Update from Margaret Beckett – May 2017

Life has been busy as usual in the last 3 months. In SIL work, we have held teaching workshops with Burunge Pastors, who we were able to bless with gifts of Swahili language Bible Dictionaries. We enjoyed exploring these together, and discussing some key Bible words. The dictionaries are well produced, and include useful line drawings for many items. We in the U.K. would see them as very inexpensive, but for many Tanzanian pastors the price is far too high. They were delighted to receive these and are learning quickly how to best use this resource. They also know how to use cross references in their Bibles now!!

We showed them the “Jesus Film” in their own Burunge language. This was positively received and many had insightful comments and questions. I was encouraged by one pastor who asked if we could visit his village, to show the film not in Burunge, but in the Rangi language. He has a real heart and vision to reach out to the Rangi community in his area.

The dry weather will continue now. Harvests are poor, so people have no spare cash . The top priority is enough food until this time next year, when they will harvest again.

We worked with our two groups of volunteer teachers too, as there is time now to teach until the next rains. They are a delight to work with. We watched the Jesus film in Rangi or Burunge with those groups. Many of our Muslim friends were very moved, and understand more of the gospel as a result.

Our new church fellowship in Chinyoya is growing weekly. We bought 50 chairs when we started, and last Sunday all the chairs were full, and some had to stand. I am often asked to teach the Friday Bible study. Those who are able to come are evidently enjoying our times together, Most in our congregation are under 25 years of age. Apparently 50% plus of the population of Tanzania is in that age category. so there are great needs and wonderful opportunities.

I am planning to be in the UK for a few months from the end of July, including some time in Devon during August. Before then I need to meet with the Alagwa group of village elders to follow up work we began last year. Also we will work with our illustrators’ group as we see that locally illustrated materials are so much more attractive to these communities.

Please pray for:

These working groups, that God will “go before us” as they say here, and that our times will result in God’s word being planted in the hearts of our friends;

Strength and health for me. I had a chest infection earlier this month and am not yet quite up to full strength; I’m taking a week’s break next week!!

Wisdom and patience as I adjust to changes that will affect me in the near future. I will be retiring from SIL, (age, age!!) but I would like to spend some of my time here working mainly with the church networks I know best. I will communicate again once all this becomes clearer. Thank you so much for all your support prayers and encouragement.

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