Tuesday, 26 September 2017

All Change!

Dear friends,

So we haven't written a blog since February! That is just an illustration of how busy a time it has been finishing off our ministry in Tanzania and beginning our new life here in the UK! We have now been back in the UK for 2 months and are starting to get used to life back in our old home in St. Austell, Cornwall.
At a link visit, The Avenue Methodist Church
We have begun our tour around our supporting churches, having visited 2 so far, and are looking forward to seeing the rest of you over the next few months. We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all those churches as well as our many friends and family who have supported us financially and prayerfully over the last 10 years in Dodoma (and for many during our previous time in Kilimatinde too).
Enjoying Cornwall
We would be grateful for your continued support as we continue our work with CMS until towards the end of January, and for your prayers as we adapt and begin to settle in to our life here in Cornwall. God bless you all for your love, support and encouragement.

So, a brief look back at our final few months in Tanzania ... It was a busy time, finishing off our work and handing over responsibilities, saying the many goodbyes with friends, churches and different groups of people who have known and loved over the years, packing up and preparing for the move.

Farewell at Christine's Office

Christine finished off at work with an evangelists training seminar in Zanzibar in March, and a final conference of Mission and Evangelism Coordinators in May. You can read about these events on Mission and Evangelism Department blog http://actmission.blogspot.com. Christine then handed over responsibility to Rev Paul Mahiza who is the Provincial Youth Coordinator but will now be taking on both roles, and finished her time with a lovely office farewell party.
Farewell at the University
Paul was able to pass on his work at the university to various colleagues although has been finishing off writing and marking some exams from here in the UK. He also handed over his responsibility of principal of CAMS school to the deputies as the search for a new principal continues.
Holiday in Zanzibar
Please pray that a new principal to take the school forward will soon be found. After many interviews and several offers of the post they are yet to appoint someone. Again Paul's time at the university and at the school was recognised by farewell events .

Isaac's birthday Party

The boys has a good last few months. Isaac celebrated his 11th birthday in March and had a lovely party with all his friends. Daniel finished the Easter term at school as "Knight of CAMS" coming runner up in the school chess tournament which was a great event at school coming out of the chess club which Paul initiated. The whole school became very excited about chess and the tournament.
Isaac's final certificates with his teacher and friend Rayyan
At the end of the school year Isaac received a certificate at the standard 6 graduation and also received a "principal's award", a special award which one person in each class receives each year.
Holiday in Zanzibar

We were also able to have a wonderful family holiday in Zanzibar in April before becoming too busy! It was a lovely time and hopefully a memorable holiday for the boys.

Kikuyu Gospel Singers in Kahama
Kikuyu Gospel singers Video Shooting
Christine was very busy with the Kikuyu Gospel Singers choir, recording our second video in March and then going on a trip to Kahama in June to visit another choir and work with them in outreach. We also had yet another farewell party from the choir. The video is on sale if anyone would like it, and we will be travelling with it as we visit our link churches. 

John in the recording studio
During our last few weeks Christine went to the recording studio, yet again, to record a few songs with our friend John for his solo album.

With friends in Kilimatinde
With Grace and Festo and family in Kilimatinde

We had many more parties and farewells with friends and were able to have a final trip to Kilimatinde to say goodbye to Grace and Festo and our other friends there, and Christine and Isaac had a trip to Magugu, near Arusha, to visit our friend Edmound and spend some time with his church and family.

Isaac and Edmound

We spent a lot of time sorting out our house and selling, auctioning and giving away our things so that we could return with (only!) 14 pieces of  luggage! We also had to say good bye to our guinea pigs and our lovely cat, Vanilla, who are all now being well looked after by friends.

Leaving party in the garden

Our final farewell party was a big party at our home for friends and colleagues from all walks of life.
Members of the choir came to decorate the garden and many people attended including friends who travelled from a distance to see us off. It was a moving and emotional time but a wonderful way to finish well and be able to share with all these friends.

With the Vice Chancellor and Diocesan Bishop

Finally the day came to leave Tanzania and we had a wonderful send off early in the morning as many friends from the choir, missionary friends and even the Diocesan Bishop and the university Vice Chancellor came to see us off. We travelled to Dar with our dear friend Grace who then returned with the car which now belongs to her and her family.

With friends at New Wine
We had a wonderful welcome back in St. Austell, and spent a week with our good friends, Ian and Marilyn, whilst unloading all our possessions which had been stored in our attic and making our old house into a home again. We had a wonderful week at New Wine with friends new and old from Holy Trinity St. Austell, a great time of spiritual refreshment and a chance to reconnect with friends for all of us. We are very blessed to have a wonderful group of young people at the church so the boys have a great group of friends there already.
Daniel's birthday
Daniel celebrated his 14th birthday this month and had a lovely party with many of these new (and renewed) friends.

After New Wine, Isaac had a wonderful week in Edale on a camp with other Christian "Third Culture Kids" which was a great way for him to share his experiences and have a fun and refreshing time with like minded children. Daniel had a week on his own with Grandma during that time which for him was an equally enjoyable and refreshing time.

First day at School
The boys returned to school a few weeks ago, at Penrice Academy here in St. Austell. It is a very large secondary school and we had some concerns as it is so different to what they have been used to. However, they are both thoroughly enjoying the school and are very happy with life so we praise God for that.

Over the last couple of months, as well as setting up home and all that entails, we have spent a lots of time visiting friends and family and generally enjoying the summer in beautiful Cornwall. We have had some lovely days on the beach and walking on the coast path and feel very blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

Christine with Grandma
We have been able to go to some family parties, including celebrating the golden wedding of Christine's Uncle and Aunt and the 100th birthday of Christine's Grandma.

We are now focussing on visiting link churches and winding down our ministry with CMS. 

We are also looking for work and Paul has begun the process of preparation for selection and training for ordained ministry within the Anglican Church. Please pray that God will clearly show us His will for this next stage of our lives and ministry.
Please also pray for us all during this difficult time of adjustment and adapting to the very different way of life here. Please also remember in your prayers our friends and colleagues back in Tanzania who are also having to readapt to life without us in many ways.

With much love and blessings.

Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac.xxx

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