Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Celebrations, Churches and Craters

Dear friends,

Lake Duluti & Mount Meru

It has been a few months since we last wrote, which supposedly should have been the wet season, but actually here in Dodoma, as in much of Tanzania, it has been very dry and there is a severe drought at the moment. Praise God today it is raining but please pray that God continues to provide rain and food.

Back in November after we last wrote, Christine spent a week in Kahama, teaching music and worship, a wonderful week with a great group of students including many women which is unusual on our music courses, though they proved themselves to be very quick learners and great students and musicians. 
During the evenings we also held outreach sessions in the church which drew many people to hear God's Word and receive prayer. It was a inspiring week in a very active church and a wonderful group of enthusiastic believers.

In the Recording Studio
Late 2016 Isaac went to the recording studio to record his first album, of 4 worship songs he wrote himself, one Swahili worship song written for him by our friend Musa, and a song borrowed from Francesca Batistelli, a well know Christian artist. We had a lot of fun in the studio and the CD turned out really well. He is now selling it and giving half the proceeds to his school here in Tanzania. If you would like a copy please let us know.

In December our focus was on many Christmas activities in the church and with various choirs and worship groups. Isaac came to realise how busy Christmas can be as a musician! The pictures show the candlelight service at the Cathedral

and the boys with friends at/after the school Christmas production, as well as Kikuyu Gospel Singers on Christmas day in our new uniforms. Pray for this choir over the next couple of weeks as we prepare to go to record our second video.
Kikuyu Gospel Singers

Please read Christine's work blog http://actmission@blogspot.com for updates on other projects she has been doing at work. At the moment we are making plans for another seminar training evangelists, this time in the coastal and Eastern Zone, based in Zanzibar. Please pray for this course that the practicalities and funding come together, that evangelists will be encouraged and inspired and for safety during the event.
Mary in the bookshop

Christine has also been working with her colleague Mary to try to improve the Anglican Church bookshop in Dodoma. The shop is developing well but it is a struggle as the shop is very understocked and Mary just needs a little capital to stock the shop with more bibles and other books to get the project running more efficiently. If anyone is able to donate to this or suggest an organisation which may be able to make a small donation we would be grateful.

This picture shows Paul, in his new role as principal of CAMS school presenting special awards of which Daniel received one for commitment and determination this year. The school is continuing well but is still in desperate need of teachers from overseas - please pray that God will provide. 
Also, in December, Paul took part in the graduation ceremony at St. John's University, as part of his other role as lecturer at the university.

Our dear friend Rachel came from the UK to visit us just before Christmas. We had a great time in Dodoma over Christmas with various friends. This is our house help and good friend Mama Asia with her family and this is
Christine with John and Neema, and Labani and Happy on New Years day.
On Radio Hill with Rachel, Patrick and KV

On Christmas eve we had a wonderful party at our home with many friends from the missionary community and other friends,
and on boxing day we had a lovely walk up the local hill in the early morning sunshine.

Labani and Happy have since welcomed their first child, a baby boy, into their family on 1st February. This is Isaac proudly holding his little brother at 2 days old!

Ngorongoro Crater

After Christmas we had a wonderful holiday with Rachel and our friend Musa.
We first went to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and then to the beautiful Lake Duluti near Arusha, a very peaceful and relaxing spot to finish our time with Rachel.
Lake Duluti
It was a great time for the boys to see new parts of Tanzania, and parts that they don't remember.

The building of the local parish church just outside of the university campus is progressing well. This is for the Swahili congregation with which Christine worships. We currently meet at the university chapel but there are pressures on the use of the building as the University Christian groups are very active, and there is a pressing need for a new building.
Paul's birthday and farewell to the Chance family

Pray that we are able to complete this building project soon.

Since our holiday we have been getting back into the swing of work and school life as well as saying goodbye to several missionary families including our good friends the Chance family who are returning to the USA for furlough. so will be returning, but we will only see them for a week when they return as we aim to return to the UK ourselves in mid July. We said farewell to the Chances whilst also celebrating Paul's birthday, a lovely day.

The Chance boys

Please pray for all our preparations to return to the UK and as we say our goodbyes here. Particularly pray for the funds and personnel to become available to continue with our work when we leave. We will be planning visits to all our link churches later this year so will be contacting you all soon.
Ladies farewell for another missionary family
Please let us know in good time if your church has specific dates you would like us to visit. Also we will be looking to set up home in the UK. We have a lots of things already but if anyone (particularly in Cornwall) is throwing out any furniture or household equipment please think of us as it may be useful to us when we return.
Breakfast at Lake Duluti with Rachel

With much love and blessings

Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac. xxx

Friday, 21 October 2016

Missions, Music and Milkshakes

We praise God for the last few months since we last wrote and as always we thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement.

The boys continued to enjoy their school holidays in July. Isaac had a new guitar teacher over the holidays called Imani, who has, unfortunately for us, now left Tanzania to study in the US. He taught Isaac lots of new skills and he now has even more enthusiasm for his playing. Daniel has also begun drum lessons with a drummer from a friend's church,

which he is thoroughly enjoying.

We had a fun trip to Kilimatinde during the holidays with the Chance family, good friends and fellow missionaries in Dodoma shown in this picture at the point in Kilimatinde.

We visited Grace and Festo and their boys Zephania and William who are in the picture below.

Christine has been very busy at work. In August we carried out the latest in a series of Evangelism seminars for the central zone of the Anglican Church, which took place in the diocese of Kondoa, training lay evangelists and carrying out door to door evangelism and open air missions in the area.
We have also just finished our annual music and worship school which as always was a great success. You can read more about both these projects on my work blog http://actmission.blogspot.com.

