Monday, July 9, 2012

Make Disciples of All Nations

Make Disciples of All Nations:

These last several months have seen several professions of faith, from Nixon (a single leg amputee) to his friend Danieli; to Kadiri (a young man from a Muslim family) to the young men which we mentioned before, Michael, Fredi (who was recently baptized), Gupta, and Saidi (who has an area of sin in his life that must be repented of before he makes any spiritual progress). But just like in child-bearing, the birth is not the end of the parent’s responsibility, but rather the beginning. So in recent weeks, the long—and sometimes challenging—process of disciple-making has begun. Please pray for these young men that they would demonstrate fruits of genuine repentance and spiritual rebirth. If you are unable to pray for all of them, please choose just one to intercede for on a regular basis.

Six Months and Counting:

Our partners, Rodney and Lynn Myers, are planning for their furlough beginning this December. Although Christmas may seem far away, it is less than six months now. There is much work to do in preparation for that time, but perhaps my greatest concern is to be linguistically advanced enough to handle the pastoral responsibilities of teaching, counseling, and evangelism by myself for a significant duration. Please pray for me to be disciplined in language learning in the months ahead. Also, please pray for a church member, Mama Sunday, as she prepares to take Lynn’s spot teaching Children’s Church. She has never taught children before, but has agreed to observe and learn in the upcoming months. In addition we are continuing to pursue the official deed to the property so we can begin construction of the new church building before this December. One of our church members, Elbariki, recently built two new benches to accommodate the growing number of people attending our now cramped church.

One Baptized and Facing Persecution:

Just last month Fredi, one of our recent converts, got baptized. It was an exciting day, but honestly we were hoping for others to obey the Lord and be baptized as well. Would you pray that his example would stir the hearts of others to be obedient to the Lord in this area? Also pray for Fredi, although he received permission from his parents to be baptized, immdiately following his baptism, he began to face persecution from his own parents in the form of beatings and threats. Pray for Fredi to remain faithful in spite of these trials. The words of Jesus in Luke 14:26 speak powerfully to this situation, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Serving a Worthy Master,
Aaron and Nicole Shipe

Friday, May 11, 2012

“For as the rain . . . . so shall My Word be . . .” These past two months have been busy and full of God’s blessing in a variety of ways. The rains have come and brought with them the blessings of new life and cooler tempertures. Everything we see around is green and growing rapidly. Like the rains, we have seen the water of the Word of God bring new life to two more young men (Gupta and Furedi). These two neighbors of ours have played with our children, done projects with my tools, sewed their clothes with Nicole, and for the past 3 months been coming to church with us regularly. Recently, I began a weekly Bible study time with them and two others (Saidi and Michael- who accepted Christ a couple months ago); the first two lessons dealt with salvation. After learning about the Biblical teaching of salvation, both repented of their sins and trusted in Christ as their Savior. Please pray for further Biblical growth from these four young men. They have stated that they need to be baptized, so pray for courage for them to follow the Lord in this step of obedience. Saidi, Furedi, and Gupta are brothers; please pray for the salvation of the remainder of their family. I have begun to develop a relationship with their father Hussein, and he has agreed to come to church with us soon—maybe for their baptism. Leadership Training: If you remember from our last letter, we were anticipating Pastor Jim Glasscock from Marion Center, PA coming to teach the Pastors and church leaders of the GFF Baptist Chuches. God blessed, and from 8:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon with only small breaks for tea and lunch, Pastor Glasscock faithfully taught the Word of God for three exhausting days. It was a blessing to have one of the men of our church, Baba Jared, be able to take time off from his work schedule and sit under the teaching of God’s Word. Thank you for your prayers to this end. Church Plant Progress: God continues to bless in the church plant of Kanisa la Kibaptisti Ndatu. Last week we had so many people in the morning service that we were forced to bring in extra chairs, and I had two kids on my lap just to make enough room for everyone. We also had 43 children between the ages of 3-10 who came for Children’s Church. Please pray for us as we seek to minister to the many children there. Most are very attentive and respectful, but just a handful have been causing us repeated trouble. Please pray for wisdom as we seek to handle this situation in a God-honoring way. Especially pray for the salvation of one young boy name Victor who is the instigator of most of the trouble. Also continue to pray for the building project. We are trying to obtain the official deed to the property in order to come to an agreement on the borders of the property with our neighbors before we move forward with building. We are thrilled with the faithfulness of the church members in giving to the Lord’s work. The church account has climbed to over 600,000 shillings (or just under $400), and we are nearing the point where we can begin building. Please also pray for the salvation of a 15 year-old Muslim girl named Saida. She had refused to come to church for several months, but these past two weeks has been to every service. Thank you again for your faithful partnership with us in prayer! Serving a Sovereign God, Aaron & Nicole Shipe Aaron, Michael, Saidi, Ben, and Furedi praying before a Bible study

