Thursday, July 27, 2017

Let's give the devil a black-eye

This guy was huge.  He must have been well over 6 foot tall and built like an American-football defense player.  HUGE.  He was dressed in the long IsIamic tunic (sorry I don't know the right name for that item).  
had been giving out the Swahili version of the GLOW tracts.  Before leaving the house, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me know which ones to take out and how many.  I loaded up 10 packets plus a few extra.  That would give me more than 1,000 tracts to give out.   In addition to this, I loaded up probably 20 health books into my backpack. (That will be another post!)
I had to go into the main part of town to the National Library to deliver the new books for the ISBN office.  The sidewalk was teeming with people.  I offered tracts out as I walked, and often I would have to stop and stand in one place just to hand them out quickly enough as hands would reach over to get one.
I had finished at the National Library.  I prayed about where to go, and headed off in the direction I felt lead to.   I had been praying a lot.  I was asking God to help me get the right tracts into the hands of the people that I met this day.  I was headed down towards City Center.  I was offering tracts to anyone that might want one, but not pushing them on anyone. 
As I mentioned before, at times they would be going as fast as I could separate them.  Often I didn't even see the faces of the takers.  Then it happened.  
"Excuse me!  Excuse me!", I heard from behind me, as this huge representative of the human race loomed over me.
He came around me from behind as I realized he was trying to get my attention.  I turned to meet him, and he started asking me question (I think in English).  
"This thing you are handing out." He showed me a GLOW tract.  "Is it about religion?", he asked.
Not knowing which one he had received, as he was showing me the back, I replied, "A little bit."  I was wondering if he was mad or what.  Was I finally in trouble this time?  This conversation took place several hours ago.  I wish I remember it more clearly now.
He showed me on the back where it says (in Swahili) "Do you want to learn more about the Bible? Contact us by phone or email."  
"This is about religion!" He said, still booming a bit.
I just kept silent and looked at him.  I didn't know what I should to say at this point.  
He continued, "I am IsIamic."  
I had sort of gather that already from his clothing.
He continued, "Is this for me?  Can ANYONE learn more about the Bible? Even me, an IsIamic?"
Now I had something to say! "Yes!  This is for anyone who would like to know more."
He looked confused and intrigued at the same time.  At this point, I handed him another tract which was a small Bible Study within itself.  He looked pleased.
He said, "Thank you!" and he headed the way I had come from, and I continued ahead, praising God.
The main reason I was on the street this day handing out tracts is because my hard drive on my laptop is down.  If things had been as I planned, I would have been staying at the house where I am house/pet sitting working on the new books and tracts that we are translating and having printed.  Well, Satan may have meant it for evil, but God allowed it for good.  Instead of working indoors, I was out on the street and met this beautiful (scary and big) human being that wants to learn more about God.  
*BLACK EYE TO SATAN TODAY!*
Please join with me in prayers that God will help us get these tracts into the hands of those that will accept them.  Please pray that people will be willing to take them, willing to read them, and that they will respond to God's Holy Spirit seeking to reveal Himself to each one of them.  We are in this battle together.  Your prayers and support are life to this work as we are tools in God's hands here.  PLEASE keep praying for the people of Dar es Salaam and all of Tanzania (and all the world!)  Let's see THIS GOSPEL of the Kingdom go into ALL THE WORLD! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

