Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seventy Frank Fry's East Africa Mission

Here are a couple pages from Bro. Frank's 46 page diary of his recent two month missionary trip to East Africa. Watch for future postings from his diary.

Sun Jul 4
Last night, even though my eyes were closed, there was no sleep for me at all. After
eliminating that pesky mosquito inside the netting, my mind was directed to Revelation 14:6–8 and the many peoples and languages that need to have the Gospel. It continued to roll through my memory for the rest of the night. The Lord has kept me from sleeping before and given me new ideas that He wanted me to consider.
Apparently this was one of those nights. However, he has never given me a scripture
verse like that to keep me awake all night. I finally gave up trying to go to sleep and just began prioritizing languages. I lay there the rest of the night considering the different languages into which we need to translate information about the “everlasting gospel” that was brought to the earth as a result of the Restoration angel message. It was impressed strongly on me that if we as a Church do not begin to do something different and make a real effort to put the Gospel into these other languages, that we are just kidding ourselves and playing church.

Iʼve heard some people say “when the Endowment comes”, the Lord will give these
languages to us as on the day of Pentecost. Yes, the Lord has and will continue to
bless us with the gift of tongues when the occasion requires it, but even in New
Testament times the Scriptures had to be translated into the different languages of the world. It took a lot of work and sweat to get that job done. It has been said that the Bible had been translated into several hundred languages before the year A.D. 500. That was done without the aid of computers or the printing press. Iʼm not sure all the Lord will require of us, but it certainly will be more than what weʼve been doing up until now. We truly have much more responsibility now because of the technological marvels that He has blessed us with, as well as much more of His word.

We got up at 5:00 a.m. and a parade of family members carefully made its way down
the steep, rocky hill in the dark, carrying all of our luggage, to where Paul had called a taxi to meet us about a quarter of a mile down the road. From there we went to the bus station and left Mwanza a little after 6:00 a.m. As the sun finally came up, I took out my small booklet I had found at a bookstore here and wrote down the languages that I had been considering in the night. We rode until about 10:00 a.m. and got off the bus in the middle of nowhere. Paul led us back to a place where we left part of our luggage in some kind of official hut and then we walked down the road perhaps a half mile or more and then turned off on a dirt path and walked about a quarter of a mile to where someone met us. We then walked on further to a small building where there were some people gathered. We waited inside for more people to arrive and then Paul was asked to speak. He spoke in either Luo or Swahili.

This was a small village near the city of Msoma where Paul was born. There had been
seven baptisms a couple of months before and today they were to be confirmed. I was
asked to speak and then six of the newly baptized people were confirmed. After the
service, we traveled back to Msoma by matatu. We walked to a “guest house” that
turned out to be full. Joab and I waited there while Paul and one of his friends looked for another guest house that had space for us. While they were gone I took advantage of the time and caught up on my diary.

Mon Jul 5
Got a good nightʼs sleep last night and woke up at 7:00 a.m. Tried to catch up on a little more writing, but Paul knocked on my door at 7:30 and we had to get ready to leave. We had a short planning session so I would know what his plans were. I did a
recalculation to verify if we had sufficient Tanzanian Shillings to finish the trip back to Mwanza. We then left the guest house and went toward the bus station. Paul told me about an incident in the night. The guard had come around and made him pay some more Shillings because there is a law in Tanzania that only one man may sleep in the same room at a time. I had told them to get separate rooms, because there is only one bed in each room, but they were trying to save money and only got one for themselves and one for me.

After breakfast we found a matatu to go to the town of Tarime. We rode the bus from
about 10:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Then we took a small station wagon to the village
Utegi. Then we unloaded everyone else and used the same vehicle to arrive in
Nyanduga, a tiny village a couple of kilometers outside of Utegi. We got
there at about 2:30 p.m. We walked another half kilometer to the home of Brother
Albert Okumu and visited for a while in his home and began teaching a class. We had
just begun the class when there was a knock at our door. Three men dressed in suits
told us that they had been waiting all day for our arrival and that we were to go with them to teach them about the Restored Gospel.

I looked at Paul, and he said, “Weʼve got to go”. We immediately prepared to go and
followed them on foot for about a kilometer where there were about a dozen adults
waiting for us. There were a number of others who had gone home before we got there
because it was getting late. Paul told me that I should teach about the Body of Christ, the Apostasy and the Restoration. The class started at about 4:30 p.m. and I finished as it was getting too dark to be able to read at about 7:30. I had very good liberty and wore out two interpreters, but the Lordʼs Spirit blessed us all. All were very attentive and the Pastor responded very warmly and asked me to return within six months as he gave me a letter. I told him that I could give him no promises as to when I could return, but that I would send him material that they could use to teach with and that Brother Paul lived in this country and that they should rely on his ministry.

We came back to Brother Alfredʼs home in the dark. One of the men from the previous
class accompanied me and held my arm to keep me from falling in the dark on the very
irregular and chuck holed path. I had not thought to bring my small LED flashlight,
which I did regret. After arriving back at the house, we had a supper of rice and beans.

Paul asked me to teach another class. It was about 10:00 p.m. After beginning the
class, two other groups of adults arrived and the class finally consisted of 15 people packed into a tiny one room house. There was a double bed at one side of the room that several sat on. I shot a couple of photos afterward to remember all who were there. I decided to close the class with a short video clip where a choir and a blind man sing the Lordʼs Prayer. Paul ended with a prayer in Swahili. We were led from that house to another house, perhaps 100 yards away, where there were two beds where we are to spend the night. As I am finishing writing (sitting on the only chair in the hut), I just realized that the young children who were intently watching what I was doing, were waiting for me to go to bed so that they could lay out their mat on the floor so that they could go to bed. Paul and Joab had a mat on the floor (with a mosquito net) on the right side of the hut, and my raised bed (with a mosquito net) was on the left side. The boys in the middle did not have a mosquito net.

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