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ministerial Update

Dear Prayer Partners,

On several occasions over the past year, I have asked you to pray for our language learning; therefore, I thought it might be good to update you on that process and share with you some of the things we do in order to communicate in Swahili better. I continue to feel that we have a long, long way to go before we are fluent, but we can tell that our ability in Swahili is increasing daily. Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to preach in Swahili 3 times, and Nicole and I have taught Children’s Church once. Also, I led the game time for youth group several times. Twice each week, Rodney and I go out on visitation. I finished reading through the Gospel of Mark in Swahili and translated tracts into Swahili. Nicole has begun translating a missionary story for Children’s Bible time. To illustrate some of the progress the kids are making, I will share an interaction with one of our church members and our oldest son Colten last week. The church member asked Colten (in Swahili), “What games did you play for youth group today?” Because the games were a little unusual, Colten went on to describe the games in very clear and accurate Swahili. The church member turned to me and with a pleased smile said, “He really knows Swahili now.” Truly, God has been good! I would continue to ask that you pray for our Swahili. For the past year, Rodney and I have been going on visitation together and I could always rely on his Swahili to get me out of a jam, but recently we have decided to split up and take one of our church members with each of us so we can cover more ground. Please pray, as I will not be able to rely on Rodney any more.
Church Plant Progress
You will probably remember that we have not yet begun ministering to the Datooga tribe, but instead God has opened a door for us to help with a church plant among the Meru tribe while we learn Swahili and while we build our home in the Datooga area. The church is continuing to grow both spiritually and numerically, and is to the point where we are literally running out of room in our little church building. We don’t want to leave this church before it can be firmly grounded in the Word of God with its own national pastor, and to this end, there is much concern among the church people that we will leave and the church will just crumble. I ask you to pray with us that God would raise-up a godly and gifted national pastor with a burden for this ministry, and that years after we are gone the church would still be faithful to the Word of God and be reaching its community for Christ.
Ministerial Leadership Conference
It is to this end that we are involved in a pastoral training college among the GFF Baptist churches, teaching the students ourselves, as well as bringing in guest instructors from abroad to help firmly establish the current, as well as the next generation of pastors. This coming month we will have the special privilege of having Pastor Jim Glasscock teaching a Ministerial Leadership Conference from April 23-27. Please be in prayer for Pastor Glasscock as he travels and ministers to the pastors and ministerial students from our GFF Baptist churches, as well as for those who hear the Word of God that they would receive it with the nobility of the Bereans. Maybe even during this time God would begin to work in the heart of a young man to prepare him to eventually take over this church plant among the Meru tribe. Thank you.

Serving a Faithful God,

Aaron & Nicole Shipe

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Busy But Blessed!

Yesterday was a very busy day for us, but God's blessing was evident. We were blessed to have 6 of our neighbors, who have been interacting with us almost daily for the last year, come to church with us. Four of them stayed with us for all three services, and at the end of the youth service in the afternoon, two of the young men expressed concern for their souls and later that evening made a profession of faith! Their names are Saidi (which means "to help") and Michael. In the picture of the four boys, Saidi is on the right and Michael is third from the right. Please keep these young men in your prayers. Saidi comes from a very nominal Muslim home (His father is Muslim and his mother is "Christian"). Pray that they become rooted and grounded in the faith and that they learn to follow the Lord and His Word.

After the morning service we were blessed to have 8 of the ladies from our church come over to welcome little Hudson into the world and share a meal with us. It was a beautiful time of relationship building and cultural exchange, as the discussion ranged around the different methods of caring for children within our two cultures. I have learned that nothing brings out conversation from women quite like the topic of child rearing!! Thank you for your prayers for us. Please continue to pray for our young church, that we would grow in faith and a true knowledgeable love for our Savior.