Monday, June 27, 2011

Thank You for Your Prayers

Just by way of a short update, I want to thank you all for your prayers as I attempted to preach for the first time in Swahili two weeks ago. I felt more comfortable preaching than I thought I would, and truly felt God's help. Thank you truly for your prayers for us. Lord-willing we will be moving from the home we have been meeting in to our currently dilapidated church building by mid-July. We have begun to raise funds from within our church family to build a new church building on the current sight. It is exciting to see our small church taking challenging steps to move forward. We continue to covet your prayers for us and our young church here in Tanzania.

Serving the God of the Ages,
The Shipes

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Swahili Sermon

Things have been rather busy these past few weeks as life and ministry here in Tanzania continue to progress. The church in Ndatu is growing in unity and spiritual maturity, as well as in numbers (albeit slowly). This coming Sunday, Rodney Myers and his family will be in Kenya for some well deserved R & R, and I have been given the frightening opportunity to preach my first Swahili message without an interpreter. This past week has been spent in preparing and honing a message on the evidences of true faith from the life of Joseph. What would normally take about a day took five days, and even so, I feel like a five year-old talking about college level topics. Please pray this Sunday (Saturday night for you)that God would enable me to speak with clarity and power by His Spirit.

Two weeks ago (as seen in the pictures above), Pastor Chris Luppino from Kissimmee, FL came and taught a week long seminar on Spiritual Gifts for the pastors and leaders of the 25 GFF churches here in Tanzania; around 60 men were in attendance for this vital time of instruction and refreshment in the Word of God. The Charismatic movement has literally wreaked havoc upon the churches in our area. Many say that if they are not seeing "miracles" and speaking in tongues in their churches that they are not true churches, and many have left good churches for the excitement of charismatic churches. Please pray that God would use this instruction to strengthen and ground the believers in His Word.

Prior to that we had the blessing of Nicole's parents and younger brother here for 10days. It was a delight to see them again and show them some of the sights of Tanzania! We thank God for the blessing of family and the marvel of international travel!

On the health front, Anna has completely recovered from her earlier infection which we believed was Typhoid, however, recently the doctor here indicated that it may have been viral Meningitis due to a recent outbreak with similar symptoms. We, however, are just praising God for her recovery. Please continue to pray for her though as she has an itchy rash on her upper body, she is being treated, but the doctors are uncertain as to it's origin. We also learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of mango flies. Last week Eden (our 2 year-old) got a bug bite on her eyelid, and in just a couple days her eye was completely swollen shut. Apparently the mango fly leaves a larvae in the bite, which grows inside the body of it's victim. We were able to lance the wound and remove the larvae without incident and her eye is now almost completely recovered (Pictures were taken, but are not included because of the disgusting nature of the episode).

Thank you for your continued prayer for us. Please pray for our continued language acquisition, and for evangelistic and discipleship opportunities in Ndatu.

Serving a Great God,

The Shipe Family