Tanzania and Liberia Chronicle

March 16, 2020

Students

Dear friends and family,

I have returned one week early from a planned three-week trip to Tanzania and Liberia. Training Leaders International [TLI] decided to bring us home, which was a very wise move. It was necessary to fly through Brussels and so I am in a self-imposed two-week quarantine even though I have no Covid-19 symptoms. I will be fine, except for not seeing the grandkids.

I traveled with an experienced TLI missionary, our Vice-President of Theological Education, Duane Tweeten, and we had profitable discussions with our potential partners in Tanzania. Please continue praying as we hone an agreement that satisfies all involved.

Getting ready to land in Nairobi on our way to Liberia. Sunrise from 5,000 feet. Absolutely unmatched in beauty!!

We then flew to Liberia, joining three other TLI trainers, and taught our final course, 2 Timothy, to our soon-to-graduate students. We had to leave early on Friday evening and so missed the graduation ceremonies on Saturday. We were excited about meeting the student’s families and friends and we were all very disappointed. Pictured below are some of the students with graduation certificates.

Our in-country partner – Dyonnah

In Liberia, all my students based their end-of-the-week sermons on the text of Scripture assigned to them! That is huge progress for the church in Liberia. Please continue to pray that the scourge of the prosperity gospel will be driven from Liberia and Africa.

Now for two highlights!

Young woman who brought us water every hour
  1. Approximately a year and a half ago, in December of 2018, I gave the morning sermon in Liberia on Ephesians 5, and exhorted the men to serve and love their wives, and initiate family worship. Three of my students shared with me that they gave family devotions/worship the old-college try. They reported that their children, who were drifting from their Christian values, had returned to a strong commitment to Christ and home. Additionally, their neighbors were joining them in worship at home, and that many were now leaving their prosperity oriented churches and coming to their church! Sometimes we need stories like these to give us energy for the future. I let them know it made the trip to Liberia more than worthwhile.
  2. One of my students who showed little promise or understanding when I first began teaching in Liberia, has shown remarkable progress in his understanding of the Bible and in his preaching. A year and a half ago, he hardly referenced the Bible in his preaching and his classroom participation was almost zero. This past week his hand was up on almost every question, his answers were excellent, and he scored a perfect 100% when he preached at the end of the week. I am more than overjoyed at his progress.

Additionally, please pray about the future of training in Tanzania. We continue to discuss our arrangements and hope to begin our classes in December.

Thanks again for reading and praying and giving. Together, we are impacting the church for Christ!

Bob

I’ve included some pictures below to give you a feel for Liberia and Tanzania. You can also access more pics on my Facebook page.

Morning routine
On the way to do laundry.
Cooking breakfast in the front yard
Dramatic sunrise over Nairobi at 15,000 feet in our small commuter plane.
Lake Victoria and Mwanza, Tanzania

Compare these songs, and a student testimony

Tanzanians trying to sing an old American song and one from their country

One of my students sharing with the class how family worship has transformed his family.