|January 12, 2009|
Dear Friends and Family,|
Warm wishes for a Happy New Year! This year we celebrated Christmas and New Years with our African family here in Tanzania. It was quite a change from what we are used to in North America. With
temperatures in the mid to high 20's C or 80's F, it didn't seem like December at all! Nevertheless, it was a great celebration of our Saviour's birth - one that brings "joy to the world" and peace to all tribes
The threshold of the new year is a wonderful opportunity for reflection of what has transpired over the past year -- the events that took place in our lives, the trials and challenges that we faced where God faithfully and
graciously brought us through. It's also a time of anticipation as we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the future. Since we have experienced God's faithfulness to us in the past,
we can face the new year with confidence and courage.
We are so grateful to God for His blessings over 2008. With the number of villages we have visited, the conditions of the buses and roads we have traveled, the accommodations we have stayed in, we can certainly
say God has been with us and protected us. He has kept us safe and healthy and supplied for our needs. He has given us joy and fulfillment in doing the work He has called us to. We are so
thankful for His faithfulness. God is good!
We also praise God for additional funds sent for the Bugando Hill Church building project. Work has resumed with fervor! Pastor James and the congregation are very grateful to those who contributed to
this need. It is hoped that the congregation will be able to move to the new site for services by Easter.
Our most recent seminar took place in the town of Musoma. It was an interesting change to our usual program. We were scheduled to teach the Bible seminars each morning and hold an outdoor crusade in the
afternoon. Although the seminar meetings were held in a school classroom, they were very well attended by enthusiastic believers. Likewise, the crusade drew a few hundred interested listeners and seekers
each evening. Pastor James and John took turns preaching at the crusades with many coming forward to receive Jesus or for prayer. Pastor Levi, our host, was well organized with follow-up teams,
materials, and a schedule for teaching the new believers. Several pastors in the past had prophesied that we would be involved in a crusade ministry, but since God hadn't yet opened that door, we had left that to
Him. However, we wonder now, if the Lord will lead us in this new avenue of ministry.
On our return to Mwanza, a few days before Christmas, we were asked to speak at the service Christmas Day in the Bugando Hill church. We did a combined effort which was a novel approach to the congregation. Unfortunately
Pastor James became ill with malaria over the following week, so we were asked to fill in for him the following Sunday as well as at the New Years Day service. It is always a privilege to share God's Word,
especially with people so eager to receive it, but it gave us little time to rest and catch up on other work.
To start off our seminar schedule for 2009, we will be leaving for Shinyanga, a couple hours to the south of us, on Wednesday, January 14th.
We would appreciate your prayers not only for our health and safety,
but for God's blessing on the seminar, that He will transcend all barriers and speak to the hearts of those who come.
We are so grateful to each one of you for your ongoing prayer and financial support, without which we would not be able to carry out the work God has given us to do. Thank you for partnering with us in this
way. Please continue to pray for:
As we enter this new year, let us be people of action, casting off our lukewarmness and pursuing God with renewed hope and commitment. As our Lord Jesus commanded us in Luke 11:9-10, "Ask and it will be given
to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened."
- Health and safety at home and on the road
- Increased financial support
- Open doors for ministry
- God's direction
- People to come to Christ, be built up in Him and encouraged in their faith
- And most of all, for God to be glorified in all that is said and done.
In His service,
John and Glenna Peterson