Turning Two in Tanzania

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,
We celebrated Steve’s birthday in June with 
a trip to Mikumi National Park

Two years ago this month we were making final preparations for leaving the UK and starting our first term in Tanzania with AIM. We scratched our heads over what to take and what to leave behind.  Many miles were travelled up and down the M5/M6 as we packed up our house and took our things to be stored in the garage at Steve’s parents’ house.  We said our goodbyes to family and friends.  We were blessed with a wonderful commissioning service in our church, and then we were off!  11th July marks our two year anniversary!

In the great scheme of things, 2 years is not a long time.  And yet, as we look back at them, we can truly say we feel settled here in Morogoro.  We are pressing on (some might say plodding on!) with learning language and culture, and we are both busy in the roles we came here to do.  We give thanks to God for helping us so far, for the way He’s helped us to adjust, to learn and to settle. There have been ‘blips’ along the way, but we can say with Isaiah, “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” (Is. 26:12).

Pastors’ Conferences

Steve teaching at the conference in Moshi

The two recent conferences at Moshi and in Dar for pastors and evangelists went very well.  Both were well attended, and the topic being taught, the Holy Spirit, generated much lively discussion.  Steve taught eight sessions, mainly in Swahili, at each conference, although language fatigue saw him revert to English for one or two of them!  He says, “There were times when my language energy levels felt depleted, but there were also times when I felt an extra sense of fluency – and not just in the session on speaking in tongues! There were times, especially in those dreaded afternoon sessions, when a number of heads were drooping – but there were also times when I could sense that people were switched on and hungry to learn.  There were times when people requested discussion times to be extended, and times when the unaccompanied singing of the pastors filled the room and thrilled the heart!  There were times when I wondered whether it was all worth it – and times when I felt that what I was doing had eternal significance. And there was a time after one particular session, when a pastor’s wife approached me with bag in hand, only to ask me whether I wanted to buy some pants and socks!!”  

  
Photos from the conferences: l-r: Steve with Pastor Matinya, Pastor Yatoshta, and the kitchen at the Dar conference!

This month we will be making the longest journey we’ve done so far in Tanzania, down to Mtwara for a pastors’ seminar.  Mtwara (twinned with Redditch, by the way!) is in the far south of Tanzania—next stop Mozambique!  It will take us almost 2 days of travel to get there.  We understand that the road to the south is tarmacked and fairly good.  This seminar, although it won’t have as high numbers as the previous two, will provide encouragement to the pastors and evangelists who otherwise might feel cut off from the rest of the Diocese.  Then, in August, we travel to Ifaraka (a mere 5 hours away!) for a pastors’ conference there.

Following the conference in Dar in June we travelled to Nairobi for Ruth’s annual medical check-up.  A raft of blood tests relating to the original DVT revealed nothing untoward, although Ruth was advised to wear a compression stocking when sitting or standing for long periods, not just for travelling.  You can imagine her delight to receive this advice!  But we are thankful for good progress and another year’s supply of medication!

Our trip to Nairobi coincided with that of various members of AIM’s International Office and also a friend of Ruth’s from Tearfund and Oak Hall days who was en-route home from Rwanda.  We had a good time catching up with folks and managed to fit in a visit to the Eastern Region office to join them in their daily prayer/chai time.  We attended the morning service at Nairobi Baptist and found that the preacher was, until recently, a member of St. Nicholas, Sevenoaks, the very church where we were married and that Ruth’s friend attends!  What a small world!

Matt Dixon with Fidelis, our building contractor

Back in Morogoro, work at Sanga Sanga continues.  We’ve had various groups making use of the Retreat House, and Matt Dixon has been stockpiling materials and finalising plans for the construction of the conference hall.  We are delighted to report that the ground has been broken and that digging has commenced!  Please pray that this work will proceed on schedule, on budget and without too many problems.

Visitors!
We’re looking forward to a visit from the UK of Ruth’s (twin) sister Rachel and Ian, her husband.  This will be their first foray into Africa and we hope to be able to show them something of what we do, a slice of real life in Tanzania, as well as having a few days of tourist Africa on safari and visiting Zanzibar.  It will be interesting to see their reactions…

Thank you, as always, for your interest, prayers and support.

Steve & Ruth

For your prayers:

• Praise God for His help and guidance over 2 years in Tanzania.
• Praise God for good results from Ruth’s check-up.
• Pray that the construction work at Sanga Sanga will proceed well.
• Pray for safety as we travel to conferences.
• Pray for the pastors’ seminars in Mtwara and Ifakara.
• Pray for good times with family and friends as they visit.

