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Trips

Tanzania Feb 2017

Mwanza, Tanzania February 3-12, 2017

We are partnering with East Africa Christian College (EACC) in providing theological training for pastors in the Tarime region along the Tanzania-Kenya border. This newly opened school is strategically located in an area underserved by pastoral training ministries. Recent gospel advances make the need for equipping pastors especially urgent. We currently teach Swahili-speaking pastors (via interpreters) in a Certificate Program and in 2017 we anticipate teaching English-speaking pastors in the new Diploma Program. TLI has also been asked to teach a bi-annual conference for regional church leaders, which has been well-attended. Tanzania is a beautiful country, home of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park, which is located a few hours drive from EACC Courses: Biblical Theology & Attributes of God

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Tanzania Feb 2017

Feb  9th,  2017Nearing The End

The time here in Tanzania is growing short and each hour of teaching here is more precious for both the teachers and the students.  In just a few days the team has gone from being essential strangers to friends and co-laborers.  Each moment presses us onward to finish the course work and leave the students better taught and better equipped than when we came.  And it is there that the challenge is found.

We are able to teach the students and we are able to even test them, but much like Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, only God can cause the growth.  We are all but workers in God’s vineyard; men who are seeking to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Each day the prayer in my heart is that these men will walk away with a sense of holy dread and delight in the one true God rather than a poor caricature of God.

My overriding message to them is that the greatest need of mankind is to know God.  Why?  The answer lies in the Lord’s prayer in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  To truly know God is to love Him and to trust in Him and to follow Him.  This is why Satan works in the minds of the unbelievers.  That is the battlefield, the mind.  He seeks to blind their minds to the glory of Jesus Christ, who is the image of God.

One Wednesday I had the privilege of taking the class through the attributes of grace and holiness.  Together we went phrase by phrase through Ephesians 2:1-10 to see the fulness of God’s rich grace.  It was good to watch them pause to reflect after half an hour of discussing our polluted roots in verses 1-3.  It was with genuine earnestness that we then took up those glorious two words in verse 4, “But God . . . .”  As the day ended I once again exhorted them to take up this course work and in teach it to their churches.  To take it slowly and reverently so that each of their people might know and love God as He is.

So I invite those who read this short blog to join me in prayer.  Not for health, nor for safety; rather, for the extension of men equipped with the gospel, built up in the most holy faith, ready to boldly and truly speak to the people of Tanzania of their Creator, Sustainer, and God.

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Feb  8th,  2017The Blessing of Serving in Tanzania

We have finished the third day of teaching here in Tanzania. What a blessing! We rejoice that we have been blessed by God to serve him for his glory in this seemingly faraway place!

Our delight is to be one more person in the long line of men engaging in 2 Timothy 2:2 (“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also"). This is our goal and God is helping us to minister his word to these pastors and church leaders.

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I teach biblical theology to four pastors and one youth pastor. They represent a couple different denominations, but we have in common Jesus Christ as Savior and a desire to be further enriched by God's Word. I believe God has been enriching us throughout this week. The biblical theology class is a certificate course and, therefore, we teach through a translator. This can be a challenge and cuts into our time, but it is a way to reach these men with God's Word without them having to learn another language. From what my translator says (Pastor Chacha), the students are learning much. He himself is learning new things! This kind of report is a blessing to hear and I give God all glory for such grace.

A couple of us have struggled with coughs. I was quite sick the week before flying out of the U.S. to come to Tanzania. I am very thankful this was not the week of that sickness! However, a cough is persistent, especially in the evening hours. I am thankful that this has not interfered with the teaching of my class.

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The other fellow struggling with a cough (and congestion) is Ron Latulippe. God has also given him the extra strength to teach. We may be weak in this way, but God is strong. We both experience what God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9: "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" And, like Paul, we have found that we can boast all the more gladly of our  weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us. God receives all glory for the good things that he is dong through us -- through all of us!

Our time is quickly running to an end: one more full day of teaching and then a partial day. We continue to look forward to all that God has for us in the remaining days and are so thankful for all who are praying for his grace and blessing in this good work!

Mark Highman

 

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Feb  7th,  2017Breaking New Ground with Old Friends

Mt._Tarime__Tanzania

Our Tanzania team has completed two days of teaching at East Africa Christian College (EACC) under the shadow of Mt. Tarime near the Kenyan border of Tanzania. We may not have running water (we hoist water from a cistern via a bucket) and our electricity comes and goes, but it is great to be back serving our national partners and able leaders of EACC: Peter Andrew and Christopher John.  

We are breaking new ground as an English Diploma class (Attributes of God) is now being taught, in addition to the Swahili Certificate class (Biblical Theology).

We arrived in time to join over 100 people for a Graduation Celebration on Saturday, which in good African style lasted about four hours and included dancing, speeches and local dignitaries. Our presence helps establish the school in the eyes of the community.  We also presented more than 100 books to EACC for their library during the Celebration. They were received with great joy. 

Among our new students is Joshua, a pastor and church leader who oversees more than 600 churches in his denomination in Tanzania. He is a warm-hearted, engaged member of the Attributes of God class,  expressing deep appreciation for what he is learning.

We look forward to another day of teaching tomorrow, as well as the refreshing "bucket showers" from the cistern water!

Posted by Steve Krogh

Team Members:  Dick Albright, Matthew Henry, Mark Highman, Steve Krogh, Ron Latulippe             

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