Newsletter for 24th May 2015

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study will be held on 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. See Kathy or Anne if you need more information about these meetings.

The Ark

The Ark will take place next Saturday 30th May from 10-10.45am. This is an outreach to young families in the community and activities include singing, craft, puppets etc. Speak to Rachel for more details.

Uganda Mission Trip

Eddie will be leading a team of nine people on a missions’ trip to Uganda from 15-22 June. Eddie will be speaking at the AIM central region conference and the rest of the team will be supporting the conference doing children’s work.

Uganda Mission Trip £undraising Brunch!

You are all invited to come and enjoy brunch on Saturday May 30th from 10.45am onwards at Priory Street (after The Ark). There will be something for everyone, including breakfast baps, frittata, pancakes and other delicious things.  Don’t worry if you don’t think that you can eat a big brunch because there will also be elevenses on offer, a selection of homemade cakes and a nice cup of tea or coffee – something for everyone. Just come with empty bellies!

Nepal Donations

CBC was able to send £2,630 to support the Nepal earthquake appeal.  This is an extract of a letter received from International Nepal Fellowship…”We have been able to help 3000 families. We have distributed in excess of 65 tonnes of food, over 840 tents, and more than 4,450 blankets. We have also given out hundreds of other essentials from matches to mattresses. These numbers are out of date as I know we have been continually delivering aid. Thank you for being part of making this possible.”

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. It will be run on much the same lines as last year’s “Pentecost in the Park” with people being invited to bring along a picnic and craft activities being 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.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

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

Volunteering for Bible Society at New Wine 2015

Bible Society will be hosting a café at New Wine and we are looking for volunteers to help serve drinks and cakes between 2nd & 8th August.  In return for about 6 hours per day in the café we will provide a free New Wine ticket, 3 meals per day, the opportunity to attend worship events, uniform and full training.  Please contact Susan Wingrave if you want any more information on how to apply. There are information sheets on the table 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.

…This week is half term…

Please check with groups/meetings/housegroups that you attend whether they are meeting over the half term break.

…Looking ahead…

31st May: Prayer service, 6pm

3rd June: Midweek service, 2pm

6th June: Craft Group

8th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

14th June: “Picnic on the Green”, St. Patricks, 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: 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

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

Translation Trials & Bountiful Blessings!

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

Rainbow over the Uluguru Mountains
behind our house

It’s been seven weeks since we last wrote, so it’s definitely time to send out this update, although one can only say so much about translation work!  The good news is that, with the help of my language helper, I’ve now finished translating my eight talks on the Holy Spirit from English into Swahili – and its only taken 60 hours of tuition time!  On the whole it’s been an enjoyable and satisfying process but there have been times of frustration and mental block, where it’s felt as if I’ve been wading through grammatical treacle!  I never realised that learning a language could be so draining. 

An Easter Sunday walk into the Uluguru
Mountains, where we found David Livingstone!

Often, my limited mental energy is sapped simply trying to pronounce a word correctly, which is vitally important when you’re preaching, and when one mispronounced letter can make a huge difference!  Consider the following examples: “bariki” = to bless, “birika” = teapot, “bikira” = virgin.  Think what fun I could have from the pulpit in trying to say ‘God bless you’!  In fact one of our team mates learnt this lesson the hard way during a Sunday School class when she repeatedly talked about the ‘teapot Mary’!  A few years ago, whilst introducing myself at a school assembly here in Tanzania, I couldn’t quite work out why there was so much sniggering going on until it was pointed out that I had said “Jino langu ni Steve” instead of “Jina langu ni Steve”. Only one letter out, but it made all the difference between “My tooth is Steve” and “My name is Steve”!  And what about the verbs “kuonyesha – to show”, “kunyesha – to rain”, and “kunyonyesha – to breastfeed”!  And finally, what can go wrong with a casual greeting?  “Jambo” = hello but “Jamba” = to break wind! Oh, the joys of making mistakes in these situations!  Hence the mental gymnastics required when trying to learn a language.  Your prayers for clarity and a decent memory are much appreciated as I prepare to deliver those eight talks at our first pastors’ conference of the year, starting on 27th May!    

