The past month has been crazy. I was only able to post one blog from Tanzania. The internet was pretty sparse once we left Dar es Salaam. But I was amazed at the cell phone coverage while I was there. It was crazy to be able to be in the middle of the Ngorongoro Crater and text Melinda about the elephant I was watching. I think I had better coverage there than in the Twin Cities. It feels great to connect with my pastoral team. I love being able to leave and know our church is in good hands.
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Today was our first full day in Dar es Salaam. Charles Porter has been a great host for Joe and I. We traveled across the city and shot some video you'll see later. Here is a shot of us by the Indian Ocean. The temperature is in the upper 80’s and humid. Quite a nice change from the -45 windchill we were having in Woodbury.
We met with the General Superintendent of the Tanzanian Assemblies of God. He shared some of the needs in his country and we toured the facility they are building. This morning we also stopped by the local produce market. I’ve been amazed at how modern Dar is compared to Haiti. Granted our power has gone out twice today at Charles home, but we do have a connection to the internet. Charles also makes some great coffee. I’ll try and post more info in the coming days.
I was reading an e-mail sent to Perry Noble. 30 years ago, a pastor's wife felt that she should invite a neighbor to her church's Easter service. This man was known as the town drunk and she was wondering if he would come to church and how church people would respond. Here is an excerpt:
We got to church and when we walked in . . . the miracle began! I was right, just about everyone did know Fred . . . and they were thrilled to see him! He was warmly greeted, given hugs, and I just stood there . . . amazed!
Fred came to church every Sunday after that, and just a few weeks later, he accepted Jesus Christ into his heart!!! The transformation began! Later, I came to learn that during the week leading up to that Easter Sunday, Fred had begun attending AA. I was just one link in a chain that God had begun putting together to rescue this man.
I wonder how God is going to use you and me this Easter!
You can read the whole article on Perry's Blog.
Here is a photo of us in business class on our way from Miami to Haiti. Somehow we got these upgraded seats without having to pay for them.
Just got back from a great day of seeing the sites around Fedja. We saw a dam not too far from here. After touring that site we went off road a bit more and traveled up a hill to visit a beautiful village. Some of the people came up to us and wanted their picture taken. Others were on the lake in canoes they had dug out of tree trunks. Here are a few of the people we saw.
Yesterday was filled with teaching. I have enjoyed the Q&A times that follow each teaching session. The Haitian pastors are processing all this information very well. I really believe churches here will be stronger because of the solid Biblical basis of the “Purpose Driven Church/Life International” conference we are sharing with them. Today I’ll be traveling around the area to get a feel for this country. I’m hoping to share more photos with you tonight.
Today was a great day of meetings. Henry and I are sharing the teaching responsibilities. I feel like we were able to connect to the Haitian pastors. I talked with one pastor named Jonah who planted a church 20 years ago here in Haiti. He has spent his life developing the church and it has really grown.
I love singing along with some of the worship songs that I know. We had communion and reminding me a bit of what it will be like when everyone joins together with Christ. It will be an awesome time.
I had an opportunity to hold 4-5 orphans. They were such beautiful children. Mike from Five Oaks Church is on the right. He has been here for three months. He is going for the unshaven look. We took some photos and let them see what they looked like on screen on the back of the camera.
Much more teaching to do over the next few days! I will update you later.
As soon as we landed I felt a little like I was back in Guatemala again. We were surrounded by men as we left the airport. They all wanted to carry our luggage. We could only pay so many to carry, so the rest kind of surrounded our vehicle and asked for more money. After we left Port-A-Prince we traveled to the Wozo Plaza Hotel. It is a literal oasis in the middle of poverty. The drive up a mountain on a rut filled dirt road was a little wild. I'll try and have a video for you tomorrow.
I have been spending time this week preparing for the purpose driven church conference Henry and I will be leading in Haiti. I have been asking our prayer team to pray for us and for the pastors in Haiti that we will have the opportunity to connect with. The actual conference will take place February 4 - 7. I'm looking forward to learning what God is already doing there and seeing how we can encourage some of the pastors. I think I will be learning just as much from them as they learn from me.