|April 30, 2009|
Dear Friends and Family,|
In our previous newsletter, sent out in January, we commented on how we look forward to a new year with anticipation, not knowing what lies ahead, but yet with the assurance of God's faithfulness. Although we make
"tentative" plans for our lives, we ultimately must yield to God's great plan for each of us, and what He wills for us. The verse in James 4:15, "Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and so
do this or that.'" has been brought to our minds several times recently.
We had been planning a short trip home this summer to touch down with our family, friends and partners in ministry, when we received word that John's Mom was having some serious health problems and were encouraged to return
as soon as possible. After much prayer, we felt this was indeed what we should do, and moved up our travel dates, arriving home April 22nd. We praise and thank the Lord for answering our prayers in getting us an early
flight home and helping us with many last minute arrangements. Although her condition remains uncertain, the Lord has given us this time to be with her. After tending to family responsibilies, we hope to have an
opportunity to visit our supporting churches and see many of you again, giving you a personal update on our work in Tanzania.
The last few months have been exciting ones for us. God has opened doors and blessed us as we have travelled to the towns and villages. We really feel the presence of the Lord as the people enthusiastically seek and
worship Him. In the past few months we have had the opportunity to visit and conduct seminars in Shinyanga, Kahangala, Bariadi, and Butundwe. It is always a privilege to share God's Word with people who are so hungry and
eager to receive it and to witness what God is doing in these isolated places.
During our visit to Kahangala, we met a blind man who attended the seminar. A member of the church there, he was escorted to the sessions each day by a young boy. We learned that he was trying to build a house for his
family but was in need of some iron sheets for the roof. With little income, these were difficult for him to acquire. We were able to secure a donation, with the help of his pastor, to double the amount of sheets he
already had and aid him in the completion of his house.
We also had the privilige of returning to Butundwe, a very remote and primitive village that we visited two years ago. In a place where white people are a rarity, they were so excited to see us again. On our previous
visit, the church building was unfinished with plastic tarps, strung up for protection from sun or rain, and a dirt floor. This visit we rejoiced with them in their finished church, completed after receiving a donation
from Canada. It was also encouraging to see how well the messages were received. The afternoon sessions were followed by an outdoor crusade which attracted hundreds of curious, unchurched people. We thank God for those
that came forward to receive Christ, for special prayer and for the deliverance of many from the bondage of demons.
In our travels we see and meet some very inspiring individuals. Although many live in very difficult or poor circumstances, they rejoice in the goodness of the Lord. Their faith and trust in God is very real - they lack
money and material possessions - yet they are so generous and kind with what little they have. It is very humbling to us when we experience their hospitality and love.
Finally, we want to extend our deepest appreciation to all of you for your prayers and financial support. We would not be able to continue in this work, without your partnering with us. May God bless you abundantly as you
give towards the furthering of His kingdom. As Christ states in Matthew 25:40, "Whatever you did to the least of these my brothers, you did to me."
In His service,
John and Glenna Peterson