Friday, 10 October 2008


Finally managed to upload these. See the previous new post (New university year and Daniel's birthday) for explanation!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

New University Year & Daniel's birthday

Dear all,
The university campus is suddenly buzzing as students have been returning over the last couple of weeks, more than double the number that were here last year as we are now into the second year of the university. Apart from helping out with registration (as seen in the picture being assited by Daniel) Paul has been very busy finalising timetables, allocating students to seminar groups and taught his first lecture today in a new "Maths for Scientists" course which he discovered he was to teach a week ago. The Physics is also kicking off soon as Paul has been joined by a Mr Kingu who will lecture in physics and maths. Paul is also now in his third week of his masters course and managing to keep up with all the reading/blogging/discussion boards etc. involved in the distance e-learning course.

Daniel is on holiday from school for two weeks so we are having lots of fun playing with friends and swimming (as the weather is now hotting up!) and enthusiastically practising reading and writing ready for the new term. Daniel had a wonderful 5th birthday. Isaac was also very excited, possibly even more so than Daniel! We had a lovely party in the garden with local friends and friends from school, as you can see in the video. Both boys are well and happy, and enjoying their local friends very much. Daniel has also made a new best friend at school, a Tanzanian boy called Kirby. He has really struggled to make close friends but his teachers say that it is good to see a real bond being formed for the first time.

Christine has had further meetings about her future position at the provincial office, and assuming her work permit is processed in time hopes to start work after Christmas for a couple of mornings a week and then every morning after Easter (when Isaac begins nursery at Daniel's school). We continue to enjoy helping at the nursery school in Ipagala. The picture shows one of the classes with their teacher and Rev. Erasto Mwambeje, a Tanzania Assemblies of God pastor who set up and runs the nursery. He is a wonderful man of God with a great vision for the school and for church planting. We also attended his church a few weekends ago where Paul preached and we were made very welcome. We are now preparing for a prayer and fellowship meeting on Saturday for teachers, parents and supporters of the nursery, where Paul will again preach and Christine will lead the sung worship.

Christine has been very busy with choir Revival recently. We have now started having rehersals at our home, as the church will be used as an extra classroom for theology students this year. It is great to welcome everyone to our home and it also solves the problem I had of getting babysitters! We also attended another Assemblies of God, church as a choir, to worship with them recently, and it was a wonderful service. This week we have been given a small shop on the university campus to use as an income generating project for the choir. It is very exciting and the shop is in a great position to get a lot of trade from students. It is taking a lot of prayer, organisation and money to get it up and running, but we hope to open next week and we pray that it will be successful and profitable as it will be great to be self sufficient in the long term. Alongside her duties as choir treasurer, Christine has also just been elected, together with another member, to organise the spiritual programme for the choir. This initially will involve our regular prayer and worship times (which hopefully will now be more regular!), though in the future I hope to run an alpha course with the choir too.

On the 20/21st September we went to Kilimatinde for the jubilee celebrations of the building of Kilimatinde church 80 years ago. CMS missionary Canon Ralph Banks, who was vicar of Kilimatinde at the time oversaw the building of the church. The jubilee was a great event. On the Saturday there was a very big youth event with lots of choirs singing from all over the diocese of the Rift Valley, and then on the Sunday was a big service of celebration held outside the church on a new platform constructed specially for the event. The first picture shows Masada Gospel Singers singing at the Sunday service, and the second shows Bishop John Lupaa (left), bishop of the Diocese of the Rift Valley, and Archibishop Valentino Mokiwa, the new archbishop of Tanzania.

Hope you enjoy the videos. One is of Daniel's birthday party. The other is some snippets of the wedding of Amani and Faraja, friends from Kilimatinde, who were married in July.

.... sorry the videos aren't here yet - having trouble uploading - will be here soon - watch this space! .......

Please pray:

n For Rev. Erasto, that God will bless him in his work provide for the needs of the nursery.
n For choir Revival and our new shop, that it will be successful and enable us to become self sufficient and further develop our work to God’s glory
n For Daniel and Isaac, that they will continue in good health, continue to develop lasting friendships, and grow in their love of God.
n For Paul as he tries to manage time commitments and develops working relationships with new staff

With love and prayers,

Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac

Friday, 12 September 2008

Grandma's visit

Dear all,
We had a lovely few weeks with Christine’s mum in August, starting with a few days on the beach in Bagamoyo, where Isaac can be seen proudly displaying a freshly fallen coconut. We spent most of her visit just relaxing in Dodoma and enjoying all our usual activities with her.