“The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3.  
Let me take you back to something we wrote in our Jan/Feb newsletter with regard to a proposed building project at the IBM base: “The next stage of development at Sanga is to build a 250-seat conference hall complete with a seminar room and a small library to aid visiting pastors in their studies. The site has been cleared and various test holes have been dug and the boys with the shovels are about to ‘break ground’, although the speed of progress will depend very much on what’s in the kitty from week to week!  If you’re looking for a project to support in 2015, believe in the ethos of IBM and want to contribute, then please consider giving to the conference centre project.” 

Well, three months on and someone has indeed done some considering, and blessed us with an extremely generous donation, totalling 60% of the budget!!  Needless to say that is a lot of bricks!  The team here has been super-encouraged and blown away by this gift, and we’re thankful to God for someone who wants to partner with us in this way, helping to invest in the lives of the Tanzanian pastors we work with.  And this gift means that as soon as the rains have stopped (hopefully this month) we’ll be able to welcome on site the shovellers, measurers, hod-carriers, and concrete mixers!  We’re looking forward to seeing those bricks slowly rising up from the African soil and becoming a centre where God’s Word can be faithfully taught. We’ll keep you posted! 

A toddler plays with electrical cables
during a service at the ‘Shed Church

As well as dealing with day to day management issues at Sanga Ruth has also been busy on the speaking circuit during the past few weeks!  She spoke on Philippians ch. 1 recently at an AIM ladies’ retreat, and also at a ladies prayer breakfast on the issue of trust and suffering.  We’ve both been involved in helping to plan the AIM Tanzania conference scheduled for October, and I’ve had a couple of preaching appointments in two very contrasting churches; one in the “Shed Church” where the choir kicks up the dust and the chickens join in!  And the other in an old Anglican church that looks as though it’s been picked up from rural England and plonked down on the hillside of Morogoro! They say variety is the spice of life! 

The beach is alive with the sound of scurrying!

We had a short break on the coast in April and although it rained rather a lot, it was at least warm rain!  It being the rainy season meant that we almost had the place to ourselves, and the beach was bereft of people…… but certainly not of crabs!! Up and down the beach hundreds could be seen scurrying around, some of them daring to venture into the sea, only to be tossed back out again by the incoming surf!  Apart from the crab-watching we were able to put work aside for a few days, read a few books, wander up and down the secluded sands, and we even managed to brace the warmth of the Indian Ocean ….when the crabs weren’t looking! 

With regard to the next six weeks, you’ll see from the diary below that we’re on the road for much of them. The conference season kicks off in Moshi and then onwards to Dar nine days later, where months of prep becomes three days of teaching.  I am praying a line from the Believers Prayer in Acts 4:29: “Lord, enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness”. The results are indeed up to God but it would be awesome if Acts 4:31 could then also be applied: “The place where they were meeting was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”!  To those who pray for us, thank you for your steadfast back-up and support, and to those who write or email, thank you for your encouragement – it’s good to hear from you.  Our next newsletter/blog update should be out in early July.   
      

Ruth finally finishes the course at the Morogoro
Language School and graduates!

For your prayers:

  • Praise God for the generous donation towards the conference centre building costs.
  • As always, for safety on the roads as we travel hundreds of kilometres over the next few weeks.
  • For Steve as he preaches in Swahili.
  • For Ruth as she undergoes her annual medical check-up in June.

Diary Dates for MAY/JUNE: 


25th May:   Drive to Tanga – taking new missionaries to their assignment
26th:         Drive to Moshi, northern Tanzania for Pastors’ Conference
27-29th: Bible teaching – eight sessions on the role of the Holy Spirit
30th: Drive back to Morogoro
31st: Drive to Dar 
1st June:    Kurasini Management meeting in Dar – return Morogoro
9th:          Travel to Dar for Pastors’ Conference 
10-12th: Bible teaching – eight sessions on the role of the Holy Spirit
13th: Flight to Nairobi: annual medical check-up for Ruth 
17th: Flight to Dar 
18th: Travel to Morogoro
21st:   Preaching at the Shed Church in Dakawa!  
22nd:         Steve’s birthday!

