Greetings from Tanzania! Summer is almost gone, and fall is fast approaching. We pray that you all had a good summer. We know that school is back in session for most and only a few weeks away for some. We are doing well here, and we thank God that He has given us another two months here in ministry in which we can serve Him and report back to you all.
We started out by taking a few Saturdays to have a soul-winning seminar. Many of our members are faithful soul winners, but it is always necessary to fine-tune and learn from each other. We had a good turnout, as well as a few new members coming and getting involved.
As a church, we were preparing for our church’s anniversary back on August 15. Beforehand, we were fixing up buildings with new paint and new chalkboards, etc., as well as adding a new Sunday school classroom and office. We had plenty of work days as well so people could get involved in taking care of the church grounds. We thank all of you who gave with extra offerings and prayed as well. We know that in order to have success, God must be involved. We did our part physically, but we had an all-night prayer meeting, praying that God would continue to use this place for His glory and honor. It truly was a great time to pray for one another and the country as a whole.
Many have asked about COVID and if there are restrictions. You know that we have a new president, and things are changing slowly. Many changes have been in a good way. As far as COVID, the government now has allowed the vaccine into the country. They use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The president has urged folks to get the vaccine, although right now it is not required. There has been a high surge of COVID cases in the northern part of Tanzania near the more touristy areas, and masks are required when entering government buildings. I had a chance to get interviewed on the national radio about the COVID vaccine. I had to be careful not to talk bad or go against the government openly in any way, but I was able to give a good biblical opinion about the vaccine and why I don’t currently have the vaccine.
Our church’s Seven-Year Anniversary was on the 15th of August. We had prepared for 800 but truly weren’t sure how many would come. I received a phone call from one of my bus captains, and he said, “Pastor, I’m going to need a few more buses.” I said, “Well, how many people are waiting?” To which he replied, “About 300!!” Wow! I wasn’t expecting that answer. The Lord brought 950 people to our service that day. It was organized chaos. We had a great time, and folks pitched in and helped in many areas to try and thin the crowds. Thank you to all who prayed for our big day. It’s been the biggest day that we have had before for any event.
We do ask that you pray for two of our young couples that have lost babies these past months. Amani and Leokadia lost their baby due to a doctor’s malfunction. Their baby was born full-term, yet stillborn, and Leokadia has been in and out of the hospital with problems since then. They have been married less than a year, so please pray that they stand strong and stay encouraged in the Lord. Zebron and Harriet, another couple, have lost two babies. It can be challenging here, with the health system having major issues, but we know that all things work together for good.
Thanks again for your prayers and financial support. We love and appreciate each and every one of you. Please know that we pray for you all often that the Lord will continue to bless you and use you for His glory.
Mshama, Martha, Esther, Benjamin, & Rachel Kinyonga