I am sat looking at Lake Malawi- one of Africa’s Great Lakes. Some argue it belongs to Tanzania others Malawi in fact there is an on going international dispute as to where the border is. For the purposes of me seeing a different country lets say it is Malawi.
Kyela is the last location for the pastors conferences that I have taken part in(where I am now) and that takes place tomorrow. Today has been a travel and rest day, we travelled 30km on a dusty rocky road which reminded me of some of the roads you would see the old top gear boys on- it took a while! But boy was it worth it. Lake Malawi, washing up against the feet of the Livingstone mountain range- an obvious reminder of the beauty of our planet and how awesome our creator is. The fact is we don’t have to look far, whether it’s the night sky or each and every person we see, we should see the beauty of creation and of course it’s creator, but sometimes something spectacular brings it all into focus.
It’s a real honour to be able to serve The Lord in this part of the world and I am thankful for my prayerful supportive church family for making this possible, I hope not only will this time impact the pastors here but my heart and I hope our church too.
To date we (that’s me and my Father in law) have done four conferences in Mbozi, Tunduma, Mbeya and Tukuyu. Each conference has around three to three and a half hours of bible teaching plus a lunch which we provide for all the pastors. The food provided for them is a real treat- rice, sauce and meat, it may sound standard but for most it is a meal they at most may enjoy once a month.
I have so far taught from Exodus, Luke and Romans 12 with Peter focussing on Matthew 16 and the book of Titus. Romans 12 has been great as I have explored with the pastors that the gospel message should shape our life and our faith should shape our actions. Many of the pastors think you have to earn Gods favour through works, where as the book of Romans teaches that because of Gods mercy and grace to us in sending Jesus to die in our place we can be made right with God- and because of this we should and can live in such a way to bring him glory, we can draw attention to Jesus with the way we conduct ourselves in this world.
The pastors, churches and families we have seen and ministered too have been so thankful- some of them remembered me from three years ago so it was great to see those guys again alongside many new faces, they have been incredibly welcoming and hungry to know more of The Lord – they rarely get any bible teaching– so it is awesome to be able to share that and show them the gospel. Many of them are experts on creation or the last days but the heart of the bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ as Gods son and him coming to rescue us- that gospel (good news) message is what we have been sharing time and again- if the pastors get that, then so do their churches! It’s this message that transforms and saves lives not whether we believe in six literal days of creation or not!
It has been a joy to be here and as this trip to Tanzania draws to a close I pray that the effect of the teaching on the pastors and churches would bear lasting fruit in seeing the kingdom of God advance and multiply in South West Tanzania.
There’s so much more to say and of course to do, but for now… This time draws to a close.