Saturday, April 29, 2017

Resurrection Message

“Raised to walk in newness of life” The week of Easter was filled with a flurry of activities, including a youth Easter Bible Conference, Lord Supper services on Good Friday, much discipleship, hospital visits, and evangelism.  But the capstone of the week was, without a doubt, the Easter morning baptismal service! What a delight to stand with 7 new believers as they proclaimed their faith in Jesus Christ by way of believers’ baptism!  Also, it was a special delight to baptize my daughter Erin.  From left to right  is Bibi Humay, Mama Mary, Irene, Mama Nada, Victoria, Mama Queeni, and in front is Erin. Please be in prayer for each of these young Christians, that they would indeed walk in newness of life, and that they would continue to know and love Christ more and more!
“If the Salt has Lost His Savour”-Just last week we enjoyed a week of S.A.L.T. (Serving And Living in TZ)- SALT is a yearly Bible conference for Baptist missionary families serving in Tanzania. It is a highlight of the year for our entire family. The children, youth, and adults all have separate tracks. What a blessing for us to get away from the challenges of ministry and life in Tanzania for a few days and enjoy fellowship, activities, singing, and preaching all in English.  We want to especially thank Canton Baptist Temple and Pastor Mike Frazier for their ministry to us this year, as well as to Steve and Natalie Burkholder for their work in organizing SALT.
Two Prayer Requests: Lord willing, in a little over a year we will be returning to the States for a furlough after 4 years on the field.  There is much to do in preparation for our church to be able to stand firm while we will be gone. Please pray for wisdom for us as we seek to prepare Ema and the rest of our church family for that time. Also, our partners, the Myers family, will be returning to the States permanently in just two days time. Please pray for them as they transition into a new phase of ministry; also, please pray that God would give us partners in this work.  Truly, we see the wisdom of Solomon when he said, “Two are better than one”.

Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

Dear Prayer Partners,

A Time to to be Born (again): For several months we have been praying for a number of people in our village who are strangers to the grace of God. Three of whom recently made professions of faith in Christ. We rejoice for Mama Nada and her 17 year-old son Nada, who both professed Christ coming from a nominal Muslim background.  Also, we rejoice for Mama Queeni, a Barabaig woman who was saved out of a pagan background. Please continue to pray for these three young believers as we begin discipliship with them.
A Time to Die:  As I looked over our last prayer letter, I was reminded again of the goodness of God and His perfect timing. We rejoiced over the baptism of several people, one of whom was an older gentleman named Moses.  Three days before Christmas he became ill, and we took him to four different hospitals to try to get him medical care; but on Christmas day, he went home to be with the Lord.  I rejoice to know that God brought Moses to faith in Christ when He did.  Unfortunately, however, Moses left behind a 15 year-old daughter (Elizabeti) and a wife who is mentally ill.  Please pray for this family.  Especially since Elizabeti just learned that she is pregnant. She has repented of her sin, but now she faces a number of very challenging decisions.
A Time to Learn: Many of you have been in prayer for Ema, the young man who is helping us in the ministry in Mapea. We thank God that he has been given the opportunity for further pastoral training through a Bible college here in Tanzania called BTCP (Bible Training College for Pastors). Please continue to pray for him as every few months he travels 12 hours by bus for two weeks of intensive ministry training.  Pray also for wisdom, protection, and patience as he gains practical ministry experience day to day in Mapea.
A Time to Build: We rejoice that God continues to build his church as He has promised.  Recently we have seen attendance averages around 80, with spikes as high as 90.  This is a great blessing, but unfortunately the area we are currently meeting in is very small.  Last year we were able to purchase a small piece of property, and Lord willing we will begin the building process on that land in just a few weeks. We are seeking to do all of the building without outside support, so please pray for the church to be united in sacrificial giving, serving, and working. This is especially difficult since we are facing a period of drought, and the vast majority of our church members are subsistence farmers or herders.  Would you join with us in praying for God to send rain to this dry and needy land?