Diary Dates for July/August:

6th/7th July Travel to Mtwara
8th-10th          Teaching at Mtwara AIC pastors’ seminar
11th/12th        Travel back to Morogoro via Dar
19th               Steve preaching at AIC Dakawa
20th-24th        Meeting with Africa leaders for prayer summit in Bagamoyo
4th August Travel to Ifakara
5th-7th Teaching at AIC Ifakara pastors’ seminar
8th                 Travel home to Morogoro
12th-22nd Ruth’s sister and brother-in-law visit
20th                Ruth’s (and Rachel’s!) birthday

 Random Photos of the Month:

Whoops!  Should have gone to Specsavers!

Newsletter for 28th June 2015

Louise,

Infant Dedication

This morning we would like to welcome the family and friends of Tim and Kathryn Hogg as their baby, Libby, is dedicated. Please stay for refreshments after the service.

Family Day – Sunday 5th July

This year our annual Family Day will be held at the Rudloe Community Centre next Sunday, 5th July. There will be a bbq, bouncy castles, games etc. so please come along to Rudloe after the morning service. In order for the day to run smoothly, we will be needing help and so there is a sign up sheet at the back. Alternatively please speak to Rob Durant about how/where you can help. Thank you.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

Calling all New Musicians!!

If you can sing or play, and are interested in knowing what it means to serve with the worship team at CBC, please come along to our ‘Newbies’ Worship Evening’ on Monday 6th July from 8pm at Priory Street. Speak to Matt Grylls for more details.

Visiting Missionary – Nepal Evening

Sue K is a missionary who has served with INF in Nepal for many years and will be visiting our Missions and Persecuted church meeting on Wednesday 8th July. Sue was teaching Sunday school in Nepal when the earthquake struck last month and she will speak about her experiences on that day, and in the following weeks before she returned to UK for home leave.  Sue’s church in Pokhara is part of a “churches together” initiative which is now regularly taking aid up to devastated villages. It will be good to hear up to date news and to pray for the country of Nepal. Everyone is invited to this evening at Priory Street, 7.30pm.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon are now open and will close on 12th July. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July. Role descriptions are on the leadership board. Nomination forms and rules are on the table at the back.

Midweek Baptism Service I July

There will be a Service of Believer’s Baptism at 2pm on 1st July, when our sisters Jacquie H and Roxy G will be baptised by immersion. Eric Seager will be conducting the baptism and David Morrell will be preaching. Please pray for this service and come and bring your friends if you are able. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Craft Group

There will be another craft group meeting on Saturday 4th July from 10am. This month there will be a lace talk. If you would like more information, please speak to Kathy Ewins or Pam Mitchell.

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager.

Same-sex Marriage

Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction):

  • Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”
  • Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?”

Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Midweek baptismal service

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; Craft Group, 10am

…Looking ahead…

5th July: Family day, service at Priory Street followed by activities at Rudloe Community Centre green

5th July: No evening service at Priory Street

8th July: Prayer for Missions & Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th July: Infant dedication; evening service Uganda report back

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am (guest speaker Cath Swanson)

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm

Newsletter for Sunday 21st June, 2015

Louise,

Uganda Mission Trip

Tomorrow Eddie Larkman and the team are returning from their missions’ trip to Uganda. Please continue to pray for them.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

The Ark

The final Ark session before the summer break will take place this coming Saturday, 27th June, from 10.00-10.45am at Priory Street. This is an outreach to families with young children in the community and includes singing, puppets, a talk, refreshments etc. Please speak to Rachel Howlett if you would like to know more details.

Steph Grylls – Tearfund Trip Fundraiser

One of our young people, Stephanie Grylls, has been accepted onto a Tearfund ICS volunteering programme and will be going to Bangladesh on 27th September. She is holding a fundraising event, “Cream Teas for Bangladesh” afternoon on Saturday 27th June, 2.00-5:30pm at her home in Broughton Gifford.

Calling all New Musicians!!

If you can sing or play, and are interested in knowing what it means to serve with the worship team at CBC, please come along to our ‘Newbies’ Worship Evening’ on Monday 6th July from 8pm at Priory Street. Speak to Matt Grylls for more details.

Visiting Missionary – Nepal Evening

Sue Kemp is a missionary who has served with INF in Nepal for many years and will be visiting our Missions and Persecuted church meeting  on Wednesday 8th July. Sue was teaching Sunday school in Nepal when the earthquake struck last month and she will speak about her experiences on that day, and in the following weeks before she returned to UK for home leave.   Sue’s church in Pokhara is part of a “churches together” initiative which is now regularly taking aid up to devastated villages. It will be good to hear up to date news and to pray for the country of Nepal. Everyone is invited to this evening at Priory Street, 7.30pm.

