Gospel reaches remote villages

By July 17, 2008

(MNN) — God is moving in the unreached and isolated villages of the Rukwa Valley
in Tanzania. Twelve people in a fishing village recently
made professions of faith. 

For about a year, missionaries with Grace Ministries
have been using a boat to reach villages that are surrounded by Lake Rukwa
on one side and mountains on the other. 
People in several villages have now professed Christ. About 700-800 people live in the most recent
village, where a grass chapel is under construction. 

"Ted Rabenold had a vision to get a boat that could go on
the lake, so we finally did get a large enough boat that could take evangelists
out and they would travel along the coast of the lake," said Sam Vinton,
Executive Director of GMI.  "It's not a
deep lake but it's a wide lake, and it has many fishing villages where you
cannot drive to." 

The new believers receive solar-powered audio recordings of
the entire Bible to help them grow in their faith. Also, a team of evangelists will soon travel
to the village to teach a Bible course called "Firm Foundations." The course leads students through the
foundational doctrines of the Old Testament, including creation and the need
for a Savior, before teaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. 

"It's been used very, very effectively in many parts of the
world, and especially in areas where people are starting from zero, so to speak,
in their understanding of God and the Bible and Christ," Vinton said.

The villagers follow local animistic beliefs, living in fear
of the spirit god of the mountain. 

"We try show them how they can be freed from that because we
have the true God who has sent someone to save them," said Vinton. 

He plans to travel to Tanzania in the next couple of weeks,
where he will meet with the 13 GMI missionaries in Tanzania and teach a
conference to pastors and their wives for about three or four days. 

"I'll be teaching them regarding their responsibilities as
pastors and how they can be good servants of God," Vinton said. 

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