GMI End of Year Updates

The Christmas season has passed once again and a new year is about to begin. Our missionaries were busy in 2011 doing the Lord’s work, and the work continues in 2012. Several missionaries sent updates this December.

Reeds in Bolivia

Since our last Bolivia update we have had a lot of different ministry activities we have been involved in. On October 9th we were invited to the home of Pastor Adolfo Chambi for a dinner and time of sharing. All of the adults from his church, La Gracia, were invited and there was a really good group there. Elections for members of the Supreme Court of Bolivia were held on Sunday, October 16. On election days, people are not allowed to drive or hold public gatherings until 6 pm. Our annual Women’s Retreat was held at our Camp Buena Vista the first weekend in November. It was incredible to be with so many of our women from our different churches (around 60 attended).  On November 13th, the Km 14 La Gracia church had their much anticipated river trip. We met at church and then most of the kids and leaders walked the ½ mile or so to the river. We drove our vehicle with the grill and food supplies. Our morning service was held right by the river, it was beautiful being outside. On December 1 – 4, we celebrated the 53rd anniversary of our Bolivian mission, Mision Evangelica Bethesda. It was so special to have people from our churches in La Paz, Cochabamba, and Oruro with us.

Download the whole update here.

Donate to the Reeds here.

Brook Seekins in Tanzania

I pray your Christmas season is full of reminders of the One who was born. The whole season is really just a huge birthday party! Around here, there are very few signs of the season, or at least very few of the normal “western” signs. There are things I’ve come to recognize as normal for the Christmas season here in Tanzanian village life. Choirs are beginning to write songs for Christmas and I’ve helped the youth group write a skit from the Inn Keeper’s viewpoint. As missionaries, we hold on to some of our own traditions and have put up Christmas trees.  But I was chuckling as I went hunting for my tree in the tall grass while wearing sandals and a T-shirt, I had Anatory help cut down the tree with a machete and we used old bricks in a water bucket to stand it up straight. The villagers are preparing in their own ways.  They have already started sprouting corn and millet to make their traditional party drink, Togwa.  For those ladies that weren’t on the ball a couple weeks ago, it’s too late to sprout your grains and then have them dry in time.  After drying them, they grind them and use that flour mixed with boiling water to make a sweet, inexpensive party drink. For us, everything looks like spring.  The grass is growing fiercely in the yard, the garden is starting to produces lots of great things, and flowers are in full bloom. I’ve begun to associate the smell of lilacs with Christmas as they are just starting to bloom outside my kitchen window. It is nearing the end of mango season for which we always look forward, too. Just thought you’d appreciate a glimpse of life in Tanzania at this time of year.

Download the whole update here.

Donate to Brook here.

Hodgsons in Mbeya

Greetings from Mbeya. The rainy season is once again beginning, changing the dry, dusty landscape into lush greenery. Since we last wrote in October, it seems like things never really slowed down for us. We are continually blessed to have people in our home as they travel back and forth across the country. This year has been one of our busiest in terms of guests and our calendar is full until the new year. Please pray for patience and strength for us and a spirit of generosity and hospitality with our many guests. Neema Masomo ya Biblia (Grace Bible Lessons) is picking up steam as well. We recently sent 20 lessons to the northern city of Arusha and at the end of the month we’ll send the same amount to Dar es Salaam on the coast. We’ll also be working on registering students in the Sumbawanga area to our west. Please pray for interest in these lessons and for the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of those being introduced to the Gospel. The new office has been a great blessing both for me personally and for the correspondence ministry. It is a great space for working and preparing lessons. We ask for your prayers as well for our families.  Several of our extended family members are sick and it weighs heavily on our hearts. We thank you for your prayers and support!

Download the whole update here.

Donate to the Hodgsons here.

Rabenolds in Tanzania

We hope that you had an excellent Christmas and have a super New Year! We are currently blessed to be together as a family. Christmas was a sunny day in Kapenta, with temperature in the 90s. We had a great service in Kapenta church where plays and lots of singing were a big focus! Afterwards we enjoyed an American Christmas meal with our co-workers, the Bentons and Guilzons. We have to cross a big river called Chombe in order to get home. Since it is rainy season, this proves difficult. My rule of thumb is: I can usually cross it with my car if I can wade it. This time I was wrong! We were stuck in the middle of the river for over an hour until I could get about 30 guys from the village and local bar to come and lend a hand in getting us high and dry again. Thanks for your kind support and encouragement as we continue to reach out to local people with the Good News of Christ through Agriculture, Evangelism, and Leadership Development.

Download the whole update here.

Donate to the Rabenolds here.

Note from Dr. Sam Vinton, Jr. – “It is with a profound sense of gratitude that I look back on 2011 and repeat over and over again the truth that GOD IS SO GOOD! This does not mean that everything that happened to us as Christians was good. This is especially true as I think of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are part of the ‘Persecuted Church’ in many countries around the world. There are also many, many Christians facing horrendous economic and health problems. But this does not change the fact that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. God is good by His very nature which does not change. My challenge to those of us who know the Lord Jesus as Savior and live surrounded by the good things of this world is for us to do everything possible through our prayers, encouragement and gifts to ‘make the teaching about God our Savior attractive’ (Titus 2:10).”

Happy New Year from GMI! We hope 2012 is a wonderful year of growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and of discovering new opportunities to serve Him!

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