1 Million GLOW tracts Dar es Salaam

The original idea was to distribute all one million tracts all over Dar es Salaam in four days.  Of course there were some adjustments that needed to be made, but they are going out.  I looks like it will take more like a week, but they are going out in mass amounts.  People are excited to receive them, and we see people all over the city reading them, and sharing them with others. 
Yesterday I offered one to a person about 1 1/2 hours away from where we were distributing them earlier in the week.  He said he had gotten one on that other side of town.  I asked if it was good.  He said it really was and asked if we had given any down in Mbeya (very far away from here about 5 hours on the OTHER side of Kibidula).  I told him we had not.  He asked if we please would.  He said the use of alcohol there is very bad and people need help.  He had gotten the "breaking addictions" tract.  He gladly took the other three subjects I had with me yesterday. 
On Thursday, we were in another area, and one of the team gave a man the same tract.  He got so very excited.  I was the last of the team (and the only one speaking Swahili).  He asked if he could have more, as he works with addiction recover houses in several places.  He asked where he could buy them, and if he could have some more right now.  I gave him instructions how to contact us to order more, and we also gave him a bundle to use immediately.
People are gladly taking them, and they are reading them.  We are getting amazing responses from people.  AMAZING responses.  I can't share them all, and I don't want to share too much, as to hurt the cause.  Please keep praying for people as they receive HOPE!  People need HOPE.  People need to come to know that Jesus loves them, and has plans to help them in every area of their lives!  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!

Friday, March 31, 2017

USA 2017 Presentation Schedule



Dear friends and family,

I see that I have been very negligent in keeping this blog up-to-date.  Between doing the monthly e-newsletter for Kibidula, monthly updates to a couple of churches, prayer requests and praises to LIGHT every two weeks, trying to keep the Kibidula website up-to-date (which I have not done a good job with either), this blog has been highly neglected!  I feel like I am being redundant, but I need to be more faithful in keeping you updated on what has been going on in the mission field.  I ask for your forgiveness.
That being said, we are in the US right now and we have already started giving presentations on what has happened in the last two years.
The following shows our schedule currently (subject to change!), and presentations are marked with and asterisk (*):
*March 25 - Plymouth, MI
*April 1 - Vassar, MI
April 4-8, Wisconsin
*April 5, Portage, WI cooking "school" PM
*April 8, Portage, WI presentation AM & PM
April 9, Chicago
April 10 - May 18th or 19th (approximately) in Missouri with a trip to Kentucky
*April 15, Summersville, MO
*April 22, *Rolla, MO - AM lunch following ; *Willow Springs, MO - 4 PM - refreshments following
*April 23, Bethel Bible Church in Elk Creek, MO, morning service time
*April 29, Pershing State Park, MO (Two presentations during the morning time, lunch following)
*May 6, Ava, MO Seventh-day Advensit Church Sabbath School and Main Service times (two different presentations)
Sunday, May 7 visiting Baker Creek for the Spring Festival, Mansfield, MO
*Saturday May 13, Next Step Seventh-day Adventist Church, West Plains, MO - morning and lunch; 4:00 PM *Saturday May 13, Mountain View Church of Christ, MO (Our last presentation in Missouri)
To Kansas then Arkansas and Oklahoma
*May 19th and *20th Wichita, KS
May 23rd in Arkansas area
*May 27, Decatur, AR
*June 3, Nevada, MO
*June 10, *West Siloam Springs, OK - Pioneer Church - AM; *Rogers, AR - PM
June 12 fly out of Tulsa, OK to NY
June 13 fly from NY back to Africa!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Transformation!




I am not the most patient person in the world.  You can pray for me.
I like to see things happen.  I like to help make things happen.  I like to see "PROGRESS!"
I remember when I was giving birth to Joshua.  Joshua was STUCK.  I was in labor for 27 1/2 hours.  I remember asking the midwives (who knows how many times) are we making any progress?  Anyhow...

I like progress.  I like to see results.  Life isn't always cooperative with this kind of an attitude.  Although it can be a great attitude in many work situations, it can be frustrating as a parent or in dealing with people situations (or waiting on work from others).

Back on February 6th of this year, we were just adjusting to the addition of little Alto to our lives.  She had just arrived the day before according to my pictures on my phone.  I was outside and the cat was watching something.  As I looked, I saw the biggest and (honestly) rather scary looking, hairy caterpillar that I had ever seen before.  (Many of the hairy ones can cause serious skin irritation.)  He was headed for the porch, so I captured him in a jar.  We observed him for a while, and decided we had better let him loose before night.
You can see the beginnings of his cocoon at the bottom.
We coaxed him onto a tree just outside the fence.  When I took him out of the jar, I noticed he had something started (web?  I didn't know what it was.)
The next morning, I went out and he was no longer a caterpillar!
There was this soft mass covered with hair and spines attached to the tree where I had left him the evening before.