Random Photos of the Month: 

A simple home-made toy.  Remote control cars
can only be imagined.
Cutting from a local newspaper.
16p–64p hardly seems a killing in our economy!
 

Newsletter for 10th May 2015

Infant Dedication

This morning we would like to welcome the family and friends of Tim and Beth as they come to share in the service of infant dedication of their daughter, Eva. Please join us for tea/coffee after the service to celebrate this special occasion.

Nepal Earthquake – final opportunity to donate via CBC today

CBC will be sending money to the International Nepal Fellowship (with whom several in our congregation have links) for earthquake relief.

DONATIONS – If you would like  to donate, please put your donation in an envelope, marking it  ‘NEPAL’, and put it in the offering bag or the offering box on the table.

GIFT-AIDED DONATIONS – If you wish to gift-aid your donation, please use a gift-aid envelope (available on the table), filling in your details and writing ‘NEPAL’ as purpose of gift.

CHEQUES – should be written out to Corsham Baptist Church. Donations may be made this morning or this evening, after which the donations will be sent off.

Rudloe Congregation

Please note the new start time for the Rudloe congregation is 10am each Sunday morning.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study will be held on 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. See Kathy or Anne if you need more information about these meetings.

The Lunch Club

The next seniors’ lunch club will be held this Tuesday at 12 noon. Please speak to Wendy or Michael if you would like to know more about these events.

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.

Uganda Mission Trip

Eddie will be leading a team of nine people on a missions trip to Uganda from 15-22 June. Eddie will be speaking at the AIM central region conference and the rest of the team will be supporting the conference doing children’s work.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the latest Lancaster newsletter are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania. Alternatively you can read their blog online … lancsintanz.blogspot.com.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Tuesday: Tuesday Lunch Club, 12 noon

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

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am

…Looking ahead…

20th May: Midweek service, 2pm

30th May: The Ark, 10am

31st May: Prayer service, 6pm

3rd June: Midweek service, 2pm

6th June: Craft Group

8th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

10th June: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting

17th June: Midweek service, 2pm

20th June: TLC summer party, 3pm

27th June: The Ark, 10am

28th June: Evening prayer service

1st July: Midweek service, 2pm

4th July: Craft group, 10am

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

Report on Steve Bryant’s visit to Central Asia

Steve’s most recent visit was to two very different countries in Central Asia, both blessed with spectacular mountain scenery. After some difficulties with travel on past visits to this region, everything went very smoothly with all flights on time and travel to and from the airports and between cities working to plan.

The challenges faced by all of our workers there are renewing and keeping visas to allow them to stay, rising prosperity making many people more materialistic and less open to talk about spiritual issues, and suspicion of anything that isn’t Islam or the Russian Orthodox Church.

For our families there is the additional challenge of the children’s education. Away from the main cities with their international schools, the only realistic options are home-based education or the Russian-language schools with a strong emphasis on rote learning and heavy use of public shaming as a discipline method; shaming that extends to the parents of under-performing children

There were several seminars with both parents and older children on internet safety and positive internet use. In one town he taught a series on returning to the passport country to a group of senior children who will all be facing that experience soon to study at college or university. For almost all children growing up in another culture this “return” is one of the biggest challenges they face as it is much more like moving to a foreign country. He led other sessions during an education conference on living in restrictive societies, and including local Central Asian studies in the curriculum. Added to that were school visits and many discussions with parents and older students about their higher education study plans.

Many thanks to those who prayed while he was away.

Newsletter for Sunday 3rd May 2015

Infant Dedication

This morning we would like to welcome the family and friends of Phil and Helen as they come to share in the service of infant dedication of their daughter, Lily Evelyn. Cake will be served with tea/coffee after the service to celebrate this special occasion.

Nepal Earthquake

CBC will be sending money to the International Nepal Fellowship (with whom several in our congregation have links) for earthquake relief.

