Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Nairobi

We are now in Nairobi.

Our follow up meeting in Dar es Salaam went well. We had several people from Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam there (people who had been to our conference and workshops last year). We were so excited to see them again. We were very encouraged to hear their testimonies of what God has done since last year.

Our only woman pastor from last year said that she had 3 woman she had counseled on marriage (since learning from us last year) who had reconciled their marriages. One woman had now been separated 10 years from her husband and they were not united again. The other couples she had counseled had similar stories. Some pastors shared about doing sermons and seminars on marriage since last year. They had also performed some premarital counseling. Soon after they started marriage ministry, other pastors have invited them to speak to their churches about marriage. We told the that they are now "marriage missionaries."

We taught a brief session to them about the first wedding and the last wedding in the Bible, and about the marriage covenant, the old covenant, and the New Covenant - what we call a "higher view" of marriage. One pastor told me that it was the first time he realized that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.

Rhett and Megan spoke about how marriage ministry had impacted their marriage. We told the groups that Rhett and Megan were our visual aids for marriage ministry.

We are now taking a few days of vacation before we start the long flight home on Sunday night.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday worshipping in Dar es Salaam

We had quite a day today. It is about 6:00 pm here right now. We left at 9:00 this morning to go to a church where our translator is the pastor. We went by taxi and it took about an hour to get there. Last year there was nothing but a piece of land and some bamboo poles where the church is. They were meeting in a school. They now have a roof and some partial walls. This approach is quite common for churches here. Then they will pour a concrete floor when they get enough money.

It was a little windy so we felt right at home. Except there were palm trees blowing in the wind.

They had about an hour of singing after we arrived. The kids did special songs and dancing for us. Then we had time to speak.

Ed and I spoke some about why we are in Tanzania and the ministry we had in Morogoro. We also shared about our marriage and children, our Living Well ministry, and the ministry at church. Megan and Rhett shared about their background and how our marriage ministry has strengthened their marriage.

Ed preached and taught on forgiveness. This lesson is always very meaningful to the people here. One African man in ministry here told us that they are very relational people but they don't communication well. They aren't good at resolving conflict. He affirmed that teaching on marriage ministry is needed very much here.

Then the pastor spoke some more. We finished about 1:00, then we went to the pastors home, by the church and had lunch. The congregation had their lunch outside. After lunch we went back into the church and talked with the adults of the church about their marriages and our testimonies of our marriages.

They were asking for materials, which we have already given to their pastor. Their hunger to learn more about Biblical marriage is growning. They were also requesting us to return to their church for a couple of days to teach if we return to Tanzania. We always enjoy the dialogue with them. The same problems and questions are raised everywhere we go. It is encouraging to know that we have Biblical answers for them. We left there around 5:00 and got back here about 5:30 minutes ago. It was a long day but very enjoyable.

We are all maintaining our health. We rest well most of the time.

Tomorrow we have a long day in a follow-up meeting with the some of the churches we met last year. Fortunately, we will be meeting at the center here where we are staying. We are anxious to see them and hear from them.

We appreciate your continued prayers for us.