|Crops growing well at |
This month our team mates, Tony and Cath Swanson, return to the UK for 6 months’ home assignment. Tony has been managing the day-to-day operations at Sanga Sanga (amongst other things) and in his absence we and the Dixons will continue with this. We would appreciate your prayers for us as we spend more time there liaising with the workers, paying their wages, receiving guests and dealing with any issues that come up. Matt will continue planning for the construction of the conference hall which, God willing, will commence once the rainy season has finished in May.
|Matt's construction site office |
at Sanga is coming on well
Last month we welcomed two temporary team mates – Katherine and Melody – who are in Morogoro for three months to learn Swahili. After that they will be living in the village of Pande, near Tanga. Pande is a majority Muslim village and the people are from the Digo tribe – an unreached people group. We recently visited Pande to meet the pastor of the AICT church there, check out accommodation for Katherine and Melody and visit Amani Primary School where they will be working. It was a productive visit and the two ladies are looking forward to getting there.
|Beautiful Arusha National Park|
|'Motorway' service station - not closed for repairs!|
As part of our call to Tanzania, a Bible passage that played a confirming role for Steve was the story of Elisha’s calling at the end of 1 Kings 19 (v. 19-21). Here was Elisha going about his daily business, ploughing his fields, when out of the blue steps the prophet Elijah, who simply throws his cloak over the shoulders of Elisha – and then seemingly runs off! It might sound a strange passage but for various reasons there were a number of elements to that story that rang true for Steve. Whilst not equating Tony Swanson to the camel-skin wearing Elijah, the time seems to have come for the transference of the cloak so to speak! And that mantle of unit leadership will be taken up by Steve when Tony leaves for home assignment on 6th April.
So, what will unit leadership involve? The core task will be to ensure member care for those in the Eastern Tanzania unit, currently numbering 23 adults, and that will include visitation, debriefs and reviews, and encouraging members in their current ministries. Amongst other things, Steve will also be helping to oversee housing and immigration issues for the missionaries, as well as maintaining relationships with partner organisations, and working with the AICT church to further their efforts to work in unreached areas of Tanzania.
Steve says, "A few months ago I read a very practical book on leadership by Dave Kraft, and he defined a Christian leader in this way: 'A Christian leader is a humble, God-dependent, team-playing servant of God who is called by God to shepherd, develop, equip, and empower a specific group of believers to accomplish an agreed-upon vision from God.' In no way am I saying that that describes me, but I think the quote sums up what I want to be and need to be as I take on this responsibility of supporting AIM missionaries here in eastern Tanzania. I would certainly value your prayers as I take this on, and maybe you could use the specifics of that quote to pray for me: that God would enable me to support our folks here in a humble and God-dependent way, and that I would be a person who intentionally and lastingly influences others, for His glory and purposes.”
Thank you for your continued interest and prayerful support. We pray that you will be truly blessed as you reflect on God’s sacrificial love this Easter time.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2: 9-11
|AICT Dakawa, near Morogoro - |
the 'shed' church!
- Please pray for us as we both prepare talks – Steve in Swahili for the pastors' seminars and Ruth for a Ladies Retreat in May.
- Pray for Steve as he takes over as Unit Leader, for wisdom and insight into this new role.
- Pray for Tony & Cath Swanson as they begin home assignment, and for the Dixons and ourselves in their absence.
- Pray for Ruth as she manages the cash for Sanga Sanga, for good systems and processes.
Diary Dates for April:
6th: Tony & Cath leave for home assignment in UK. Steve takes up Unit Leader role
for Eastern Tanzania, initially for six months
19th: Steve preaching at Dakawa AICT church
22nd–26th: Mini-break on the coast, south of Dar
Random photos of the month:
|Half coach - half lorry! The words on the front say|
'The Grace of God'!
|Home-made roadworks sign!|