DONATIONS If you would like to donate, please put your donation in an envelope, marking it ‘NEPAL’, and put it in the offering bag or the offering box on the table.

GIFT-AIDED DONATIONS If you wish to gift-aid your donation, please use a gift-aid envelope (available on the table), filling in your details and writing ‘NEPAL’ as purpose of gift.

CHEQUES should be written out to Corsham Baptist Church. Donations may be made either today or next Sunday 10th May.

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be held on Wednesday 6th May at 2pm. The text is Luke 11.1-13. The service will include Communion and Eric will be leading and preaching.

Prayer for missions and the persecuted church

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 6th May at CBC at 7.30 pm.  The country of the month is Yemen, and we will also pray for our own missionaries. All welcome – please see Gill for further information. Also, Steve would like to thank everyone who prayed for him while he was in Central Asia recently.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the latest Lancaster newsletter are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania. Alternatively you can read their blog online … lancsintanz.blogspot.com.

Prayer Meeting Tonight

There will be a special prayer meeting tonight at Priory Street specifically to pray for the general election. This will take place in the back room after the evening service at 7.15pm. Alan will lead the meeting. All welcome.

…This week…

No mums’ bible study due to Monday Bank Holiday

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Midweek service, 2pm; Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

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

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am

…Looking ahead…

10th May: Infant Dedication, 10.45am

12th May: The Lunch Club, 12 o’clock

20th May: Midweek service, 2pm

30th May: The Ark, 10am

31st May: Prayer service, 6pm

3rd June: Midweek service, 2pm

6th June: Craft Group

8th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

10th June: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting

17th June: Midweek service, 2pm

20th June: TLC summer party, 3pm

27th June: The Ark, 10am

 

 

 

Aid for Nepal

inf-worldwide

 

This Sunday we will be taking up an offering to help provide aid to those suffering in Nepal following the devastation of the recent major earthquake.

Please pray for the people in Nepal and for how you might support them.

The offering made at our Sunday services (both at Rudloe and Priory Street) will be passed on to  the International Nepal Fellowship who will distribute the money appropriately according to the need in Nepal.

Let us be united as a church in Christ and in compassion for those suffering in Nepal.

Newsletter 26th April 2015

Annual Church Meeting

At the church meeting on Monday night, it was agreed to move to two Sunday morning services at 9.15am and 11.15am starting in September. We will keep the church fully informed as we progress with these plans.

At the meeting, the following people were brought into membership of Corsham Baptist Church:

Rob and Sharon Durant

Chris Drake

Graham and Jo Redfern

Alan Christie was elected Elder for another term and Rhiannon Price was elected as CBC’s new Children Deacon.

Copies of the Ministry Booklet produced for the ACM are on the table at the back. Please take a copy!

Prayer Meeting

Sunday’s evening service is the first of three prayer meetings (April, May and June). We will look at why we pray. Steph will then lead us in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world. We would really encourage as many people as possible to come along to this meeting.

Pastors’ Days Off

Please note that these are when our Pastors have their days off:

Eddie Larkman- Tuesdays

                Rob Durant – Fridays

                Dan Ovens – Saturdays

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study is taking place tomorrow night, 27th April at 7.30pm. Please speak to Kathy or Anne if you would like to know more about these monthly meetings. Studies are on the table at the back (light green sheets).

CBC Craft Group

Craft Group are meeting again on Saturday 2nd May, 10am- 12.30 in the coffee hall.  There will be a mini workshop in fabric boxes; knitting and crochet will be going on, there will  be lace work to see and card-making along with all the other skills we are blessed with. Oh and chat and coffee and cake!  For more information see Pam or Kathy or just pop in next Saturday and see what we are doing.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the latest Lancaster newsletter are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania.

