Tuesday, November 22, 2011

God's Strength in Our Weakness

A beautiful conclusion to a trying week:
There I sat at the funeral of the 10 month old daughter of a national GFF pastor friend, wondering what words of comfort I could give in my faltering Swahili (This was the third child they had lost in the last few years due in large part to the harshness of the land God has called them to minister in), when suddenly I realize that the man leading the service is asking me to stand up and speak a message of comfort to the family and those gathered. What I wanted was a few minutes to prepare my thoughts and my words, but no time was given. Oh, at times like those it is a comfort to know God has said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness”.

The very next day, the need for God’s strength in weakness was again felt keenly as I sat preparing my message for Sunday on New Testament “grace giving” from II Corinthians 8 & 9. How was I going to make these truths clear in Swahili, and how was I going to preach on giving to those who make less than $40 per month? Well, God’s grace was sufficient, and the people graciously and enthusiastically received His Word. As we were driving the 2 hours back home that evening from the sister church I had preached at, we were tired, but thankful to be serving God. It was then that I received the phone call that would give us the capstone to the whole week. Rodney Myers called and said that Pasqueli Stephano, a young man we had been praying for for several months, accepted Christ as His Savior! Please continue to pray for Pasqueli as he begins his walk with the Lord. He will have some very important decisions to make in the coming days. But that day there was rejoicing in Tanzania and in heaven!!

We can’t thank you enough for your continued prayer for us as a family and the ministry in Ndatu. In September, we began a Sunday evening prayer service and question and answer time followed by a youth service. The question and answer time has revealed a great deal of ingrained false teaching, but has also provided a good opportunity to carefully teach the Bible on those subjects. Next month, we will be traveling 10 hours to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, for the delivery of our 7th child. Please pray for safety for Nicole and the baby, as well as her comfort as we travel the bumpy roads to get there.

Serving a Gracious God,

Aaron & Nicole Shipe & family

Language learning humor: While talking with two sisters who live together while in college (“Chuoni”), I told them about the 2 years that my brother and I lived together in the bathroom (Chooni”). You can image the smiles and outright laughter that clued me in to my mistake!

Please also consider viewing a video we prepared about our first year in Tanzania at http://youtu.be/wes6340-XO0

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

O Death Where is Thy Sting?

Tomorrow, Rodney and I will be traveling to the border of Kenya and Tanzania to attend the funeral of a child of on our national GFF pastors (Pastor Lawi). For Pastor Lawi and his wife, this is the 3rd child that they have lost due to the harshness of the land they live in. Please pray for Pastor Lawi and his wife as they mourn the loss of their baby girl. Please pray for God's grace to minister to them at this time. Thank you.

Above is a picture of Rodney holding this precious little one a few months ago with Pastor Lawi.

O Death Where is Thy Sting?