We have been back in Tanzania just over a month and in many ways it feels like much longer. We praise God because we came home to a fairly peaceful school and home. It took me about a week to get our house feeling like home; unpacking, putting back the things we had put into storage, fixing the things that had been broken in our absence (well it is not all fixed yet but we can operate in the house), I then had a week in the office to get my head around what had passed in the last four months before heading to Dar es Salaam to collect our next volunteers. But before I go on any further…
This morning I have been thinking about the Hebrews passage where we are reminded that Jesus is greater than Moses (Hebrews 3 v 1-6) And particularly verse 6 “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”
Verses 13-14 says; “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”
Following Jesus takes courage, it takes persistence, it takes perseverance, we need to encourage each other in our faith TODAY and we need to hold on to the confidence we had when we first believed. Lets ask together:
Loving Father who can I encourage Today and Lord will you please bring one of your faithful to encourage me today too. Amen
This has also reminded me of a talk I gave at Christchurch Woodbury (May 27th) on obedience while we were in the UK which you can listen to here.
The final stop before we flew back to Tanzania was our beautiful commissioning service held at Holy Trinity St. Austell, it was a very blessed time and we felt full up on God, renewed, refreshed and restrengthened in our faith ready for all God has for us to do here at St. John’s. We were greatly encouraged too by the many friends that came from St. Austell and other supporting churches and stayed for lunch to here more about our work in Tanzania. Thank you.
This is the beautiful sunset we saw on arrival back in Tanzania. We were on our way to a little hotel with a little pool where we could rest for a couple of days before the long drive back to Kilimatinde.
Just two weeks after arriving back I headed back down to Dar es Salaam to meet our next volunteers. Silvie and Joella from DMG Germany, who will minister with us for 10 months. And Julie Fagan (Jeremy’s mum!) who spent a week with us learning all about St. John’s, to feedback to her boys and hopefully encourage them to make a visit themselves! Jonathon (Julie’s son and Jeremy’s brother) though the Ten Percent Trust is one of the supporters of our sponsorship scheme.
Festo has spent a lot of the last month catching up on how things are at school and on our farm. He was disappointed to discover that the young men who should have been harvesting on our farm didn’t harvest the choroko (Cowpeas), and so that crop was wasted. A shame as the harvest from the farm goes to pay their school fees. However at school things had been run well during his absence by Madam Lubarisho our deputy head and the school management team. Last week, however, we received some disappointing mock exam results for form four so he is now working hard with staff and students to bring the grades up. Oh dear and he has just walked in and told me that he has discovered than someone is stealing our pigs at least 3 in the last night 😦
I have been working with our new volunteers, inducting them into the way of life here and teaching Swahili. A lot of my time has also been spent planning some events coming up in September (which I expect the next blog will be full of). We are doing some teacher training for the primary and Nursery school and will have a trip to Bunda, Mara Diocese, where I worked in 2010/11 to visit the Nursery/Primary/Secondary Schools there to see what we can learn from them. We also have our Mothers Union Annual gathering in September where all the MU groups come together, the choirs sing and there is bible teaching. I will be speaking on Zumm. There is a lot happening so watch this space.
During the summer via facebook we gave out a challenge to our friends to go without something simple like Starbucks/Costa, icecream, or wine/beer for a week and to donate the money to our Primary School building project instead. We raise £550!! If you didn’t see the facebook post and are interested in taking part donations can be made through our Justgiving page or contact us for other options. We thank God for his might as we have raised the money for the foundations and we have been gathering the stone and sand etc that we need. Thank you to everyone who bought something from our Rift Valley Craft stall during our church visits we raised £1130, we bought an over locker for our sewing classroom (in Lidl!) for £130 and the rest is helping us with putting electrics in the sewing classroom and the primary school foundations.
We do need prayers for the registration of the Primary/Nursery School. When we left for the UK it looked as if it should all be fairly straight forward however it turns out that this is Tanzanian and the road is never without potholes and speed bumps. We need Gods favour with the government officials involved and his grace that we would face no more interference.
The Zeph, Will, karen and I took great delight in this flower that has it’s own tail growing on a tree that is otherwise completely barren. God speaks!
An afternoon spent playing on the Rocks near our house.
Like Father like son (above). Below is a different story…. we all love Frozen, right?
The wedding of a dear friend and popular guy in our village. They are Muslim and got married a couple of weeks before this party in a different town. This party was for our village to celebrate with them. It was great fun.
The bowls/baths were out for our children to have a wash, already with lovely warm water in, but they were a bit slow in getting ready and some other friends beat them to it.
Last Saturday at the Pool in Dodoma, a needed break for all us of and a really lovely day. Karen had never been to the swimming pool before but she took to it something like the Ducks in the previous pictures and spent more time in the water than anyone else. William also enjoyed the water more than he normally does. Woohoo!
So dear friends we ask you to pray for us, for the registration of the primary school and the building works. For the needed dormitories for the secondary schools and improved results by the time the form fours sit their exams. For all the opportunities over the next month to share the gospel of Christ and see people grow in their faith in him. We also ask you to continue to pray for us. We have now raised 81% of our budget with CMS, God is slowly bringing it in for us but we need to reach that 100% mark. If you want more info about how to give or how to get our link letters from CMS please find it here.
And finally! After all our worrying and because of your many prayers, please join us in praising God as Zephaniah and William have gone back to school here in Tanzania happily and are enjoying it!!!!! Wow God is Great!