…This week…

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

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

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

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am; Craft Group, 10am

…Looking ahead…

3rd May: Infant Dedication, 10.45am

6th May: Midweek Service, 2pm; Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

10th May: Infant Dedication, 10.45am

12th May: The Lunch Club, 12 o’clock

20th May: Midweek service, 2pm

30th May: The Ark, 10am

31st May: Prayer service, 6pm

3rd June: Midweek service, 2pm

6th June: Craft Group

8th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

10th June: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting

17th June: Midweek service, 2pm

20th June: TLC summer party, 3pm

12th April 2015 newsletter

Baptism

We warmly welcome the friends and families of those who are being baptised this morning. Please stay for refreshments after the service.

Rob Durant’s Induction

Rob’s induction service is being held at Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street, next Saturday, 18th April at 2pm. We look forward to welcoming Rob to the pastorate of CBC and everyone is invited to celebrate this special day in the life of this fellowship. Rob will be a pastor of Corsham Baptist Church with specific oversight of the new Rudloe Congregation.

Thank you!

“A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way at the holiday club which was held last Tuesday to Friday.  It was an amazing week, both children and adults had a fantastic time.  You are all truly wonderful. Thank you!.” Rhiannon

9am and 11am Services

On 28th June, we will commence our two-service Sundays – one at 9am and the other at 11am. Alan Kember will be the elder overseeing the 9am service and Alan Christie will be overseeing the 11am service. Please talk to either Alan Kember or Alan Christie as you consider which service you would like to attend and serve at. Please note there will be junior church facilities at both services. Examples of areas of serving could be: junior church, worship, sound, projection, intercessory prayer and prayer ministry, greeting, money-counting, teas.

Annual Church Meeting

Please note, the Annual Church Meeting will be held on Monday 20th April at 8pm at Priory Street followed by an ordinary Church Meeting. This is a very important evening as we will conduct leadership elections and there will be other important discussions concerning church life on the agenda. Previous minutes and the agenda will be made available next week. Please would as many church members as possible attend.

Worship/Creative Movement Sessions

PLEASE NOTE – THIS IS NOT A DANCE CLASS! and not just for girls/women!!It is intended to run the first of 6 sessions on Friday 24th April 7:45pm-9:15.The sessions will be an opportunity to explore various creative ways of moving in worship and expressing our heart before God. Anyone 16 or over is welcome to come along – the sessions will be accessible to all including those needing to be chair-based. Please speak to Mandy for more info.

The Vicar of Baghdad

Canon Andrew White is the priest in-charge of one of the world’s most beleaguered churches and the hardships faced by him and his congregation are almost intolerable.

However, the resilience and faith of the Christians in Baghdad are an inspiration to us all and in spite of the repression, prejudice and persecution there is real hope and belief in the salvation to be found in Christ which is shared by us all.

The moving story of Canon Andrew White and his fellow Christians is told by the Rev. David Post in a one hour audio/visual presentation which reveals the challenges and difficulties of being a Christian in one of the most unstable countries in the world.

Following his retirement, David visited St George’s Church, Baghdad and on his return to Britain he decided to travel the length and breadth of the country to highlight the work of the church to as many people as possible; his mode of transport is by bicycle.

David will be telling their story at St. Bartholomew’s church, Corsham on Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm. The evening is free and refreshments will be served during the event.

Steve’s visit to Central Asia

Steve is currently in Central Asia where he is visiting various missionary teams and speaking at a conference.  Steve and Gill would really value your prayers during this time.  For further information, please speak to Gill or see the church website or the missions notice board in the coffee hall.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the Lancaster newsletter for March are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania.

Pilgrim’s Friend Fund-Raiser

Please see the poster at the back regarding a music concert in aid of Pilgrims’ Friend Society. Nancy Sawyer will be singing a few pieces at the event. Saturday 25th April, 7pm at Zion Church in Trowbridge. There is a sign-up sheet for tickets next to poster which contains all details.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Tuesday: Vicar of Baghdad presentation, St. Bart’s, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

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

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Gospel expansion in Corsham 8.30am; Rob’s induction service, 2pm

Looking ahead…

20th April: Annual Church Meeting and Ordinary Church Meeting, 8pm

22nd April: Midweek service, 2pm

24th April: First worship/creative movement session, 7.45pm

25th April: The Ark, 10am

27th April: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

2nd May: Craft Group, 10am

3rd May: Infant Dedication

6th May: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

10th May: Infant Dedication

 

The times, they are a-changin’

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

So sang Bob Dylan in 1964.  And changes are afoot for us in Morogoro in various ways – in our team, our roles and the weather!  

