is primarily on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. The latest Kids’ Day saw 30 trust Christ, with over 280 in attendance. There have also been over 160 salvations in the last 2 months!
I’m not sure how many of you are aware of this, but my uncle and our sending pastor, Kip Morrow, was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer back in January and had emergency brain surgery. Miraculously, he has still been able to pastor his church while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. He and his wife, my Aunt Nelly, have taken some personal time recently. One of the deacons asked me to record a video of my preaching for our church back in Iowa. I was happy to do so. I was already on the schedule to preach here in Tanzania, so I recorded that service. Since the service is in Swahili, I was preaching with the help of a translator. I love how despite the two cultures, two countries, and two languages represented, it is still one family of God.
Please be in prayer for our family. The most recent MRI that was done showed a return of the cancer. He is currently undergoing infusions. It’s really hard for us to be overseas right now. Kip and Nelly have three young adult children: Royce, Remington, and Victoria.
Your missionaries to Tanzania,
Montana, Kellie, and Landon Morrow