Midweek Baptism Service I July

There will be a Service of Believer’s Baptism at 2pm on 1st July, when our sisters Jacquie Hayes and Roxy Gilbertson will be baptised by immersion. Eric Seager will be conducting the baptism and David Morrell will be preaching. Please pray for this service and come and bring your friends if you are able. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Pray through Ramadan

This year Ramadan is from 18th June to 17th July. A booklet is available to help you pray for the Muslim world during this period. Please visit www.30DaysPrayer.org.uk or speak to Gill Bryant for more information.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon will open on the 28th June. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July. Role descriptions are on the leadership board.

Oasis Centre, Vienna – please pray

The nearby Refugee Camp is so full at the moment with approximately 2800 refugees living there at present; 480 of this number being accommodated 8 to a tent as the building can hold no more. More and more are arriving every day. Please pray for the refugees living in such crowded conditions and for the staff who are struggling to cope

Family Day – Sunday 5th July

Our annual Family Day will be held at the Rudloe Community Centre this year on Sunday 5th July. There will be a bbq, bouncy castles, games etc. so please come along to Rudloe after the morning service. In order for the day to run smoothly, we will be needing help and there will be a sign up sheet next week.

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager by June 28th 2015.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; The Ark; Fundraiser for Steph Grylls’ trip to Bangladesh in Broughton Gifford, 2pm

Newsletter for 14th June 2015

Louise,

Uganda Mission Trip

Tomorrow Eddie Larkman is leading a missions’ team of nine people to Uganda for an AIM conference. The following people are going: Eddie and Kathy Larkman, Kathy Ewins, Stuart Little, Rhiannon Price, Barbara Thrift, Rachel Howlett, Steph Grylls and Jo Redfern. Please pray for their trip and for their families. They return to England on 22nd June.

Corsham Churches Together

Corsham Churches are holding a “Picnic on the Green” at St Patrick’s Church this afternoon from 3.00-5.00pm. You are invited to bring along a picnic and craft activities will be run for the children to do. Dan Ovens will be speaking at the event so please come along to support him and meet with other Christians in Corsham.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

Dance/Movement Group

Thank you to those people who have expressed an interest in these sessions. However, there seems to be some difficulty with the Friday evening slot which has been tried. It would be really helpful if you could let Mandy Roberts know what other day/time in the week might be more suitable so she can see if something different can be worked out.

Traidcraft

Traidcraft celebrates 36 years in existence this week. There are some new articles and information displayed on the notice board, so please take some time to understand the great work they do with small scale and marginalised producers across the developing world. The principles it adopts are to work for justice and fairness in trade relationships, which includes work to combat child labour, stop human trafficking and improve working conditions, as well as making sure a fair price for products is gained . If you want any further information or want to know how you can support Traidcraft , please talk to Julie King (on the Traidcraft stall).

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will take place this Wednesday 17th June at 2pm. The text is Luke 12.1-12, Eric will be leading and preaching and there will be communion.

Pray through Ramadan

This year Ramadan is from 18th June to 17th July. A booklet is available to help you pray for the Muslim world during this period. Please visit www.30DaysPrayer.org.uk or speak to Gill Bryant for more information.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon will open on the 28th June. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July.

Oasis Centre, Vienna – please pray

The nearby Refugee Camp is so full at the moment with approximately 2800 refugees living there at present; 480 of this number being accommodated 8 to a tent as the building can hold no more. More and more are arriving every day. Please pray for the refugees living in such crowded conditions and for the staff who are struggling to cope.

TLC Summer Party

The annual TLC summer party for our seniors will take place next Saturday 20th June at Priory Street from 3-5pm. Alan Christie is organising the event. If you are able to make a cake, please sign up on the sheet at the back. Thank you!

Steph – Tearfund Trip Fundraiser

One of our young people, Stephanie, has been accepted onto a Tearfund ICS volunteering programme and will be going to Bangladesh on 27th September. She is holding a fundraising event, “Cream Teas for Bangladesh” afternoon on Saturday 27th June, 2.00-5:30pm at her house.

“I am very excited to go to Bangladesh in September for 12 weeks. I believe that going with Tearfund ICS will give me an opportunity to help those in this world who are not as fortunate as I am and ICS can give me the chance to help those in need… My life goal is to learn a skill in the UK and take it to a third world country where I can use that to benefit others. Going to Bangladesh would be a great stepping stone for me to serve the LORD! I am fundraising money to enable others to go and serve the Lord. I have a fundraising target of £800 and I am half way there!”

