The Living Bible

Posted by Stephen Shepherd on

Today I am narking one month of my time in Tanzania. I will fly to Dar es Salaam today to meet Tami and begin our safari adventure. The past month has been very busy and an incredible experience. I have baptized 27 new Christians, named a church (St. Mary's), started another church, and taught the church calender to 300 clergy. I have visited many churches both large and small. I have meet with a support group for men and women living with HIV/AIDS. The best way to describe the experience is that it feels like the stories from the book of Acts have come alive. I have encounter the blind, the lame, and lepers who have come to me for healing prayers while visiting churches. I have many stories to share with you when I return in September. My favorite question so far is, "Do you have seeing-eye cats in America?" The image of my cats intentionally leading me into rushing traffic made me laugh. The people in Tanzania are so warm and welcoming. It is a country that faces many problems and the church is on the front line to face many of these issues. One cannot experience the worship (often 2+ hours) and not see the Holy Spirit moving among the people. I preached at the cathedral in Dodoma yesterday to a congregation of 500+. I am praying about the places where St. Dunstan's can build relationship here in Tanzania. There is certainly a wonderful opportunity working with a group called The Carpenter's Kids which focuses on educating and caring for the children. There are also opportunities to build relationship with individual churches or a group of churches in a deanery. While in Tanzania, I have heard the news of the bad storms and subsequent power outages back in Virginia. I have also heard of the tragic killings in Denver. I am reminded once again that we live in a broken sinful world that needs God's grace and love. I continue to hold you and my new friends in Tanzania in my daily prayers. Blessings. Stephen