Please also continue to pray for our project to develop an Anglican Church radio station. We have finally been able to apply for a license so please pray that this application will be successful and that funding will become available to enable us to go ahead with this project.

Kikuyu Gospel Singers held their annual mission in September, reaching out to the local people. Many people came to faith and were healed and the event was a great success. This was followed by the launch of our latest CD at which we were able to raise funds to buy a new mixing desk which we desperately needed.
Please pray for us as we now search for funds for a new keyboard. In August we also enjoyed a trip to Iringa to visit and minister to a church there.

As usual at the end of the academic year we had to say farewell to another group of students who are leaving the English choir as they are graduating this year. This is always a sad time but we celebrate our time together with a lovely farewell party shown in these pictures. Please pray for these graduating students as they look for work and move forward in their lives.

Daniel became a teenager in September and chose to have a party at the local hotel with his friends. This included swimming, games, and most importantly amazing chocolate cakes and milkshakes!

Paul has reached the end of his first year as acting head of Physics at the university and is hopeful that, with the appointment of extra staff in the department over the next few weeks, the workload for all will settle down to something more manageable than the rather hectic past year. One of the highlights of the past year was seeing some of the students get carried away with their final year projects. The photo shows some local school students who had been invited in to test out some science-museum style hands on exhibits constructed by one of Paul's students. As Paul starts what will be his last academic year at the university he is focussing on succession, training others and winding down roles in order to leave well.
At the same time he has been getting more involved in supporting CAMS, the boys' school initially as part of the parents society as it fundraises for building a new school laboratory (see photo). However, recently the diocesan Bishop has asked Paul to take on a senior role in the school as the current Principal's time comes to close and as a new principal is appointed.

We have just got back from a short holiday at the beach in Dar-es-Salaam, which was a much needed time of relaxation after and before some very busy times for us at work. We stayed at Kipepeo, a lovely beach to the South of Dar and enjoyed swimming, sandcastles and snorkelling!

With love and blessings,
Christine, Paul, Daniel & Isaac.x

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Building, Baptism and Birthdays

We have had a busy 5 months since we last wrote a blog post. We thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement over this time.
In March, over Easter-time we visited the UK for a few weeks and had a wonderful time visiting family and friends. The first picture shows the boys with their friend Sammi on a country walk and the second is with Rob and Judith, Paul's brother and sister in law.

We also celebrated Isaac's 10th birthday whilst in the UK, with 3 different celebrations first with friends in St. Austell, and then with family.

These celebrations were followed by one more party back in Tanzania on our return! These pictures show his party in St Austell and his party back home in the garden in Tanzania.
We have said several sad goodbyes over the last few months. Firstly we said goodbye to Will who had been staying with us for a few months and Claudia who had been working in Kilimatinde. The boys had grown very attached to them in the short time they were with us. We then said goodbye to our dear friends the Garrett family, an American family who have been best friends to us all since we first arrived in Dodoma. Finally we just said goodbye to our good friends and next door neighbours the Buchanan family from Australia who have returned home. The picture shows a final meal with the Garrett family and Will and Claudia. The boys are particularly sad to have lost some of their best friends.

In May Christine held her annual conference for Mission and Evangelism Coordinators which was a very successful event. The
picture shows all the participants, including 2 bishops who we were blessed to have with us this year.  
You can read more about this and  other projects with which Christine is involved on her work blog http://actmission.blogspot.com (link above). We are now working hard on the development of the Anglican Church radio, trying to raise funding to make the project possible, as well as preparing for the next seminar training lay evangelists in the central zone of Tanzania which will take place in August. Please pray for all this work, the God will provide the funds, people and resources needed. 

Christine's Swahili church congregation are in the process of building a new church as we do not have our own building but use the university chapel for our services. It has been wonderful to see how church members have enthusiastically given of their money, time and energy in preparing the site and laying the foundations. Last month we held a big event to publicly launch the project, at which the diocesan Bishop laid the foundation stone and we raised funds to continue with the project.

As the year is drawing near to its end at the University, various student groups are beginning to hold farewell celebrations. We attended one such event for the "University Student Christian Fellowship (USCF)". The picture shows the procession of students, led by a brass band, into the main university hall where it was held.

Daniel and Isaac are now on their long school holidays. The school year finishes at the end of June and starts again in August. They both have done well at school despite challenges that the school is facing particularly with a shortage of quality teachers. Please pray for the school this year, and if you or anyone you know would like the opportunity to teach at the school for a year or two please get in touch. Both the boys had an exciting last week of term. Daniel had his standard 7 graduation. In Tanzania, though standard 7 is equivalent to year 7 in the UK it is still counted as primary school, so the students graduate at the end of this year. There the follows 4 years of "secondary school" as opposed to the 5 years in the UK. It was a great event and Daniel was very happy to be graduating with his friends, many of whom he has been with since nursery school. The pictures show him receiving his certificate and celebrating with Ian and Meshack.

Isaac entered the school talent show performing one of his own songs, and managed to win first place, This is him performing and receiving his prize. It was a lovely talent show this year and Isaac was surprised and proud to win.

As the boys are now on holidays we have just had a few days away. Firstly we went to Kilimatinde to spend a few days with the Kanungha family. These pictures show Daniel reading to Zephania and Paul with William.

We then went to Singida for the baptism of Chimosa, the son of our good friends the Njagambas. It was a wonderful service with many guests and visiting choirs and singers. The pictures show Chimosa with his mum, Mama Merina, and the Njagamba family together with us and the godparents, Meraby and Tomas.

We also were able to spend time at Singidani lake in Singida, one of our favourite places.