Marge Beam, John Janssen and Karol Rader from Jackson Center, OH visited Bariadi in May 2009. This was Karol ‘s first trip, and John’s second trip with Marge her 7th trip. We saw much progress since our trip in '07. The three of us stayed in the orphanage and it was very comfortable. We discussed the opening of the orphanage for the children and hopefully it will open in October of this year. There are a number of things which need to be purchased for the orphanage. Cupboards need to be built for children to store their belongings. They need dishes, pots and pans and cooking vessels for the kitchen.
When we arrived in Bariadi, what a surprise to see the lawn so green and slowers growing along the walk ways. It was beautiful. They had had quite a bit of rain to make this possible.
On Friday our second day there we went to Luguru to dedicate the church there. This church building was started several years ago and finally they had enough money to put on the roof. They will have worship there each week even though they still need floor and benches. The church was full of people for the dedication and will continue to grow.
On Saturday we went to 3 sub-parishes. The first was in a very small church building which they have built making their own bricks. It was full of people and still growing week by week. The children recited the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The evangelists in the sub-parishes are taught by Pastor Mkaro on how to work with the people and children. Pastor Mkaro goes to the sub-parishes periodically to baptize and give communion as it is not possible for Pastor Mkaro to go each week. He has 10 sub-parishes. Bishop Gulle was with us and gave Bibles and mosquito nets to the people in the sub-parishes. The Bibles and nets were provided by Bob Allen from Tennessee. The people in this parish insisted we eat before we leave. So we did, delicious chicken, rice and soda.
The seconc sub-parish was waiting for us at their unfinished church building. They have foundation and part of the walls up several feet. They still come there to worship each Sunday. The children sang and again recited the books of the Bible. Pastor Mkaro inttroducred a young boy about 9 or 10 who had been coming and singing in the choir. One Sunday he brought his mother to church and after attending the servicre decided she needed to join the church. Pastor Mkaro said this boy is and "evangelist". Bibles and nets were given to some of these people as well.
We arrived at the 3rd parish about 3 o'clock and they had been waiting for us since 10 o'clock. They have land for their church but do not have a buioding started yet. They meet under a tree. Pastor Mkaro introduced the council of the church as he had done in the other parishes. The same procedure here as in the other parishes. What a blessing to see so many people come to worship anytime during the day or week. They are a very happy people because they have the love of Jesus in their hearts.
On Sunday Pastor Mkaro was installed as District Pastor of Bariadi and the sub-parishes. This increases his load but does not increase his salary. Pray for him as he takes on the task of having thousands of people to shepherd.
For three days in Bariadi they had a Sunday School Seminar. Teachers came from sub-parishes as well as Bariadi to learn how to teach Sunday school. Karol from US taught them two songs in English. They loved it and wanted to sing the songs over and over. Marge gave a Bible story. She told them they had a very important service of teaching the children about Jesus.
The women of Bariadi church has organized a group call Pambazuko Women's Group to offer assistance to widows and orphans. At this time they have 40 orphans they work with giving them food, clothing and school supplies. Once a month they invite the children to Bariadi and provide a meal for them. They invited the children to Bariadi and provided a meal for them. The children were there while we were there. We gave them a cross necklace, pencils and beanie babies which came from someone in US who gave away their collection. The ladies also help young girl orphans to sew. They have two pedal sewing machines and the girls can make things to sell to make money for themselves.
One more story----- An older gentleman lost his wife through death in October. He was having a difficult time dealing with her death. The people of Bariadi Church came to his rescue. They helped during his mourning time. After a time he gave his heart to Jesus with the help of Pastor Mkaro and the Holy Spirit. Not only did he receive Christ but the rest of his family did also. Because of this a church as started and now since October they have 200 members and still growing.
Pray for all the work going on in Bariadi and May God continue to bless these people.