Can you believe that the year is half over already? Time sure does seem to be flying. Life here in Tanzania is good. We can’t complain. God has been good to us. I want to start off my letter by saying thank you so much for the birthday wishes for my wife and me. I also want to thank you for the anniversary wishes. Thanks for thinking of us. We consider it a privilege that God would allow us to serve Him here. In August we are planning to go on furlough. We are looking forward to being back and seeing all of our friends and family. Esther was two when we left, and she is six now. So she is really excited to see America. Until then we are also excited to write to you and tell you the many things that have happened throughout these past two months.
We have been averaging 185 people in church on Sundays and 75 on Wednesdays. However, the real excitement has been the 30-plus people who have been coming out for soul winning. To see new folks and folks who maybe haven’t come for a while start to be faithful in soul winning has been the best blessing. Any kind of growth is always encouraging. It’s encouraging to have people responding to the preaching and to have the altar full. It’s also encouraging to see the Muslim husband of one of our ladies keep coming to church and slowly getting involved with church activities. Seeing our men here encouraging him is such a delight.
We have had two fellowship activities at church recently. We had our 2nd Annual Teens vs. Adults Soccer Match, with the teens winning 2-1. For the first time, we had a bicycle competition. We had 9 ladies compete, and the winner got a gas stove cooker. We had 17 men compete, and the winner got a new bicycle. It was our first time, so the race wasn’t too long. It was 8km (about 5 miles). The fastest time for the ladies was 24 minutes, and for the men it was 18 minutes.
Back in January a group of men from an area called Gonja, which is about six hours away from where we are, asked if we could help them start a church. The “main guy” is the son of one of our church members. I told him that first we would need to talk with them to make sure we agreed biblically, and then one day I would take some of my staff men and laymen to go and see Gonja. Well, we had the opportunity to go a few weeks ago. Wow! They live way up in the mountains, and there are a lot of people. They were just “popping out of the bushes.” They said, “We are here, and we need a church.” The door is wide open to start something. We paid for the four men to come and meet our people here at Grace Baptist Church so they could share their burden with them. After the service they met with all of our deacons. Please pray, as we are in the very early stages of starting this church. Much prayer and wisdom is needed, along with timing due to the fact that we are leaving for furlough. We are excited, though, that God has opened the door, and the ultimate goal is to see many souls come to Christ.
In closing, I wanted to share with you the opportunity that we had to do a one-day camp for our public school kids. There was preaching, games, swimming, etc. We thank the Lord for the 200 we had, with many trusting in Christ. We continue to see them each week as we teach at their schools.
As always, we are so grateful for every one of you, for the sacrifice that is given for us to be here. We know that without you, we couldn’t be here. Thank you for teaming up with us as we labor together.
Your missionary representatives,
Mshama, Martha, and Esther Kinyonga