On Friday afternoons I head out of Arusha and go to the little village of Nkoaranga. This is about 1/2's drive out of town up on the slopes of Mount Meru. The area is very lush and green up there, the air is cooler and the fields are filled with banana trees and coffee bushes.
There are a lot of people living there, not in one big village, but it seems that most people live on their small farms where they make their livings.
Yesterday I met up with the preacher there, Mbise, at his house and after exchanging greeting with him and his wife, we headed off for some "house to house" studied. Mama Mbise and their daughter would see us latter at the church building were we would finish the afternoon with a large study.
I really love it up in Nkoaranga, the little tracks between peoples farm are really beautiful and you often get glimpses of stunning views down the mountain to the surrounding areas.
Our first stop was a study arranged last week with a man we met at the church building. He lives quite a way up the mountain and the Land Cruiser I have just purchased proved its work ability on the steep grades and the fine dusty volcanic soil.
After we had driven up about as high as we could go we left the truck and walked the rest of the way. When we got to the man's house his sons told us he wasn't there - not an unusual situation, we can often find that thing don't work out as planned here. However, this is not a big problem here in Tanzania. We went to the next house and asked them if they wanted to study the Bible.
There was three generations represented and after they got chairs for the visitors and the grand-father we started to study. We we studying from Matthew 18 and the church Christ said he was going to build. We studied how we could become members of the one church. It was a very good study with some great questions. This interest in God's word is one of the reasons that I love it here in Tanzania, being able to go out to people's homes, to see their hospitality and to share God's word with them is a real blessing.
We spent about a hour studying with this dear family and then it was time to go down the hill a bit to study with another family. Mbise tells me Ishmali is one of the best coffee growers around and looking at his fields and the coffee beans drying, I can believe it. We had another great study with this man and his two daughter under their Bougainvillea arbour. When we finished, Ishmali and his daughters hopped into the truck and came down with us to the church building for the study there.
The church building in Nkoaranga is small - well really, it is tiny. But the brethren are so thankful to have it and they fill it up. We had sixteen people come to this study, about half of them member and the rest, either wives of members or present for the first time. The brethren there LOVE singing and so we had to have some songs before we started to study.
I taught on salvation - How do you know you are saved? I was very pleased with the level of interest and the concentration that the people were showing. This is a great area for the gospel and I can really see a great future for the Lord's work.