                A picture of our church family filing out of the meeting area
 
Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving


 Dear Prayer Partners,

We pray this Thanksgiving season has been a joyful reminder of God’s rich blessings. We rejoiced to have several other missionary families over to our home to celebrate Thanksgiving together.  It was a special day of laughter, delicious food, and games, but most importantly a day to remember all that God has done for us.  So in that spirit, I would like to share a few things we are thankful for in our ministry here in Tanzania.


God’s protection: In our last update we shared some of the challenges we were facing at our church in Mapea. We recently went through a very painful church discipline of Barakieli. In revenge, he tried to kill Ema (the young man who is interning with me) by poisoning him.  Providentially, the Lord protected Ema from the full force of the poison and healed him completely. Initially, this event caused much fear and uncertainty in the lives of our church members, but ultimately, we have learned that God is not mocked, and even those things that are done in secret will one day be revealed openly. 
God’s increase: Even through much of the uncertainity of the last several months, God has continued to draw men and women to Himself.  We rejoice in the opportunity to baptize six souls (four of whom are Datooga).  Please pray for these young Christians  (in order from top to bottomt:  Moses, Danieli, Mama Jonas, Mama Ema, Elizabeti, na Raheli).






Church families: We rejoice that God is bringing families together to worship Him. It is a delight to see several whole families coming faithfully every Sunday to worship together. In this culture, it is unheard of to leave your house completely empty on account of thievery. A few of our church families have been taking a leap of faith in doing this each week. One such family closes their shop every Sunday to come worship together. Another young couple carries their two small children roughly two miles each way. Another single mother faithfully brings her five children over a mile each way. Pray for these families to be wholy dedicated to Him.
Your Prayers: We truly cannot thank God enough for the prayers of his people on our behalf.  When we were walking through difficult days, we were being upheld by your prayers for us. Thank you for your service to God through prayer.

Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Monday, June 27, 2016

Training Men

Dear Prayer Partners,

Training Leaders:
We are truly thankful for a recent visitor who helped us with the vital task of training men for His Church- Dr. Mike Davidson with International Partnership Ministries (IPM).  From 9am to 4pm for one week in June, Dr. Mike Davidson taught 60 church leaders through the book of Daniel.  It was a blessing for the men not only to learn of the great promises and prophecies that are found in Daniel, but also to be challenged to a life of personal holiness, no matter what the odds, by the examples of Daniel and his friends.
Training Men:
As if teaching all day long Monday through Friday wasn’t enough, on Saturday Dr. Davidson taught a seminar on Bible study and Scripture memory for 15 men of our church as well as men from 5 other Baptist churches within a two hours drive. It was a special day as men from these churches were blessed with the opportunity of fellowship, food, fun, and great teaching. One of the men said that this day of fellowship made him feel as if he were on the Mount of Transfiguration. Please pray for our men that they would grow in their knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God
Quick Trip:
Beginning June 23rd, we will be returning to the States for one month so that Erin can have surgery on her ear and to celebrate the wedding of Nicole’s brother.  Please pray for our young church while we are away.  Barakieli and Ema Karera are carrying the lion share of the work.  Pray for our church to continue to grow and mature through this trial.

Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Baptismal Tank

Dear Prayer Partners,

Baptismal Tank: It was a day of great rejoicing when we were able to baptize 8 new Christians! The problem we faced, however, was how to baptize without a safe lake or river.  In the past we would load the entire church body into two cars and travel 20 miles to Lake Babati where the water is safe to baptize (even if there are some hippos).  However, not only is this expensive, but also  it was so far away that it made baptism no longer a testimony in the community.  Barakieli thought of a clever way for us to save money and be able to baptize right at our church property.  Using his welding skills, he welded two 50 gallon drums together lengthwise , and then cut the top third off.  When filled with water from a local well, we were able to baptize with almost no expense and right in the community we are ministering in. Please pray for these young believers, that they will continue to grow in the Lord (pictured from left are Mama Jackie, Mama Yolanda, Baba Yolanda, Samsoni, Mama Samsoni, Mama Haruni, Mama Godifry, and Yolanda).
Motorcycle Mechanic: Please continue to keep Halifa in your prayers.  Just two weeks ago he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.  Please pray that Halifa will grow in the Lord through this sickness.