By the end of the day, it had formed up a little more.

I am not sure how long we left it there before I decided I wanted to see what came out of that cocoon. I cut the bark off the tree and glued him to a craft stick, and we kept him in the house.
In the beginning we would check on him almost daily.  Then it became checking on him a few times a week.  Then as the months went by, I would sometimes forget about him completely.
From time to time we would search online to see if we could identify him by the caterpillar stage and also the cocoon stage.  From our research, we thought it might be a African wild silk moth.
I was concerned that the cocoon might be getting to dry, or too hot, or too who-knows-what.  I had never hatched a cocoon before.  One day while working at my desk which is in my bedroom, I heard a faint scratching sound a few times.  I though maybe we had a mouse in our room.  Then after a while, I thought it might be the cocoon.  It had lots of spines on it.   I moved the little bucket which contained him right next to my work area.  Sure enough, a little later in the day, that thing moved so much I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  It was very active.  At least I knew it was still alive!
We decided it was time to move it to the "bug house" that Joshua had started many months ago.  Trying to relocate this spiny thing without getting poked is challenging.  Those spines make me itch.
He was moved.  Then the wait started again.  We would check more often again.
The days passed on.
Then...
One afternoon, I walked into my room and what do you know?!  There was a huge moth in there with the cocoon!  I made some kind of excited sound as I saw it.  Joshua heard me and said, "What?!"

Then he said, "OH!!!!"
He figured it out without me saying anything.  Soon he was in my room with me, checking out our long awaited guest!
It was August 15th!  It had been more than SIX MONTHS!
We were so excited that he lived and was actually pretty cute.

We were able to share how moths and butterflies change from caterpillars with several people.  Our worker Beltina was totally surprised to learn this.  She said that the village people had seen such cocoons while gathering fire wood, but didn't know what they were.

After watching him for several house, taking lots of pictures, and sharing him with others, we put him outside on the porch post.
The next morning, he was still there.
The next morning, he was STILL there.
Finally after a few days, he was gone.  I am assuming he caught the sent of a female and flew away to start the next generation of such moths.
There are so many lessons that we can take away from this experience.
First, patience.  Some things take time.  There are some things that should not be rushed.  Growth normally takes time.  We need to be patient with each other and even ourselves.  As we look to Jesus, know His true character, and trust Him, we become more and more like Him, the changes will come.  Some changes are fast, others take effort as we must keep our eyes on Jesus and accept victory in Him daily.  My job is "to seek Him" with my whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.  He has the victory for me, I need to keep looking to Him and accept it.  In my own strength, I can do NOTHING, but "in Him" I can do all things... which leads to the next lesson -
Transformation....
When that "bug" was in the cocoon, what was it?  It was GOO!  That caterpillar totally (TOTALLY!) dissolved.  I could not open it up and find a 1/2 caterpillar and 1/2 moth at any stage.  That needs to be the same with me.  When I am converted, my goals, my motives, my life need to be all about loving God and wanting to bring Him glory.  If I try to go 1/2 way, I will not become what God is trying to make of my life.  I need to be a NEW CREATURE in Christ Jesus.  The OLD must pass away and all things must become new.
It amazes me to this day that many of the things I once loved, have no appeal to me today.  Many of the things I didn't like, today I love.
And daily, God is still changing me.  He is helping me leave off wrong thoughts which lead to wrong feelings.  He is trying to make something beautiful out of my life even though I have been an ugly caterpillar and scary cocoon.  In the right lighting, that moth is beautiful!
When I stay in the sunshine of God's love, others may get a glimpse of Jesus (even through me!)
That bug's job was to stay in the plan.  My job is to stay in the center of the God's will for my life.  He is changing me.  He is helping me let go of things that bring pain to myself and others.  Some day... some day...  He will finished that which He has begun in me.
I am so looking forward to Heaven.  I am looking forward to knowing my Jesus face to face.  I am looking forward to seeing all of creation without the slightest blight of sin.
How about you?  I hope so!  God loves you!
You know, we can have some ugly spots in our lives.  That caterpillar and cocoon were rather scary and even dangerous.  No matter what mistakes you may have made, HE LOVES YOU!  And He STILL has a GREAT plan for your life.  Look to Him.  Keep looking to Him.  By beholding we become changed.  Make sure you are looking at the TRUE character of God.  HE IS LOVE!  And everything about Him is Love.
Keep hanging on (just like that cocoon).  The day is coming... just a little bit longer... but not too much longer! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Books, book, books!

