|Grace and Peace to you friends. Neil Richey has just returned from a visit to Tanzania, and was kind enough to share some notes on his trip. We'll start there: "Every trip to Tanzania continues to be a blessing to my life, and I hope that, in a small way, I’m able to return the favor when I go. This year we conducted a seminar at ACSOP on the intersection of Scripture and Mental Health. This discussion was much needed and appreciated, as evidenced by the feedback. Tanzania is dealing with a mental health crisis. 2.5 million Tanzanians struggle with mental illnesses. Specifically, the areas of concern are depression and anxiety. Attendees at the seminar said we need more material like this to help our congregations and the community. "In addition to the seminar, I had the opportunity to work with Isaac, the preacher at Arusha. We conducted several Bible studies together and baptized one soul into Christ. Additionally, we set up an opportunity for Isaac to visit a local school each week to teach Bible classes on Wednesdays. There are 1,300 students in this school. The school is a short walk from the Arusha church building. "It was a joy to reconnect with men like Ahimidiwe, Charles, and Agustine. They continue to do great things with the churches in Kisongo, Kwa Mrombo, and of course, the ACSOP. I was also happy to get to know the Staffords—Noel, Jessica, and their four fine children. I’m excited about their new work in Moshi." We're so glad that Neil was able to shine some light on a needed, but neglected subject. Here are some thoughts on the event from one the ACSOP directors, Charles Mwanga:As I write, I am sitting in JFK airport awaiting my flight on the way to Tanzania. As I look forward to being physically back in Africa, I wanted to take this time to share with you some recent highlights from the work. A good friend of the work, |
"'Why are you casting down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.' (Psalms 42:5). "'Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God' (Psalms 43:5) "In both of these passages the Psalmist is asking his soul as to why it is deep in anxiety and depression. He is asking his soul to deeply depend and look unto the Lord who is his salvation. Sometimes it is very easy to look down to those who are around us suffering from “mental illness” and think that they are crazy. But that is not the case, as we have learnt this past weekend from our good brother Neil Richey, who is a professional Counselor and great preacher. We were surprised to know that “Mental health issues” can be spoken of everybody. We had examples of people like Jacob, Ibrahim, and even Jesus Himself. "We are so grateful to brothers like Neil and many others who are constantly coming here and help on sharpening our brains so that we can in turn be great tools for Lord. Every one who attended liked what they heard to the point of asking the school to have these kind of programs regularly. "The school is out of session but teachers are working hard to prepare themselves to the coming classes and also going out to do more recruiting for the upcoming year. "We are so thankful to all who are praying and supporting this work, May the Lord continue to bless you every day."
Noel Stafford, has finally arrived, along with his family. You can read their latest newsletter here: Kilimanjaro Missions. Keep the Staffords in your prayers as they get settled in and adjusted to their new life. We look forward to the ways that they will be blessing the church in Tanzania. I am still scheduling visits for the fall and winter. If your congregation would be interested in hearing more about the Lord's work in Tanzania, then I would love to meet with them! Just let me know and we'll schedule a presentation. Till all have heard, Daniel Gaines Mission CoordinatorTanzania Missions We also rejoice that our friend and teammate,