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Trips

Tanzania - May 2017

Mwanza, Tanzania April 28 - May 7, 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: Hermeneutics (English) & Genesis (Swahili)

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

Field Notes   Tanzania - May 2017

May  5th,  2017Sleeping....and Kingdom Building

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"A Bible, Hermeneutics notes...and pistachios. Is anything better?"

 

As our team enjoys a meal together on the shore of Lake Victoria after a week of teaching, caring, listening, praying, encouraging and being encouraged by our fellow Tanzanian pastors, I think of the parable Jesus taught:

"The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mark 4:26-29).

Our team will sleep well tonight, as we are tired from a week of labor. While we sleep, God (who never sleeps or grows weary), will be building His kingdom here in Tanzania. And Malawi. And Serbia. And Nepal. And Ethiopia. And......

How does He do it? We know not how. It is a mystery. 

Lord, thank You that You are building Your kingdom. Thank You for two sweet and sweaty like-minded brothers I was privileged to labor with this week. Thank your for supporters who believe in our kingdom work. Thank You for kingdom workers around the world who need to rest after their day of labor. Thank You that You are building Your kingdom while we all sleep tonight.

Steve Krogh 

International Trainer

 

 

 

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May  4th,  2017A Teachable Moment

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Today is the eve of our departure from Tanzania, and today it was impressed upon me just how difficult cross-cultural communication is. 

I was reminded of this today during my seminar on marriage and family.  This seminar is being offered to pastors and their wives in a region that has some very troublesome practices regarding marriage, and particularly the treatment of women. Others who live in Tanzania, look on this region, the “Mara” region, as being a bit like the Wild Wild West. And the stories we hear on the ground bear this out.

The communication disconnect happened during a Q and A at the end of the day. Everyone is tired. The rain had just poured all over the city, and our chairs were huddled away from the edges of the roof line of our open structure to avoid getting attendees wet. I spent 28 minutes answering a question on sexual intimacy in marriage, assuming a certain set of assumptions. At one point when I was calling for the need for extra sympathy and understanding, my students—pastors and wives—start laughing. How could they be so hard-hearted! My indignation was rising.

If I do not catch myself, I can find myself struggling with self-righteousness when I am not being understood properly, or when I am not being given the benefit of the doubt, or the judgment of charity. When my guard is down, I can actually believe it is their  duty to understand me, and not my duty to speak carefully in a way crafted to help them understand. Actually, cross-cultural communication is so difficult.  And both the sender and receiver need to work hard in order to come to a common understanding.

When the students burst out laughing as I was sharing such a sober moment, I knew we had completely missed each other. My assumptions had been incorrect. They quickly clarified. Now the answer was easy, and in two minutes, we were dismissed.

Joost Nixon

TLI, Director of Long-Term Strategy

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May  2nd,  2017Continued Blessing in Tarime

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After a restful Monday night, the team was refreshed for day two of our teaching effort in the northern town of Tarime in Tanzania.  Joost Nixon started his class on Marriage and Family this morning with a very few students, but by the end of the day saw an increase of over 300%.  The material he is covering is so practical and relevant for any culture, but seems very necessary here and now.

Steve Krogh was in day two of his class on Hermeneutics.  This topic is of such great importance for all of God's people so that we would be equipped through the constant study of His Word.  The pastors who are attending these classes are in need of real discipleship in the area of Bible study for consistent preaching and teaching.

I continued in the book of Genesis.  Good discussion ensued as the class worked through the origin of family, the beginning of sin in humanity, the curses brought on by sin, and the reprecussions that continue today.

The people that we are around all day are joyfully serving the Lord and have an infectious warmth and zeal.  It is a blessing to know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are so different worldwide, and they each add a beautiful piece to the family of God.  Wise older men in the ministry here give stability and leadership, and young men provide energy and fresh perspective.  We are so blessed to be involved in the ministry process, if only for such a short time.

Adam Harris

Short-term team member

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May  1st,  2017Tanzania Trio Arrives and Gets to Work

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The Tanzania team has safely arrived and has completed one day of teaching.

Our team consists of a Norwegian, a big Dutchman and a cowboy hat and boot wearing pastor. Steve Krogh (TLI International Trainer) is teaching Hermeneutics, Joost Nixon (TLI Director of of School Planting) is teaching a Marriage & Family Seminar for pastors and wives, and Adam Harris (Pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Priest River, Idaho) is teaching Genesis.

We will let you figure out who is wearing the wooden Dutch shoes and who is wearing the cowboy boots!

It is always good to see how God gives a variety of gifts to a variety of people for the building up of his church.

Our two classes are in full swing and hopefully when all the chalk dust on the chalkboards settles, the Word of God will spring up and bear fruit in the lives of these dear pastors.

Pastors and wives are coming through the gates of East Africa Chirstian School tonight in preparation for the Marriage and Family seminar, which begins tomorrow. Please pray that God will use this seminar to strengthen Christ-centered marriages and homes in Tanzania, which is a great need.

On Sunday we were all privileged to open God's Word among his exuberant people here. 

Thank you for partnering with us in giving and praying, making this possible.

 

Steve, Joost, Adam

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