To say that this year has had some twists and turns worldwide would, I believe, be an understatement. It is almost the end of June. The year is already half over—and “WOW” is about all I can say at the moment! It is good to know that God is the same, and He alone brings peace in times of trouble. We are in good hands with the Lord.
We ended up having 20 cases or so in our town of Morogoro. Most of the cases in Tanzania were in the much bigger cities; but the government didn’t stop public travel on buses and such, so the virus ended up spreading to the smaller towns. Our president here said we all needed to take three days and pray that God would show favor to us in Tanzania. That was May 17-19. Because of that, I had the opportunity to pray for our nation live on TV. Since I had five minutes or so, I prayed that God would protect us from COVID-19, but I also gave the full Gospel presentation. I then had the opportunity to be live on a radio station as well and give a ten-minute or so devotional talking about overcoming fear. So, God was able to get the glory in spite of the pandemic. As of June 1, Tanzania has opened up the universities and is allowing the sporting events like soccer. On June 29, schools for all grades will resume.
During the month of June, we brought back our Sunday school hour, and we were able to split again and start up or our married Sunday school class. It’s a blessing to be able to bring back slowly some of our regular things that we had to stop before. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially during the month of June, we have been averaging 380. Before the Coronavirus, we averaged 320. That means that in spite of the pandemic, God added 60 more people to our church, and because of that, we had to increase our buses by two. The Roberts, a couple from our church, invited their neighbors. Their neighbors came for a few weeks, liked it, and kept coming. They got saved and baptized and are now members here at GBC. God is still doing great things everywhere. Even though we see and read negative things, God is still busy adding to the church.
I want to take this time to thank the churches that gave so we could buy another church bus. It is so encouraging to see that folks love the Bus Ministry. We were able to purchase another 27-passenger bus-/van-type of vehicle. It allows us to save money so we don’t have to pay to rent a bus for at least two of our routes on Sundays and Wednesdays. We also want to thank the church that gave money for us to help our folks during the COVID-19 crisis. We were able to purchase each family a complete meal. COVID-19, for the most part, has hurt folks here by way of work. Things aren’t coming in to sell and people aren’t building, etc., so food is the biggest need. We appreciate that nice gesture to help our families here. Please know that we fervently pray for America, the government, and the churches. We pray that God will show mercy and that the Gospel will spread quickly so that real change can happen. We love you all and thank you for your faithfulness so that we can continue to be here.
Your missionary friends,
Mshama, Martha, Esther, & Benjamin Kinyonga