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Tanzania

723 new souls responded the first week as we showed the Jesus Film in the villages. Muslims are very present and the response does seem to be influenced by the strength of the Muslims in the area. During the day, we worked with 50 pastors and went out at night. The we went 8 hours to the north to Mugumu and went from Village to village. There were about 40 of us the 2nd Week and over 5,000 people accepted Jesus as their Savior. The next week, 4 of us held 3 different seminiars during the day with pastors and wives and went out at night to the Jesus Film. In Mtwara and Lindy, the Muslim presence is very strong and the numbers were less. Yet over 8K people responded to Christ.

Obviously, the Follow-up and the Church Planting is key to growth. We are extremely excited about the harvest, but we stressed to all the pastors the extreme need to follow up and the absolute importance to going out to the remote homesites that we walked to in order to get these new converts into church. Please pray with us as Tanzania is going through struggles. **We had just gotten there when on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, the Muslims blew up a church and declared all churches banned. The government historically does virtually nothing to control such behavior. Many, many churches are commonly burned down on Zanzibar with virtually no repercussions to the offenders.

That is why we were working with the Pastors. They need support and encouragement. Many are not trained, they are just passionate followers who have stepped into the empty role left by another. It was our joy to go, but we are so grateful for your prayers. Thanks also to Walker and the AweStar Team for their support of us and allowing this Blog to display the joy of New Life coming to Tanzania. — Pastor Larry Pittman

Dad called today and shared this information with mom:

“Dad just called!! Been in the bush this week, Every adult in the bush accepted Christ.  3033 salvations in 4 days just from the north rich group (that is 17 people and 2 vets)

There has been sicknesses among the group but they have all put their medicines together and they are doing ok. Mom said dad is nasally (he said the dust is killing him) Immigration is giving them a lot of trouble, be praying about that. They are headed to Mtwara tomm. 5:30 am their time, in 6 hours from now. (so 10:30 our time)”

Keep praying God is doing great thinks and Satan is being defeated.

-Keisha

Unbelievable week in Africa. We have been harassed at every turn but we may be bruised but not defeated. In the day, we have been teaching 50 pastors about Romans and creating an effective ministry. But at night, we have been going into the Bush to share the Jesus Film. There are 4 of us. THIS WEEK WE HAVE HAD 2,450 PEOPLE COME TO THE JESUS FILM AND 743 HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST. IS THAT UNBELIEVABLE? For instance, I gave the invitation to a crowd of 800 people and 308 came forward to accept Christ. Here’s the rest of the story. One man beat his wife every time she came to church. That night he was at the Jesus Film and came forward to accept Christ. The night before was similar. Around 150 people had come forward and we handed out a lot of NT (we have handed out approx. 1000 Bibles this week. Anyway, the children took the NT home and the parents showed up on the Pastor’s doorstep. If I had answered the door, I would have been afraid. 24 parents had come back and said they wanted to receive Jesus. However, I have been quite sick, even though I kept going. Immigration gave us trouble in Kigoma and almost did not let us show the Jesus Film. My lead partner had to unpack his backpack at least 2 times, and last night, the Muslims heckled us badly. Only God can do what is being done. Only God can bring the results of what is occurring. Please pray for us. We will be here 2 more weeks. Mungu akabiriki.   – Larry (from facebook post)

I’ve loaded some pictures in the gallery to give you an idea of what it looks like and to give you a visual of where Larry and the team are.  Right now, these are not from him.  But, they can give you an idea.

Be Blessed!  –Keisha

I am writing to you from the shores of Tanganyika, the longest lake in the world and the 2nd deepest.  My condition is not getting worse and there is some slight improvement.  My body is responding and I am able to keep up with the schedule even though I am sick and the throat feels like swallowing nail-  but I haven’t missed too many meals-  although I am already sick of coo-coo and the mounds of rice that they serve with each meal.  Even my beloved Passion Fruit Fanta’s burn my throat.  But here’ the reason we came.    