Fishing “Lures”: Nicole (Mama Anna as she is called by the neighbors here) has a weekly Bible study with roughly 30 children and teenagers.  It initially started with just a few neighbor kids who would plead for cake from Mama Anna. Nicole realized that her cakes would be a great lure for bringing the Gospel to our neighbors. After teaching from God’s Word, she gives them a homemade treat. She tells them, “Cake is sweet, but God’s Word is much sweeter.” Many of the young people that come for the Saturday Bible time come from Muslim homes. Please pray that the Word of God would do its life-changing work in the lives of these young people
Team Update: We are very thankful for the addition of Emanuel (Ema) Karera (right) to our ministry team.  He has proven himself already to be an able evangelist and gifted teacher of the Word.  Please pray for God to equip and prepare him for further service for His great name sake.

Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Team Work

Dear Prayer Partners,

Motorcycle Evangelism: Over the past year, the engine on my motorcycle has seized up 4 times.  Each time required a complete engine overhaul and an investigation into what was causing the problem.  Each time we thought we had the problem solved, but it would always reoccur. Over the course of long months of repairs, the Lord opened an opportunity to witness to my Muslim mechanic Halifa.  Shortly after discovering theat the problem was a clogged oil line, he invited me to his home so he could hear the Gospel.  After about an hour of Bible study and questions, Halifa made a profession of faith in Christ as his Savior. Please be in prayer for him as he begins to grow in the Lord.  His wife and family are all Muslims, so please pray for his testimony among them.

The Ties that Bind: We often sing about the blessing of the ties that bind us in Christian love, but Satan has ties that bind as well.  Several months ago I had the privilege of baptizing a Barabaig man named James, but recently his father declared that none of his family would be allowed to attend our church.  Although James is married and on his own, culturally, familial ties are very strong, and fathers can order their adult children to do as they please.  Often disobedience results in fines or banishment from tribal protections.  Unfortunately James has not returned to church since.  Please pray for James that he would not be offended because of persecution and affliction for the Word’s sake.

A Helping Hand: Please also be in prayer for a young Bible college graduate named Emanuel Karera (Ema for short).  He has agreed to move to Mapea and assist with the church plant.  The Lord has opened a door for us to build a small two room house near the church
 for Ema to live in.  Pray for Ema as he adjusts to Mapea.  Also, pray for our growing team- Barakieli, Ema, and myself, that we would be united together in humble Christian love, and that the Gospel would go forth with great power in Mapea as a result.

Together for His Glory,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe






Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Church

17 November,  2015

Dear Prayer Partners,

Baptism: Since our last letter, our church has seen several special occassions.  One of the most significant was a baptismal service in which six believers chose to step into the water.  Obeying the command to baptize disciples of Christ is always a joyful time for the church.  One highlight of the day was baptizing a Datooga man named James (right), who I had the privilege to lead to the Lord. Pray for James because his wife is not supportive of his decision to follow Christ.  Another highlight was baptizing Jumanne (left), a former Muslim man who I mentioned several months ago.  Jumanne continues to make strides in his Christian walk.  Be in prayer for him as he pepares for marriage next year. 
Birthday Party for the Church: Two Sundays ago our church celebrated its first birthday with our largest attendance to date with over 40 adults and 30 children in attendance!  While we enjoyed  cake and soda, several church members shared testimonies of what God has done in their lives during this past year.  It was a joyous time of thanksgiving for what the Lord has done and anticipation of what He will do this coming year.


Marriage Trouble: Marriages in Mapea are in an abysmal condition with much polygamy, adultery, immorality. Pray for our Sunday afternoon marriage classes. Below are a sampling of some recent questions and comments from these classes. “Pastor, shouldn’t husbands beat disrespectful wives?” “Pastor, if we love our wives like God loves us, our wives will take advantage of our kindness and leave us with all the household work.” “Pastor, how do you get my husband, who has two other wives and who kicked me out of the home 40 years ago, to repent?” We covet earnestly your prayers for us.

Together In Him,


Aaron & Nicole Shipe