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