Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania


Summer 2014
Written by Robert & Ruth Armstrong - Tanzania
armstrong@africaonline.co.tz

I continue to make visits to Tanzania, as the Lord leads, going for about three-and-a-half-weeks at a time, (that is long enough when you are on your own), and it gives four weekends with the assembly. The last two visits were started mid- November 2013 and mid-March 2014. During November, I worked with Emmanuel, to translate into Swahili an English tract called "The Cross" which I had picked up at an assembly I visited in N.E. England. With a slight adaption, the tract read well in Swahili and we ordered ten-thousand copies from a printer the day before I left. I had to wait until the next visit to see the finished article. We are in touch with the believers every week via the internet and last week Emmanuel told me the tenthousand tracts are nearly depleted as he has been distributing them on Saturday afternoons when he is off work, so we are pleased to be ordering some more.

In March I was again able to visit and encourage the saints there and try to finish checking the translation of some books. It was good to meet Hamida, a former Muslim, who had trusted Christ as her Saviour. She had been given some of the translated copies of the Focus books by a member of the assembly who lived nearby. When she read them she phoned him as she wanted to know more and he explained the way of salvation. In February she was baptized in the sea and brought into fellowship. When being interviewed by the elders, she was asked if she was afraid of what her family would think of her getting baptized. She replied, "I am more afraid of disobeying God." Please pray for Hamida. She had just qualified as a teacher and shortly after our visit was moved by the government to a job in the Singida region, over three-hundred miles away. This is near her home, but far from the assembly. The believers in Dar would like to get her relocated back to the city, but in the meantime we pray that she will be able to witness to others about her Saviour.

The last visit also coincided with unusually heavy rain, resulting in power cuts and limiting the opportunity to distribute tracts. However, profitable time was spent working on translation. The two simple commentaries in Swahili that we mentioned before, Happy in Prison (Philippians) and Love in Harvest (Ruth), are now ready to be made into prototype books and posted back to the believers for reading and checking. We have recently discovered that we could pay professional readers to do checking, but we would rather use the believers in the assembly as they understand the spiritual concepts being taught and it gives them some "ownership" in the books. When the books are printed, they feel part of the work. In discussion with the believers, we now think it will be better to put all the Focus books into one book, with each book making one chapter. We value your prayers for the Lord's help and guidance in this important work.

The assembly continues on faithfully but the lack of a suitable meeting place does cause problems. It may appear picturesque to some that they meet under a tree but it does have its difficulties, especially when it rains! The wind blows notes away and, when the grass is long, the mosquitoes


Believers under the tree, chatting after the Lord's Supper.

The area has to be rented and the chairs transported to and from the grounds by taxi each week. While the assembly is happy to meet together, it is proving very challenging to invite others. We have encouraged them to see what other options are available, but there is a major building boom and property in the city is being snatched up at an unbelievable rate and at increasing prices. On more than one occasion, owners of empty premises have refused even to negotiate when they hear what the property is intended to be used for. The assembly would value prayer that the Lord will guide them and also overrule that they may find a place of His choosing.

In Northern Ireland, over the past months, we have been mostly involved with children's work. We had great joy recently when, at the end of a children's meeting in Belfast, a girl of nine told us she had trusted the Lord Jesus as her Saviour. The assembly there has been active in following up, but, as she is from a "broken home," it is not easy.

During the latter part of the Easter week we shared with George Matthews (evangelist from India) in three days of meetings in a hotel at Trim, County Meath, in conjunction with the Rathmines and Longford assemblies. Those who attended were mostly from the Kerela region of India, so we had curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Each morning we had two sessions with the children, when we studied simple lessons from the tabernacle. Another children's meeting was held mid-afternoon when adults and children attended, and a gospel meeting at night. On the final evening, approximately one-hundred-and-thirty-five were present. Now we are preparing for a number of special children's meetings over the summer months, D.V.

Summer 2014
Written by Robert & Ruth Armstrong - Tanzania
armstrong@africaonline.co.tz