“To share the gospel with the lost in Don Pedro, and to support the development and growth of our sister churches in Tanzania.”
The church sent a small encouragement team on mission to visit the Downings. The team consisted of David Mark Grabowski, Susan Watts, Joy and Mitch Miller. Our goal was to visit Peyton and Grace Downing, Peyton grew up in the Lake Don Pedro Baptist Church and he and Grace are going to be working with the indigenous people who live in the mountainous interior of a remote island.
The team spent a full week with the Downing’s, this included visits to a number of churches large and small. We also visited a theological college that takes on 50 students per year and produces teachers and preachers who go back into the surrounding communities to spread the gospel.
We also visited a dorm which has been established for junior high and high school kids who live in remote villages and do not have access to high schools. It houses 11 girls and four boys plus the family who cares for them. They have devotions in the evening and a girls Bible study which Grace leads every other Saturday night. Our VBS kids took up a missions offering each day at VBS which provided a guitar for their worship times. In addition we were able to provide money to pay for half the water tank they needed.
We met with the official board of a church and sat in on their meeting to discuss their involvement with the ministry to the junior high and high school kids at the dorm.
The trip also involved a helicopter ride into the interior of the island. There we met a couple and their three children who have lived amongst the interior people for four years. They have carved out a life and ministry there to serve these people.
Susan reports that, “The tribal people groups here live high up in the mountainous jungle. This part of the trip was a highlight for me.”
While the others were on the helicopter ride Joy had an opportunity to spend the day with grace. It included a ride on the back of a motorcycle and a visit to a huge open air market. Joy indicates that grace navigated the culture and language like a pro. Joy was so impressed with how well Grace has adapted including bearing a child in a Third World country.
“She raises chickens and scoops up slugs that slither into the house with her bare hands and tosses them aside. Grace is awesome,” said Joy.
Many challenges faced Grace and Peyton as they continue their training and work in this country. Please pray for their health and safety and fruit for their labor. Also pray that our missions team as they make decisions about our future involvement there.
Our relationship with the churches in the Arusha area of Tanzania goes back several years. It has developed into a partnership in ministry between the Lake Don Pedro Baptist Church and the Baptist community in Tanzania. We have now made several trips there and each time we go there are new challenges to face but always that comes with great blessings as well. The team teaches and preaches; they witness and share the love of Christ where ever the opportunity is presented. The days can be long and cover many rough miles. Pastor’s libraries are presented to local pastors. Bibles are distributed in their own language. On the last trip the Jesus film was shown in a number of villages using the portable equipment we provided and many decisions were made to follow Christ.