Please go along on the 27th June if you can, to support Steph. Thank you.

Message from Rachel S

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and my three children, Alex, Meg and Dominic throughout my recent illness and treatment.  Thank you so much for all your prayers,  the meals that have been cooked, for visitors, for lifts to the hospital for appointments and treatment, for financial support and for the many kind gestures. I am looking forward to resting, recovering and recuperating over the summer months and then hoping to resume normal activities. Thank you all so much for everything and praise God for sustaining me and my children throughout these difficult few months.”

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager by June 28th 2015.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Team flies to Uganda

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; midweek service, 2pm; Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; TLC summer party, 3pm

…Looking ahead…

27th June: The Ark, 10am; Fundraiser for Steph Grylls, 2-5.30pm

28th June: Nominations open for Pastoral and Mission Deacons

28th June: Evening prayer service

1st July: Midweek service, 2pm, baptism

4th July: Craft group, 10am

5th July: Family day, service @ Priory Street followed by activities @ Rudloe Community Centre green

5th July: No evening service at Priory Street

8th July: Prayer for Missions & Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th July: Infant dedication

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am (guest speaker Cath Swanson)

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm

Newsletter for 7th June, 2015

Louise,

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study will be held Monday, 8th June at 7.30pm at Priory Street. The study notes are on the table at the back. Please take one so you can prepare for the study.

Corsham Churches Together

Corsham Churches are planning a “Picnic on the Green” at St Patrick’s Church on Sunday 14th June from 3.00-5.00pm. You are invited to bring along a picnic and craft activities will be run for the children to do. Dan Ovens will be speaking at the event so please come along to support him and meet with other Christians in Corsham.

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager by June 28th 2015.

Pray through Ramadan

This year Ramadan is from 18th June to 17th July. A booklet is available to help you pray for the Muslim world during this period. Please visit www.30DaysPrayer.org.uk or speak to Gill Bryant for more information.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are thrilled to welcome Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker and our text for the day will be Matthew 11:28-30come to me all who are weary…” We look forward to a wonderful day in God’s presence and spending time with one another as sisters in Christ. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

TLC Summer Party

The annual TLC summer party for our seniors will take place on Saturday 20th June at Priory Street from 3-5pm. Alan Christie is organising the event. If you are able to make a cake for the event, please sign up on the sheet at the back. Thank you!

Prayer for Gospel Expansion

We continue to meet in the hut on Saturday mornings at 8.30am for an hour and pray for the plant in Rudloe and further gospel expansion in and around Corsham. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Message from AIM Head Office

“Please pass on our grateful thanks to the members of Corsham Baptist Church for their generous monthly donations for the support of Steve and Ruth Lancaster. We wanted to add our thanks, on behalf of AIM, for your faithfulness to them in this way over the last year.

The Institute of Bible and Ministry at Sanga Sanga is growing, and now work has begun on building a new conference hall to seat 250 people. Steve has recently been preparing for his teaching slots at the regional seminars that will take place from May to December this year. Ruth is kept busy with her work in the office and teaching English. Steve has recently taken on the role of unit leader for AIM in eastern Tanzania, so please pray for him as he prepares to take on that responsibility.  

Thank you so much for your support for Steve and Ruth. Please pray for Steve’s teaching, that God would guide him as he prepares and delivers his seminars (in Swahili!), and that Ruth will be able to balance office work and English teaching well. They couldn’t be there in Morogoro without you, so thank you for the part you are playing in this important ministry through your gifts and prayers. 

May God bless you richly in your partnership with him in the Gospel.”

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the May/June Lancaster newsletter are on the table at the back. Please take one – alternatively you can read their blog online … lancsintanz.blogspot.com

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am

…Looking ahead…

14th June: “Picnic on the Green”, St. Patrick’s Church, 3-5pm

15th-22nd June: Uganda Mission Trip

17th June: Midweek service, 2pm; Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

20th June: TLC summer party, 3pm

27th June: The Ark, 10am

28th June: Nominations open for Pastoral and Mission Deacons

28th June: Evening prayer service

1st July: Midweek service, 2pm, baptism

4th July: Craft group, 10am

5th July: Family day, service @ Priory Street followed by activities @ Rudloe Community Centre green

5th July: No evening service at Priory Street

8th July: Prayer for Missions & Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th July: Infant dedication

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am

19th July: Mission Sunday

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm