Hi everyone! It has been a long time since my last ministry blog. It seems as though there is always something else that needs to be accomplished, so I have not been faithful to blog like I should, like I desire. I wanted to call this blog ‘Torn‘ but instead changed it to what you see for a reason. First let me update you on all that has happened the last couple of months.
We hosted a coworker from Mozambique who came here to do a language and culture evaluation for us and our coworkers. Since Amy has received some training in this area, she shadowed him through most of the evals in order to begin to learn how to do that. We were rated at Capable-Low, and must pass Capable-Mid and reach Capable-High, in order to complete formal language study (CLA: culture and language acquisition) and move on to full-time ministry tasks. In July it will be two years under this program and we are hoping to be done this year (reach Capable-High).
We have been working on a partnership with another Mission here in Tanzania, so that we can forgo registering for the time being, so that we can capitalize on manpower and resources, and so that we can focus more on CLA. In order to cover all of our bases, we are drafting a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Missions, so that is one development we are very glad to see. We expect to be done with this project in the Fall.
Our Field Leadership decided it would be a good idea to host a Mini-Conference next month, so there are several things that need to be planned or coordinated for this event. We are excited to welcome some coworkers from Mozambique and a Field Leader from West Africa to discuss several things about the ministry here and our what it might look like to do cross-cultural church planting in our context. Amy and I have taken on some of the responsibilities of planning for this event in order to free our coworkers to continue their CLA.
On a more personal ministry note, I have made a couple of friends in our neighborhood that I am utilizing more regularly for language help and socializing. I don’t yet have a broad spectrum of friends from all classes of society, but things are definitely going in the right direction. It was really fun meeting with my friend one day, he said he didn’t have enough money for food, but Amy and I had just been given a large sack of flour which we decided to split up and give out. It was a real blessing to see his reaction when I gave him a gallon-size ziploc full of flour. It was a blessing that within our relationship he was comfortable telling me that he didn’t have enough money for food (not asking me for money…) but that I could provide him something and minister to him in his need. On several other occasions it has been him ministering to me by showing me where something is or teaching me about aspects of their culture. In the near future I plan on talking to him about the topic of discipleship and that will open some doors to Bible studies and further minister here in our neighborhood.
In all honesty, I feel like I am not doing the best job when it comes to ministering to my family. We have lots of fun together, we do Bible stories and Bible songs all the time, but it is a real challenge to make sure that my family is fed spiritually and growing continually. As the spiritual leader of the family, I definitely feel this responsibility and I need to do a better job at it. I’m putting this out there for everyone to know so that you can pray for us, and keep me accountable. Amy and I need to pray together consistently and pray for our family, not just our ministry outside the home, and we need to use the tools that we have with our kids to train them up to follow God. Thanks for keeping me accountable in this.
Now here is why I gave this blog this title, because there are so many things pulling at us and requiring our attention, we feel torn between all of them sometimes. We have so many ministry tasks already on our plate, yet we still greatly desire to focus on CLA. At the same time, we can’t live in a bubble or with our heads buried in the sand. Life, ministry is happening all the time, and we’re glad for that. We are blessed and joyful to be able to minister here and we want to do a good job because our God is deserving of our best. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discouraged, or complaining about this. We’re ecstatic that so much is happening in our ministry at the moment. We just want to be able to do the best job possible and use the wisdom God has given us, and call upon Him for more wisdom each day, in order to achieve the goal of bringing lost souls to Him.
We’re glad that you are with us on this incredible journey and hope that you understand how important you are to us, and this team.
Next Week: It will be our 2 Year Anniversary here in Tanzania. Stay tuned for some pictures and another update then. God bless you!