The above picture is one that was taken of Ferdinand and I during a recent trip (February 19–27) to Mwanza, TZ. When I went to Mwanza in 2007, Ferdinand was one the Bible Institute students that I taught. He is currently the manager of Grace Baptist Missions’ orphanage, Tumaini. It was great to renew my friendship with Ferdinand. The purpose of this blog post is to give a review of my tip to Mwanza.
A mission agency of Inter-City Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Missions, has established a ministry in Mwanza, Tanzania (below is a picture of two missionaries responsible for this ministry; they are standing just outside the entrance to the property of the mission’s land).
This ministry has been responsible for establishing a number of churches, an orphanage, and a Bible Institute. The goal of my trip was to do a survey of the Old Testament Prophets in the Bible Institute. However, I arrived in Mwanza a couple of days before I began to teach. One of the benefits of arriving early was that I was able to see certificates awarded to the first group of students whom I had the privilege of teaching in 2007. The graduation services were held in two of the local churches. The first graduation service, pictured below, was at the Sweya Church on Saturday, February 19.
This next picture is of the graduation exercises at the Nyakaliro Church on Sunday, February 20.
Once Monday came, I was ready to teach in Bible Institute. The students at the Bible Institute come from the local assemblies in the Mwanza area. Most of these churches have been started through the work of Grace Baptist Missions. The Bible Institute provides a biblical education that is designed to equip these students for ministry. One of the courses in the Bible Institute’s curriculum is designed to do a survey of the Old Testament Prophets. And, this is where I came in. In advance, I prepared a set of notes on the Old Testament Prophets which were translated into Swahili. My going to Mwanza was designed for me to teach my notes through a Swahili translator. Below one of the missionaries, Dan Eads, is standing just outside the Bible Institute. And, following the picture of Dan is a picture of myself, RJ and the institute students.
I taught each day for as much as 7 hours, though I actually taught for less than half the time with the translator doing the bulk of the work. The next two pictures are of the students during class. An important part of having an interactive experience is to have a great translator. RJ is a great translator and is very interactive with the class. When you look at the second picture, don’t fail to notice that in the back of the classroom is Dan Eads with his mac laptop. Since I have used a Macintosh computer since 1986, I felt like I was at home.
The next picture is of Leonard. When I saw Leonard, my heart was filled with praise for God’s saving work in an individual’s life. Prior to my trip to Mwanza in 2007, Leonard had been converted from a wicked life. In 2007, he audited two of my classes but could not take the classes for credit because he did not know how to read. Subsequent to that class, he learned how to read so that he is now able to take classes for credit.
Because of God’s sovereign work of grace, my trip to Mwanza was encouraging. I was overwhelmed with how God is working to regenerate and sanctify his elect people living in Mwanza and the surrounding areas. This trip was great at reminding me how vast God’s work is in saving a people for himself from around the world. In concluding this post, I include two pictures of the missionary families living in Mwanza.