I am still learning the publishing work.  I have gone to five different meetings now outside of Kibidula so far (Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam-another time, Morogoro, Iringa, and Singida).
I have been reading books, articles, watching tutorials, asking lots of questions, and doing a lot of trial and error.
It has been challenging, but I think some of it is starting to come together.  Because I know so little, it makes me aware of my total need of God to help me through it.
First I started with books to publish that had already been printed by us previously.  I only needed to make very minor changes (didn't seem minor the first time though!) like changing the spine size and information on the first few pages.
Then I got books where the text was all ready but the entire cover needed to be updated (and a few pages!)
The OLD cover of "Health and Happiness".

Cover Updated for Health and Happiness

Then I received the text where all the words were fine, but the layout was not.   So this was a new experience to put it all in a specific layout (with additions of little inserts), add pictures, and design three covers for it.
Soon, I will have the entire project to work out.  The text will be raw from the editors, and everything will be new.
This next project (You Turn, a shortened version of Health Power) requires a LOT of pictures throughout the book with the text flowing around pictures of different shapes and such.
God is so good to walk me step by step by step through this process instead of making me jump in the deep end all at once!
Truly this is His work, and He leads step by step.  I am thankful for such a Wonderful, Loving Leader!
New book covers designs
I am also VERY grateful for a director and team that give me lots of feedback and suggestions.  This is not the work of one person, it is a team effort.  I just get to do most of the computer work on it.  Thank you Jason, Bill, Temboh, Joel, Edgar, Doug, Joshua, and Wiktor (at the press)!

Sample page of the first book I worked on "layout".

I am very excited about the Steps to Christ book project we are working on right now.  If we can get the proper backing, we hope to make this book available at a very affordable price to the public!  I personally plan to buy a LOT of them to give out (especially to the police when they pull us over).

These little books can reach people in places where no person can go personally.  These books can bring the good news of better health of body, spirit, and mind!

Thank you for all the prayers and support!  God is faithful, and Jesus is coming soon! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Timber! (In many senses of the word)

We have some very tall, old trees that are about past their usefulness.  The decision to hire some locals to cut and mill the trees was made.  We have been hearing chainsaws and the portable sawmill for weeks around here.
We also have a new skyline since so many tall trees are down now.
Last week some of the Cootz, Joshua and I went out to see some of the operation in action.  The mill wasn't going, but we saw stacks and stacks of cut lumber.  We also heard cow bells and a chainsaw.  We had to work our way into where they were working, but it was worth it!


Stacks of fresh lumber
It seems that the big trees are mostly cut on Sunday.  Then the main person works to cut the large trees into sections.  Then he uses his chainsaw to cut them into thirds or fourths.  He does an amazing job milling those pieces with only a chainsaw.  They look so straight and even pretty smooth!



Straight cuts with the chainsaw - making thirds or fourths

Then three men with a team of three cows and a donkey yoked together with chains, pull the cut sections to a pile where they will start milling again.