Crops growing well at
Sanga Sanga

In the last couple of weeks the rainy season has begun.  Everywhere is greening up and people are hard at work in their shambas clearing and planting.  We’re enjoying the slightly cooler weather that comes with the season.  Not so welcome is all the mud and mess that comes down the mountain with the heavy rains, blocking the ditches and flooding the roads!

This month our team mates, Tony and Cath Swanson, return to the UK for 6 months’ home assignment.  Tony has been managing the day-to-day operations at Sanga Sanga (amongst other things) and in his absence we and the Dixons will continue with this.  We would appreciate your prayers for us as we spend more time there liaising with the workers, paying their wages, receiving guests and dealing with any issues that come up.  Matt will continue planning for the construction of the conference hall which, God willing, will commence once the rainy season has finished in May.

Matt’s construction site office 
at Sanga is coming on well

You may not know that Tanzania is very much a cash society.  With the highest denomination of banknote being 10,000 shillings (around £3.50), withdrawing cash from the bank or ATM means that you frequently have hundreds of thousands of shillings in cash on your person when you visit town to do business, purchase supplies etc.  Vigilance and common sense are required – please do pray for our personal security as we go about our business in town. Ruth will take over managing the cash funds of Sanga Sanga and the Institute from Tony.  The process is that when funds are required, Ruth liaises with AIM’s Eastern Region Office in Nairobi to request a transfer of funds (donations from supporters). She then visits the bank to withdraw the cash in dollars and goes on to a bureau de change to change it into shillings.  It may be one of the more mundane aspects of ministry but it’s also fairly important to get it right!

Last month we welcomed two temporary team mates – Katherine and Melody – who are in Morogoro for three months to learn Swahili. After that they will be living in the village of Pande, near Tanga.  Pande is a majority Muslim village and the people are from the Digo tribe – an unreached people group.  We recently visited Pande to meet the pastor of the AICT church there, check out accommodation for Katherine and Melody and visit Amani Primary School where they will be working.  It was a productive visit and the two ladies are looking forward to getting there. 

Beautiful Arusha National Park

We’ve been on the road a lot in the last month.  We recently travelled up to Arusha, a journey of some 10.5 hours, to attend an AIM Emerging Leaders conference with other mission partners from Tanzania and Kenya.  It was good to spend time with this small group, to get to know people better and to receive training in various aspects of leadership.  A change of plans at the end of that week meant that we had an unexpected free day, so we treated ourselves to a day of bird-watching in Arusha National Park.  We managed to add another 10 new birds to our list, including the Broad-billed Roller and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, if you’re interested!  But the highlight of the day was driving up through dense forests to the rim of a volcanic crater and gazing down at the almost Eden-like sight below us.  There was no access inside the crater, so what we saw was untouched by human hands – a vast area of forest and marsh land.  Buffalo grazed undisturbed and Colobus monkeys frolicked in the trees.  We almost expected to see dinosaurs stroll out from the trees, reminiscent of the film Jurassic Park! 

‘Motorway’ service station – not closed for repairs!

Unit Leadership
As part of our call to Tanzania, a Bible passage that played a confirming role for Steve was the story of Elisha’s calling at the end of 1 Kings 19 (v. 19-21).  Here was Elisha going about his daily business, ploughing his fields, when out of the blue steps the prophet Elijah, who simply throws his cloak over the shoulders of Elisha – and then seemingly runs off!  It might sound a strange passage but for various reasons there were a number of elements to that story that rang true for Steve.  Whilst not equating Tony Swanson to the camel-skin wearing Elijah, the time seems to have come for the transference of the cloak so to speak!  And that mantle of unit leadership will be taken up by Steve when Tony leaves for home assignment on 6th April. 

