Dodoma, Tanzania 2017
This past week has been difficult but God has done great things. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if Brad Felce had not been here to deal with all of the teaching logistic issues and help me get around. In Africa things are never convenient or easy. Getting things done is slow and sometimes, just doesn’t happen.
The night before we started the Being Renewed conference, for 96 bishop’s wives from the Tanzania Assemblies of God, the power was out in the conference hall. It was on through the rest of the college campus but not where we were supposed to meet. I was to be at a meeting with the leadership early the next morning for prayer and instruction but went to bed not knowing if we would have power for the projector. Somehow Brad and the rest figured something out and all was ready. By Wednesday our interpreter Daniel, who is one of our team and has been interpreting for me for the past 3 years, received a phone call that his father had died and so he left immediately to be with his family. Please pray for Daniel and his family.
The conference was so well received. The place was filled with women dressed in their most colorful and finest apparel. The singing and worship was so beautiful. It was a joy to get to be with them. We have received reports that some of the bishop’s wives had realized that they had never been saved and were just doing church. What a blessing to be able to see God pour out His Spirit into their hearts.
We said good bye to Dodoma Bible College and headed for a village a couple of hours away called Manyoni. We will be conducting a Timothy Project Phase 1 here and expect up to 50 pastors from various denominations. We will be taking the top students through a certification process to become Ancient Promise Trainers to add to the Tanzania team as we seek to expand and establish God’s Kingdom and His truth. It is truly a blessing to see them making plans to go in pairs to Zambia, Cameroon, Burundi and Rwanda without us, taking the tools to study and teach the Bible to those pastors who will never have formal Bible school training.
Please pray for us as we begin to prepare for the following two-week course. Village life is different. It is even more unpredictable than life in the bigger cities. But I can’t imagine being anywhere else in the world right at this moment.
Also pray as John is preparing to leave for Tanzania. He will be joining us here for the certification part of the training.
Many Blessings to all of you and thank you for your love and prayers.
Ancient Promise Ministries
We are here!
I arrived in Dar Es Salaam, broken leg and all, at around 9:45pm (the wheelchair is really the way to travel!) I spent a few hours sitting in a little restaurant called Tasty Life Chicken. It was resplendent with bright orange décor that included chairs with large smiley faces hole punched through the top of the back of the orange painted wood. Sort of a Chick Filet wanna be. Finally Brad Felce showed up all in one piece at 3:10am with all of the luggage and equipment.
Our good friend Samwell Mollel picked us up at 5am and took us to the domestic terminal where the day really began.
Apparently, the airline that we had purchased our tickets with decided to cancel todays flight without any notification. For a small fee, they would help us get on another airplane with all of the luggage. Again, that is for the right price. They went back and forth negotiating with each other and with us, all the while trying to convince us that we really needed to pay more. This went on for about 45 minutes while I stayed firm in my resolve not to pay anymore and at the very last minute we were ushered onto the airplane along with all our luggage — but we had no tickets. They kept saying “just go! Just go!” so we did.
The airplane was a small puddle hopper seating 12. After we were in the air I noticed that there was no co-pilot. It just made me smile.
We got settled in at the Dodoma Bible College and headed into town to pick up necessary supplies. We had to borrow the mechanics car who was fixing Elisante’s car because after he worked on Elly’s car it was somehow leaking a pinkish fluid.
So, began the next part of our journey. This car we had borrowed had definitely seen better days. When we got into it we discussed the fact that in Tanzania if it runs or moves your good to go. So, we did! About the time that we got into the downtown area of Dodoma, the car just quit. I mean completely quit running. So, Brad and Elly popped the hood and banged on some wires and got it going again. I counted 21 stalls in the space of 2 hours and finally it quit for a final time in the middle of the busiest intersection in all of Dodoma.
I sat in the front seat with the sun beating through the window. The weather is cool right now except when the breeze dies down and when that happens the sun is intense causing sweat beads to pop up on the skin which the flies love to stick to. I sat in the front seat as the dust of cars, trucks and large tanker gas semis, went by at a very unhealthy speed. Mixed in this traffic are beat up motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. A Muslim mother in her burka and her four young children in skull caps and miniature burkas walked by in the dust. The street was alive with the sound honking horns and motors and just people living.
I looked next to me away from the street and there before me was a beautiful cart under a tarp shade filled with luscious fruit of every kind and a little man sitting on a stool skillfully peeling a lime. He looked up at me and smiled proudly displaying his 3 teeth and lifted his lime to me in a friendly gesture.
The taxi came to pick us up since the mechanic’s car wasn’t going anywhere, and we headed back to the college. All of this is extremely tiring and a film of dust was covering me from head to toe. Even my teeth seemed to need a shower.
However, the most difficult part of the day came when I unpacked my suitcases, to discover that our French press coffee pot was broken into many pieces! Oh well, Just another Saturday in Africa.
We start on Monday, teaching 130 Bishops wives from the Tanzania Assemblies of God a spiritual renewal course called Being Renewed. We had the privilege of teaching the Bishops last November. Then we head to the village of Manyoni, where Elly lives, to conduct a Timothy Project Phase 1 training where we teach pastors very basic Bible study skills and how to prepare sermons and lessons using what they have learned.
We are on our way! Keep praying for God to move through all that He has placed in front of us. Pray for His provision as we still have many unsponsored pastors from the “Sponsor a Pastor” campaign. Also pray that all of the team will receive what they need finically in order to come on the trip.
Many Blessings to you all,
Ancient Promise Ministries