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Acts in Africa

John & Glenna Peterson
P.O. Box 1089
Mwanza, Tanzania
East Africa

May 19, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings from sunny, hot Tanzania!  Although we always enjoy seeing family and friends, and relish all the wonderful things found in North America, we really are happy to be back home in Tanzania.
The past three months have been busy ones.  For the first few weeks, while we were getting reacclimatized to life on this side of the Atlantic and preparing for our next phase of ministry, we had opportunities to speak in local churches on weekends, as well as offering some support to our friend Pastor James, in his efforts to start building his new church.
Once word was out that the "wazungu" had returned, we had many invitations from various churches, however we felt we should first concentrate on reaching those areas where we had not yet been.  With our schedule falling into place, we began our ministry of teaching Bible seminars in the remote villages at the beginning of April in Serengeti town, followed by Ushirombo and then Maswa.  All the seminars went well and were attended by many pastors and church leaders from various denominations.  It is wonderful when they can cooperate for the cause of Christ.  With Pastor James busily involved in trying to get his new church built, a Pastor Frank accompanied us as our interpreter.  Frank, a close friend of Pastor James, and originally from Rwanda, has recently returned from England where he was doing theological studies.  He has proved to be an excellent translator and support to us.
Our goal of distributing Swahili Bibles to people living in the remote villages has been an overwhelming success so far.  With donated funds, we have been able to purchase some Bibles at wholesale price and offer them at subsidized, affordable prices where they are not generally available.  Traveling by local bus, we are limited to the amount we can carry, but so far we have taken a box of 40 each trip.  People are so eager and appreciative to receive a copy of God's Word that we can not keep up with the demand.  But it is with great pleasure that we witness their joy on receiving a Swahili Bible.  The small revenue we receive from the Bibles is used towards further purchases.  (Donations for this project, should be clearly designated, and can be forwarded to one of the addresses at the end of this newsletter.)
Over the past few years we have really enjoyed being a part of Bugando Hill church in Mwanza.  Pastor James is a wonderful man and very sincere and committed in his service to the Lord.  His small timber church has been overflowing since before we started attending it, with new visitors each week.  The overflow congregation is used to sitting on the rocks outside around the church while listening and participating in the services.  So it is with excitement that we watch one area of his vision beginning to come to fruition - the building of a new church.  Shortly after we returned, some donated funds were sent over for this project.  Since the land had already been purchased and building permit was in hand, it didn't take long for the work to begin.  We have been amazed to observe the progress.  The church members have been actively involved - clearing the land, assisting the builders, making meals for the workers, etc. reducing the labour costs.  Now with the walls up and the lintel almost complete, work has come to a halt as we seek and wait for further funds to complete the church.  It will be a wonderful celebration when it is finished - as even several Muslim council members, realizing the benefits to the community, petitioned for it to be built.  (In Canada donations can be made payable to: Eastridge EMCC, 12485 Tenth Line, Stouffville, ON L4A 7X3, but clearly designated for the "Bugando Hill Church building project, Tanzania."  In the US donations can be made to QC Ministries, at the address below, with designation to Bugando Hill Church building project.)
God has once again been good to us in answering prayers and keeping us safe and healthy both here at home and when we are on the road.  We praise the Lord for His faithfulness.  We are also thankful for the donations making Swahili Bibles available to villages who aren't able to buy one otherwise.
We thank each one of you for your continued prayer and financial support, enabling us to do the work God has called us to.  Your partnership, in this way, means so much to us.  As Jesus told his disciples, "the harvest is ready but the laborers are few."  Therefore, in these last days, let us press on with the work God has entrusted to us.
In His service,
John and Glenna Peterson

John Paul in Africa