So, what will unit leadership involve?  The core task will be to ensure member care for those in the Eastern Tanzania unit, currently numbering 23 adults, and that will include visitation, debriefs and reviews, and encouraging members in their current ministries.  Amongst other things, Steve will also be helping to oversee housing and immigration issues for the missionaries, as well as maintaining relationships with partner organisations, and working with the AICT church to further their efforts to work in unreached areas of Tanzania. 

Steve says, “A few months ago I read a very practical book on leadership by Dave Kraft, and he defined a Christian leader in this way: ‘A Christian leader is a humble, God-dependent, team-playing servant of God who is called by God to shepherd, develop, equip, and empower a specific group of believers to accomplish an agreed-upon vision from God.’  In no way am I saying that that describes me, but I think the quote sums up what I want to be and need to be as I take on this responsibility of supporting AIM missionaries here in eastern Tanzania.  I would certainly value your prayers as I take this on, and maybe you could use the specifics of that quote to pray for me: that God would enable me to support our folks here in a humble and God-dependent way, and that I would be a person who intentionally and lastingly influences others, for His glory and purposes.” 

Thank you for your continued interest and prayerful support.  We pray that you will be truly blessed as you reflect on God’s sacrificial love this Easter time.  


“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil. 2: 9-11

AICT Dakawa, near Morogoro –
the ‘shed’ church!

For your prayers:

  • Please pray for us as we both prepare talks – Steve in Swahili for the pastors’ seminars and Ruth for a Ladies Retreat in May.
  • Pray for Steve as he takes over as Unit Leader, for wisdom and insight into this new role.
  • Pray for Tony & Cath Swanson as they begin home assignment, and for the Dixons and ourselves in their absence.
  • Pray for Ruth as she manages the cash for Sanga Sanga, for good systems and processes.

Diary Dates for April:

6th:             Tony & Cath leave for home assignment in UK.  Steve takes up Unit Leader role 
                    for Eastern Tanzania, initially for six months
19th:            Steve preaching at Dakawa AICT church  
22nd–26th:   Mini-break on the coast, south of Dar

Random photos of the month:

Half coach – half lorry!  The words on the front say
‘The Grace of God’!
Home-made roadworks sign!



29th March 2015 newsletter

Rob and Sharon Durant

We thank God that Rob and Sharon have moved and are now living in Rudloe! Please continue to pray for them, as a family, and for the new congregation as they reach into the community at Rudloe. We give thanks to God that both children are now placed in the local primary school and will start on Monday 13th April.

Rob’s induction service as a pastor at Corsham Baptist Church will be held at Priory Street on Saturday 18th April at 2pm. The formal service will be followed by tea/coffee and cakes. Everyone is welcome to attend! Rob will preach his first sermon at Rudloe on Sunday 19th April at 10.45am.

Leadership Elections

Nominations are open for the following leadership roles: Missions’ Deacon; Children’s Deacon; Elder (Alan Christie has indicated he is willing to stand for re-nomination). Role descriptions are on the leadership board in the coffee hall. Nomination forms, procedures and a leaflet on the Ministry of Elders and Deacons are on the table at the back.   Nomination forms may be handed to Alan Kember or Michael Prior. Nominations will close at 10.45am on Sunday 5th April. Elections for these roles will be held at the church meeting on the 20th April.

9am and 11am Services

On 28th June, we will commence our two-service Sundays – one at 9am and the other at 11am. Alan Kember will be the elder overseeing the 9am service and Alan Christie will be overseeing the 11am service. Please talk to either Alan Kember or Alan Christie as you consider which service you would like to attend and serve at. Please note there will be junior church facilities at both services. Examples of areas of serving could be: junior church, worship, sound, projection, intercessory prayer and prayer ministry, greeting, money-counting, teas, communion setup, stewarding etc.

Ladies’ March Bible Study

The ladies’ bible study tomorrow night will include a curry! The cost will be £5 per head. Please sign up NOW! at the back so we know how many to cater for!

