On Sunday, we traveled about 2 hours to Gilgal Baptist Church in Namanga, Tanzania. Namanga is a border town and part is in Tanzania and part is in Kenya. Jim and Jon Ozmint did training on the Kenyan side last year. In the right photo above, you can see the small generator on the left that they use to power a p.a. system, an electric piano, and lights when needed.
Pastor Solomon (on the right, above) started this church not long ago. He is a mobile messenger and moved to the area to start the church. Pastor Simon is on his left. The church is in a Maasai community. We were a little late getting there and the church was already singing. We came in and joined right in. Robert has been keeping his singing voice under wraps! Though we couldn’t understand all the words, there was no doubt they were singing their praise to God.
Pastor Tom Burger, from With Open Eyes, preached from God’s word. I’m glad I didn’t have to wear a coat like Tom, because it was a tad warm in the church! Below on the left, Pastor Simon is translating for him. After he finished, Tom asked those that wanted to be prayed for to come forward. The team then layed hands on those we could get to and prayed for them.
About that time, the other team from With Open Eyes pulled up. They had gotten in really late the night before from Charlotte. So we had to introduce them and do some more singing. I think we finished up around 3pm!
We then went to Pastor Simon’s house and had a wonderful lunch prepared by his wife Agnes and his girls. We took a look at the garden where Jim and Jon helped set up the drip irrigation last year. They are getting ready to plant again.
We were also able to visit Pastor Simon’s church, Namanga Baptist Church. It is in an area of Namanga that has several mosques. Pastor Simon believes in getting the word out. He also uses Facebook to share what the church is doing.
We then journeyed back to Arusha. The area is in the midst of a bad drought. A lot of animals are dying and people are hungry. It is a sad situation. We are trying to get supplies in to distribute a number of drip irrigation kits for them to use, but have been having logistics problems.
On Monday, we went back to Gilgal and met with the Mobile Messengers of the area. There were about 18 there. It was a treat to meet them and spend time with them. One of the men on the With Open Eyes team is Dr. Winston Godwin and he spent some time talking with the pastors about health issues.
We wrapped up our time in Namanga and headed back to Arusha. As we approached Mount Meru, it started raining. It will rain on the Arusha side of the mountain but not on the Namanga side. But we were glad for those who got some rain. We cleaned up a bit and went to Khan’s Barbeque again. I felt like Robert and I couldn’t keep it a secret from the With Open Eyes crew. We all enjoyed ourselves and ate too much!
The larger With Open Eyes team is headed to Sudan tomorrow morning. They are delivering more motorcycles for pastors there. The rest of us will travel to Meto, Tanzania to meet with more Mobile Messengers. Prayers are appreciated. We will be without communication until Thursday afternoon. We hope to update you then!