These guys didn't want us taking pictures, so we were trying to be discrete.  (So I didn't get good pictures!)
Three cows and a donkey pulling sections

Then then men pile the sections together
Then this last Sunday, the tallest trees closest to the shop were cut down.  These were located between many structures (the old farm house, the little house behind, the little round outbuilding, the "outhouse" (choo), and the garage/shop.
Jason used the JCB to move a piece of equipment, and then used it to help the trees fall a better direction than if they were just cut.  He also used it to move the big trees to a pile away from where they were falling.  It was amazing!  God really blessed us with a great piece of equipment.  It is used to make fire breaks, roads, fix roads, move trees, help fall trees, dig up stumps, dig the ditch for the dam, and many other things I don't even know about, I am sure!
The JCB lumberjack in action. Those other tall trees to the left of it are down now also.  That was the first of the day.

Soon our lumber supply will be good again, and these trees that were getting dangerous will be down.

This particular type of cypress gets hollow inside and rotten if you let them get to big.  These were already starting to be that way.
The darker areas are really soft and starting to rot as well as the center.

God helped us to get them cut just in time!  Also the tall pine trees that the monkeys hide in, are down.  YEAH!  That is a bonus for us!

Thank you for all the prayers and support!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fire, fire, fire! This is not a drill!

I think Doug learned it in the Navy, but this is what he announces when there is a wildfire.
"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!  THIS IS NOT A DRILL!"
All hands on deck would be a good interpretation.  We have had three unexpected fires already this dry season on campus and one nearby where we were called to help.
The winds are STRONG now.  The grass is too tall and too dry.  This all makes for a challenging fire season!
Thankfully I don't believe anything important has been burned.
Even the fire that went through the old cow pasture didn't seem to harm the wooden posts.
God is so gracious to us!
It is also honey harvesting season.  How do they calm the bees?  They use smoke.
Where there is smoke.... (you know the rest)... there is fire.
So some of the fires are because the remains after smoking the beehive have not been put out well enough.  The following day when it is warm, dry and WINDY, the fires have started up.  It is almost ALWAYS in the afternoon that we have fires, but not always.  Our second fire was in the morning.

GOD INTERVENED AGAIN.
Our last fire was our largest one so far.  It happened on a Sunday and most of our staff and nearly all of our students were GONE!
The phone rang and it was Jason.  He was a LONG way off, on his way back from town with a truck full of window glass for the press building.  He asked where the smoke was.  He said he could see BIG SMOKE and it looked like it was at Kibidula or just north of us from where he was.  I asked where he was.  HE WAS A LONG WAY OFF.  I ran out to the road, and could see NOTHING.  NOTHING.......
Doug and Joshua jumped on the motorcycle and off they went to see if they could see smoke.  They went one direction, and not too far away, Joshua saw two small puffs of smoke the other direction.  They turned around and zipped off, coming back by here.  I immediately changed clothes into some I didn't mind messing up, and called the Cootz (only the ladies home at that time!)
Then I get the message, YES it is HERE and it is BIG!  I start calling people and running to get the truck ready.  Jason said he already got the message and called the driver of the water truck and "our" fire chief.  After driving to get a few more helpers (I will try to keep this a short and not include ALL the details), off we went to join those that had already arrived.
As I was driving out, I started to think it must already be out.  I couldn't even see the smoke from the house or much of the road.  As we finally got closer, we could see LOTS OF SMOKE!  The wind was so strong that day that the smoke was being pushed off down low for a distance and wasn't very noticeable from campus roads!
The water truck and crew were busy and the fire was out within an hour.

In talking to Jason after it was out, he said by the time he got close to campus, it looked like the smoke was FAR away.
WHAT?  If Jason had waited until he got close, he would have dismissed it as not here. 
Oh, how thankful we are that God showed him BIG SMOKE from far away, or that fire would have been HUGE by the time we would have found out about it!  God intervened again.  God impressed him that it was at Kibidula or very close to it.  I am so thankful that the few people that were able to come to the fire were around.  We were not a lot of poeple.

All the glory goes to God.