*** Epic Explorers Easter Holiday Club ***

This year’s holiday club (5-11 year olds) will run from Tuesday 7th April – Friday 10th April, 10am-12.30pm daily.  Volunteers are needed to run this club, please pray about whether you would be able to help out in any way.  The areas we need help with are set up, worship, sound desk, projector, team leaders and helpers, registration and set design. There is a sign up sheet at the back of church so please put your name down.  Most importantly, please could you pray for this event, the children and people involved in this club. Parents can register their children on the days that they attend.

Wood at the Church

We have quite a lot of wood available around the church yard from all of the cutting back work that’s recently been done. A lot of it will burn very well like the ash, sycamore, and holly (if seasoned). You are welcome to come and help yourself to it if you burn wood at home. It would be great to see it all go and be used up rather than it just being stacked in various places around the yard. Chat to Paul Garcia or Steve Bryant if necessary.

Midweek Service

Our special Easter Service will be at 2pm on Wednesday 1st April and will be led by Eric Seager. It will include communion and follow the Easter account from the ‘Last Supper’ to the ‘Resurrection’ in Luke’s gospel, with appropriate hymns. The service will be followed by drinks and home-made cakes. All are welcome.

Craft Group

There will be no Craft Group in April as it is Easter, so the next one will be on Saturday 2nd May.

Easter Cards for the Persecuted Church

Vanessa Naish has organised for Easter cards to be sent to persecuted Christians around the world through Open Doors. Please take a card and write a message or scripture. You can either send the card yourself or leave it on the table for Vanessa to post to Open Doors. Heb. 13:3 ” Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Good Friday, Walk of Witness, 3rd April

There will be a Good Friday service at Corsham Baptist Church at 9.30am on the 3rd April. This will be a quiet, reflective service with communion, after which people will be encouraged to join other worshippers in Corsham for the annual Walk of Witness down the High Street. This will commence at 10.30am and will finish with refreshments and hot cross buns at St. Aldhelm’s Church.

The Vicar of Baghdad

Canon Andrew White is the priest in-charge of one of the world’s most beleaguered churches and the hardships faced by him and his congregation are almost intolerable. However, the resilience and faith of the Christians in Baghdad are an inspiration to us all and in spite of the repression, prejudice and persecution there is real hope and belief in the salvation to be found in Christ which is shared by us all. The moving story of Canon Andrew White and his fellow Christians is told by the Rev. David Post in a one hour audio/visual presentation which reveals the challenges and difficulties of being a Christian in one of the most unstable countries in the world. Following his retirement, David visited St George’s Church, Baghdad and on his return to Britain he decided to travel the length and breadth of the country to highlight the work of the church to as many people as possible; his mode of transport is by bicycle. David will be telling their story at St. Bartholomew’s church, Corsham on Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm. The evening is free and refreshments will be served during the event.

Ministry Reports

Would all ministry leaders and housegroup leaders write up a short report on the activity of their ministry to be included in the ministry report booklets which will be produced for the Annual Church Meeting on 20th April 2015. The report is for ministry done in 2014 and should cover what you’ve done, future work and prayer points. Please could these be emailed to Louise by Wednesday 8th April. Thank you very much.

Our Missionaries – Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Copies of the Lancaster newsletter for March are on the table at the back. Please take one and keep up to date with their activities and ministry in Tanzania.  Their blog can be found at lancsintanz.blogspot.com

…This week is half term…

Monday: Ladies’ bible study and curry evening, 7.30pm

No Mums’ bible study on Monday morning

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am, Midweek service, 2pm

No Mums ‘n Tots on Thursday morning

Friday: Good Friday service at 9.30am followed by Walk of Witness in Corsham

Saturday: NO prayer for gospel expansion in the Hut

Looking ahead…

5th April: Nominations for leadership positions close, 10.45am

7th-10th April: Holiday Bible Club

8th April: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th April: Baptism service, 10.45am

14th April: The Vicar of Baghdad presentation, 7.30pm, St. Bart’s

18th April: Rob Durant induction service, 2pm Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street

20th April: Annual Church Meeting and Ordinary Church Meeting, 8pm