Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back to Africa

On Sunday, after I preach, I will be boarding a plane to head back to Africa - Tanzania to be specific. Last summer I led a team from our church to Tanzania to work a partnership we have with the IMB among an unreached people group known as the Pare. The first ever church among the Pare had been planted two months prior to our visit. Our trip laid the foundation for the planting of a second church. Since then, two more churches have been planted. Our goal is to plant the fifth church on Sunday, August 8th, AND two more churches are set to be planted by Christmas. Each of these churches is (will be) strategically located in villages throughout the Southern Pare mountains.

It is hard to express in words how tremendously exciting it has been to watch God do all of this in such a small window of time and to actually be a part of it. Our IMB missionary among the Pare, Scott Ward, has moved back to the U.S. since our time with him last year, BUT we have hired him at Grand to be our Missions Pastor. Scott will be taking a team of four with him tomorrow and I will be following the group 48 hours later. This year I am taking my son, Garrett, with us. He will be turning 16 while we are on the mission trip.

So this trip is shaping up to be special on many levels. I had to wait until I was 39 to have an experience like Tanzania and the Lord has opened a door for my son to experience this part of the world at 16. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to this trip just from a Father/Son perspective.

So this is a significant trip on a Kingdom, local church, and personal level.

If you are so inclined, we would appreciate your sincere prayers for logistics (many miles, four planes, and 36+ hours of travel), safety, health, and the work of the Kingdom in planting this church. Also pray for Pastor Fanuel Kiroka, the “Paul” of the Pares who is the one master minding the strategy in the Pare Mountains.

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