Yesterday I went to an area just to the south of Arusha called Muriete for the first time. At services on Wednesday a brother called Solomon Ming'arai made the announcement at the end that he had started a new congregation there last Sunday. We were all very happy of course, but I was a little confused. No one had know about any this. So I arranged to go there Friday morning with Allen Mkita and Solomon.
Muriete is about a half hour out of town in a new developing area. We arrived there, not really knowing what we would find. Solomon told me to park the car and we headed towards a new house that was nearing completion. When we got inside we found pews set up, a pulpit and even a nice new cloth over it.
Solomon had visited friends in this area, told them about the Lord's church and the decided that they wanted to start worshipping. Some donated some pews, others some money and they had the pulpit made. A woman donated her some fabric and her time to make the covering on the pulpit. Solomon arranged to rent the building and paid the rent for one month out of his own pocket.
We met with seven people who had worshipped last Sunday. They came to the building after we arrived and we had a great bible study followed by some wonderful questions. I taught them about the one church and how the church of Christ is not a denomination. They then went on to ask questions about baptism and we had a very good discussion.
I am so thrilled with this new work. This is how the work here will really grow. Men and women taking the gospel to their village, to their friends and their families. That's how the gospel spread in the first century and that it how it is spreading now.
The day was not finished yet. I went home to get lunch and then picked up Anne and Katie and we headed off to Nkoaronga for a study up there. While there were not as many people as they had hoped we had a good service with great singing. Every one loved Katie and asked her to come back often - even to come up and teach at an English class a few of them have organised for the local school children.
We were on the way home when I got a phone call from brother Noah Msuya. He is the preacher in Makamira, just down from Nkoaranga. He knew I was in the area and wanted to know if I was willing to give a lift to go and baptise a lady. Of course I said yes, so we went back up the mountain picked them up and headed off to the river. There Msuya baptised our newest sister, Maria, into Christ.
What a wonderful day. You see it is just like a huge theme park ride - you never know what is around the next bend.
|The church building at Muriete|
|Solomon is wearing the blue shirt, carrying the red cap|
|Msuya and Maria|
|After the baptism|
To see more photos of the day, go to the "Photos" page.