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Sowing the seed in Tanzania

by Glenese Parish last modified May 23, 2014 06:56 AM
News from John Rowse

Kay, John and AshaI am about to head off again, back to Mpanda.  But let me update you first on what's happened since the last letter.

On the way back from the l, last Mpanda-Sumbawanga trip, I had planned to revisit Msia Primary School, Ileje on the Malawi border.  However, since the village and school leadership had followed a chief's advice, and ignored mine, and had got in a diviner, and since they had sent the school headmaster off with a death threat, I suggested to the police chief that we wait until they've seen that this solution hasn't worked, and then try again.

So the current plan is to go there on the way back from Mpanda.

Please pray for the safety of the headmaster. He asked for a transfer, but was left hanging for some weeks while they mulled over it, and then gave him another school, but since he was the one who requested the transfer, he has to pay for the move!  He has no money, but I spoke to the Regional Education officer yesterday and he is going to intervene.  The villagers are also accusing him of using witchcraft to secretly move around with other people's wives - no one can prove it, of course, because it's occult!  So the poor man is helpless to defend himself.

No journey is wasted here.  The local Lutheran pastor, Mateo, arranged for me to preach to the UKWATA (sec, school students' Christian fellowship) Easter conference in Isoka, further east along the Malawi border, and then way up into the hills.  The kids were wonderfully teachable. The road was tortuous in a few places, because of the rain, but thankfully, we got through OK - so thank you for praying. Please pray that those students will pass on the message. 

Back at Ileje I was given some good opportunities to bring the same message - justification - to one Lutheran and two Moravian churches.

I've only just got back from another anti witch-hunting trip - this time to the Njombe region.  I'd been there not long before and preached to the main Anglican Church in town - ultra high-church. They kindly gave me a personal dowsing with incense!  But they were incredibly hungry for and receptive to the gospel. One of the "fathers" was quite over the moon.  They are about to choose a new bishop - do pray for that as an earlier election some years back went so bad with corruption and fighting that the police had to be called in.  My "father" friend said people at the cathedral wanted to put my name forward, but all that incense might bring back my asthma.

I had another type of dowsing this morning.  To heat the water, I used the same kettle the guys here use to make the tea, so I ended up with tea leaves in my hair.

This last "witchcraft trip" went quite well, thankfully. No more problems like the last trip to the NW, where a particularly nasty witch moved a tree directly behind the Landrover as I was reversing!

We went to places where the Regional Police Commander in Njombe asked us to go.  And we were always accompanied by police.  In one village, witchcraft thinking had such a hold that the people had even refused the offer to electricity brought in.  In most places we visited there had been serious problems, even murders, related to witchcraft.

I will be visiting some more such villages later this week, around Sumbawanga, on my way up to Mpanda. Please be praying for this. So far, wherever I have done the anti-witchcraft teaching, people have been amazingly receptive - and the old people, especially, sometimes express real relief to have these things openly addressed. 

Do please pray for the coming seminar (next Monday to Wednesday) with the pastors and evangelists of the Anglican Diocese of Lake Rukwa.

And do please remember Kay as she has her first bunion job done on May 26. Also please pray for safe flying - I head off to Aus. June 10, arriving late at night June 11.

Thank you all for praying.  I'll be on the road for a while and can get emails on my phone, but sending is not so easy,

John.

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