Dear Friends and Family,|
Greetings once again from Tanzania! As I look back over the calendar to consider all that has transpired since our
last newsletter, I am amazed. Time, as usual, has just flown by. We have been enjoying God's blessings on
our lives - in His provision and protection, His leading in opening doors for our ministry as well as the messages delivered,
and so much more.
Since our last newsletter, we have conducted seven seminars together as well as speaking at some weekend services. The
Lord has really blessed in that the messages have all been very well received and we have been encouraged to see how the Word is
challenging the hearts of people, especially the pastors. Many ask questions and discuss the topics, which confirm to
us that they are really listening and eager to learn. Our teachings focus on the basic fundamentals of the Christian
faith and life, as well as messages of seeking and knowing God's plan for our lives, and then having courage and trust to follow
His leading, using examples of biblical characters and their walk, their struggles, their faith, etc. Generally,
Bible knowledge and understanding is quite shallow due to lack of pastoral training and teaching and so our messages, though
basic to us, are challenging to those in attendance.
Many of you are aware that our friend and translator, Pastor James, has acquired land and is in the process of getting a permit
to build a new church. Prior to his request being considered, he was required by the municipal office to get approval
from city officials governing the area where the church is to be built. We were invited to attend a meeting with six
local officials where, when asked his plans, Pastor James gave a history of his church as well as the vision for his
ministry. We were also asked to give an introduction of ourselves and work in Tanzania. The whole group was
VERY supportive and said how much they needed a church because there are a lot of problems in the area - prostitutes, youth
drinking, etc. and they feel this would be a real help. They also requested Bible and health teaching for the
community. Following the meeting, they wanted to see where the property was so they could "bless" it. As if
this was not wonderful news in itself, we later found out that some of these officials are MUSLIM!! One of the Muslim
officials, a representative from where James' current church is, came to report of how the community has changed for the better
and how James cooperates well with the neighbourhood. We were really impressed and felt this was confirmation from the
Lord! We are now waiting for the municipal office to convene a meeting for approval of building permits. Pray
that it will be held soon and the outcome will be positive!
The Urafiki Health Centre continues to meet the medical needs of the community as best it can attending to approximately 600
patients per month. 24 hour service has been initiated and is helping many requiring overnight care. A new
building is under construction which will accommodate an administrative office, library, laboratory, and Maternal Child Health
Unit. This expansion not only allows us to offer additional services, but also frees up rooms for patient care.
Over the last three weeks a missions team from Canada has been here working on various projects in the area and experiencing the
sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Tanzania. We have enjoyed seeing familiar faces around and receiving a care
package from home.
We rejoice that the results of our visitation to homes in Musoma, during our February seminar, have had continuing results with
people returning to the church. In other places, people have committed or recommitted themselves to Christ, repented
of various transgressions, or have been encouraged in following God's plan for their lives. It is so uplifting to us
to witness God at work.
We are often told "you are different from other wazungu" due to our interest in visiting remote areas rather than concentrating
our ministry in larger centers. With our car a little worse for wear, we will be traveling to our next four
out-of-town seminars by local bus. They are: June 21-24 - Butundwe, July 5-8 - Nyehunge, July 19-22 - Geita, and
August 2-5 - Chato. We covet your prayers for lives to be challenged and drawn closer to God, for the messages that
are spoken, for safe travel and good health.
We thank you for your continued prayer and financial support as you partner with us to reach and encourage others for
Jesus. With the world situation what it is, our desire is that all of our hearts will burn within us to know and
follow Christ in these last days.
In His service,
John and Glenna Peterson