Compelled By Love
The Noahs In Eastern Africa – September 2019
Pumpkin spice, falling leaves, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches…these are some of the signs of fall…in America. In Tanzania, however, it’s just getting warmer. While we love Tanzania, we do miss these things. We also think of fall as a time of community…small groups at churches restarting, bonfires, tailgating, and such are ways for us to live life together. Living in community with others, we believe, is vital in our Christian walk. When we live in community, we can challenge, uplift, support, and encourage one another. This month has really been a great month of beginning to build community here in Moshi. There is a small group of missionaries here (it was dwindling, but there are two new families that have joined the community even since we arrived- so a total of four this summer and about 15 overall- 3 of those are with FIRE). We have been able to get together as a whole group about once a month, and the women gather even a bit more frequently.
Initially, it felt like the holiday party you attend where you barely know anyone, and just mingle, but recently, we have begun to connect on a more authentic level. Also, with the growth in the children’s ministry (the number of children has nearly tripled since we arrived), we are working to begin to build more of a team by putting into other local adults with the potential for leadership. We have begun to meet weekly and build relationship by playing games, sharing, and just doing life together. We are challenging this team to begin to step up and serve. We hope that, as we grow, this group of leaders that we are developing will be able to lead similar small groups of children within the ministry and take on more leadership responsibilities within the ministry. Community is vital for the vision!
Our family was also excited to serve together as a family at the Maasai church plant this month. It seems everyone in our family has always felt a special connection to and love for the Maasai people each time we have visited. During Children’s church on Sunday at the church plant one of the recent services four Masai accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior. We celebrate that these precious souls are now a part of the Kingdom community! We believe God is beginning to birth a really exciting vision for us and the Omari’s (the family we are working most closely with from FIRE) with a strategic plan to have an even greater impact on the Maasai people that we will share more about in the future.
We are so thankful to begin to live in more community within the community where we are living! What God has put into our heart to accomplish, though, requires the larger community! We are so thankful that you have been our community, our tribe, for many years! Our community supports us and says, “you’re not in this alone.” Without community, we cannot extend ourselves, our passions and our enthusiasm, into the world. With it, we have a mutual support system that will carry us through hard times that will certainly come. So many of you are giving faithfully to allow us to serve God and the people of East Africa, and we thank you, for that. You are praying for us, and some of you are even reaching out to us, and encouraging us, and continuing to share your lives with us. We can’t even express all that it means to us to have continued connection with you even though we are far away! Thank you for being our community, and a community that cares about reaching out to other parts of the world!
VISA Update: The laws have changed significantly recently, making the VISA situation quite difficult. We recently found out that there is also an additional cost that they have added that looks like it will be about $3500 more than we expected. Please pray with us that 1) things go smoothly for getting the missionary/ work/ residency visas, 2) they don’t charge us all of these fees, 3) bind any schemes of the enemy to hinder this 4) consider giving to this additional cost for us, and 5) for constant encouragement throughout the process.
About Jonathan & April Noah
Our vision is to Empower, Equip, Exhort, and Encourage the local people and ministries of Eastern Africa. So, as to become self-sustaining in order to further the kingdom of God, our heart is to see people be radically changed by the power of the gospel.