Sunday, April 17, 2011

News From Ndatu

Dear Prayer Partners,

“Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”
Jesus, in the Parable of the Soils, described four common reactions to the preaching of the Gospel. I fear that one of those unfortunately appears to fit with the response of Edgar, who I mentioned in our last letter. Initially, he appeared to make some decisions of faith, but before too long the pressure of culture and the love of money scorched the plant of faith. Truly no one but God knows the heart of man, so please continue to pray for Edgar that he would repent of his sins and turn back to the Savior of the wayward. Please also pray for Verdiana; she is continuing to go forward in her new faith despite the heartache of Edgar’s failures.

In other news, the church re-plant in Ndatu is making steady progress. We have two families (Stephano and his wife and children and Elbariki and his wife and children) who have decided to join us for Sunday morning Bible studies which began today (see pictures of our first service above). Each of the lessons is designed not only to be merely academic, but also to bring each person to a place of confrontation with a specific truth of God’s Word. Please pray that these families will continue to respond in obedience to the Word of God as it is taught. Please also pray for our evangelistic efforts in the village of Ndatu. Many listen only because they think that they can gain access to our American money by befriending us. We need boldness with the Gospel and discernment in our relationships.

As a family we have been trying to reach out to our neighbors as well. Every few days, the neighborhood children (often between 20-30 children at a time) come over and play on our swings, play soccer in the yard, or play basketball on the hoop we had made. This has helped open up many relationships within the community. As parents see us care for their children, many of their suspicions of us as outsiders have diminished significantly. We hope to be able to turn these “play times” into a Bible club as we become more comfortable in Swahili. In other family news, Anna seems to have fully recovered from a serious bout with Typhoid last month. My parents (Aaron’s) were able to visit us two weeks ago to spend time with grandchildren and help set up several swings for the kids to play on. It was a very special time for all of us as we enjoyed the blessing of family. Although power blackouts continue several days a week, the rains have begun and the power is a little more consistent that just a month ago.

Serving a soon coming King,

Aaron & Nicole Shipe & family