 
We are teaching 50 pastors who only had 4 complete Bibles among the whole of them.  So we gave them all a complete Bible.  In the Bush, we give NT to each convert and then 100+ to the rest of the village.  (Gideons have printed our Bibles for a 1/3 of the cost of last year, so we are here with a large amount of Bibles.  Last night there were only 250 people who came out to watch the Film, but at the end of the film, 110 came to accept Jesus as Lord of their Life.    We get home about Midnight and back up at 6:30am to go to the next day’s events here.     We are teaching on the shores of the lake in the Joy in the Harvest Christian compound.  I can see the Congo across the lake.    Although it is very poor, there are many people here and it is near the lake so there is a food source, south of a main chimpanzee resort, and etc.     *Except they are remote here.  We landed on a Dirt Runway.   If it is raining, then they cancel the flight and go back to Dar es Salaam and the people on the plane are stranded.   Yes I said dirt runway-  they told me that in mid-flight.  So I can add that to my life’s experience.
 
We saw the nearly flat top of Kilamanjaro on the way over.   It was stuck up above the clouds with snow like a popscicle.  It’ twin peak in Kenya was also seen through the clouds.    Many dried river beds could be seen from the air and many stone formations from either a volcano spewing rock or remains of ancient mtns.    The East Ridge is known for it’s series of Volcanoes.  So this area was once very volcanic and there are many chunks of stone that were thrown about.   So the uniqueness of this area is beautiful.
  
I met a group from the Univ. of Ark.  They weren’t hard to find, since half of them had Hog hats on.  We talked.  There were only 2 boys with all the girls in the group,  so I had no luck in getting their attn to call my daughter at Ouachita :)
 
Please keep praying for us, I will probably feel well to do the sermon at the film site tonight and will ask Mungu to bless us and reap much for His glory.     (It is winter here.  Hot in the day, but the temp plunges at night to the low 60′s.  The kids have on coats and my Tanzanian collegues have sweat shirts or coats.  Mike and I are saying “Thank you, Mungu”  Our other group is coming, so please pray for their safe arrival, out witnessing without any further harm from Satan, and for the 4 of us to stay and share God’s truth.     No need to answer back unless God has a word from you.  Mungu akabariki  (God Bless You).      Larry,  June 1st

Here’s a message we received on Wednesday afternoon from dad.  Thankfully I was on the computer when he sent the email so we had a chance to exchange some emails before he crashed (it was 1:30 in the morning for him after all!)

“We went to the bush last night and shared the film with 300 and 35 accepted Christ.  Tonight was 700 people and 135 accepted.  It is after 12 here and we are getting up around 6:30.  A Disco just down the street sings to us to the wee hours.  Have a mouth ulcer too, so send that medicine Sue Ann.  (and 2 blisters from my boots).         Communicate to the church about our situation.  We are doing fine otherwise.  The situation in Zanizibar is not bothering us.    Having a dickens of a time this trip.   —Larry”

We got a call from Larry at 11:45 on Monday evening and he had full blown strep.  His throat was hurting when he left and he started taking Cirpo as soon as he landed.  It didn’t take long to get through that!  We are working to see what we can do on this side to help take care of him.

Prayers are welcomed!  Lots to be accomplished and Satan is clearly at work.

This is Keisha.  I will be posting for dad (Larry) as I get messages and hear from him.  As you can imagine, Internet options are low, but we have been able to share a few things.  I will post those later.  If you have messages to get to him, please leave a comment and he will be checking them and I will be communicating with him as best I can.

Larry and Mike Nelson leave DFW Airport on Sat., May 26th for Amsterdama and then to Tanzania.  After a fun-filled all night stay on the plastic chairs in the Dar es Salaam airport, we’ll fly to the western border to the Congo.  The lake there is the 2nd deepest natural lake in the world with an avg. depth of 1,800 ft.  (So, maybe I just need to wade out a little bit).  Be praying for our meeting there and the pastors.  We’ll show the Jesus Film at night in the various villages.  We have to have permission from the village leaders to do that.  Please pray for that too.  In Kigoma it is likely that I will get to meet my first witch doctor.  We’ll be there about a week and fly out to meet the incoming team to go to the Mwanza airport and then to Mugumu and Loliondo.  I’ll tell you more about that later. 

Thanks for keeping in touch. 

–Larry  Pittman