Daniel is loving school and is very excited about learning to read. Whilst mum was here we had the annual sports day at school. These pictures are of Daniel and his classmates on the day. Daniel had a great time, though unfortunately the yellow team came in last place! Isaac continues to enjoy life too and we are particularly enjoying volunteering at the local nursery school.

Christine recently met with the general secretary at the provincial offices of the Anglican church about a possible future role. It was a really good meeting and hopefully she will start working there sometime next year as a “consultant” involved initially with a youth development project focussing on small loans for youth choirs to carry out small scale income generation projects. Later this may extend into similar work on other projects within the youth and development departments.
Paul has been continuing to prepare for the new semester whilst doing the occasional teaching practice observation.

Two weeks ago a large consignment of apparatus arrived from Lab Aid UK. It felt like Christmas opening up the boxes and cataloguing all the pieces from resistors to binocular microscopes and now the increase in many essential items means that we are much better prepared to deliver practical science to our ever growing number of students.

Last week our friend, neighbour and colleague, Elizabeth Taylor had her 60th birthday and we had a wonderful party in her garden with over 100 guests, at which Christine sang with choir Revival. The picture shows Elizabeth at the party.

We recently said goodbye to our good friends and fellow CMS mission partners Simon and Laura Walton, their girls Grace and Esther and their newly adopted son James, who have returned to England. They will be back though after an extended break back in the UK.

Our house in Tanzania has seen some forward and backward developments this week. It is now encircled by a new concrete path and patio which has become the boys’ cycle race track. Unfortunately whilst this work was going on our roof tank leaked flooding several rooms. Most things were saved (we have no carpets) although we now have a few crinkly bed time story books and rather unsightly patches on the walls and ceiling. Plans are now afoot to install an external tank and redecorate.

We are still selling CDs by Musa Njagamba and Amani Shaban for £7 each (see last entry) If you would like one please get in touch.
Please pray:
n for Daniel's birthday on Thursday, that he enjoys the day and his party
n for the new students who will be enrolling at the university in the next two weeks
n for our house back in the UK, that a tenant is found soon
n for Elizabeth, her work and life here at the University

Monday, 11 August 2008

St. Austell Visit

Dear all,

Sorry for not up-dating the blog for some time. We have had a busy summer! (or winter here!)

At the beginning of July the long planned “tamasha” (sort of fundraising concert) with Revival choir took place. It turned out to be smaller than expected our special guest singer didn’t turn up, but several choirs joined us, including Masada from Kilimatinde, and we had a great weekend and managed to raise a good amount of money to help buy some new equipment.

For 3 weeks in July we hosted a youth group from Holy Trinity, St. Austell, who came primarily for a mission in Kilimatinde and surrounding villages, involving singing, drama, preaching the gospel and playing with local children. It was great for us to meet old friends again, and a great experience for the group, many of whom had not experienced such a different culture to their own before. The trip was amazing and many Tanzanians told us how touched they were by the work the group did and how wonderful it was to see such spirit filled young people, who were so eager to pray, worship and preach the good news. The trip was not without it’s problems, mainly involving transport, which is always difficult here in Tanzania, but God provided for us and protected us.

Since returning from the mission we have started to get back into our usual routine. Daniel has started in the reception class at school which he has enjoyed but has been poorly recently so has not been able to participate fully. Christine (and Isaac) has stated volunteering once a week at the local Pentecostal nursery school (see earlier entries) which is great fun. We are now looking forward to a visit from Christine’s mum later this week, and a few days on the beach.

Paul has been spending the university break doing a variety of jobs getting ready for the new semester which starts in September including, preparation of apparatus for practicals, writing prospectus entries and planning the university timetable for the coming year. He has also managed to travel around the Singida region supervising and observing/assessing university students that are out on teaching practice.
Come September things will be get very busy with the new Physics course starting (with currently no other staff but Paul appointed to teach it), the university more than doubling its size and Paul starts his distance masters course as well and so he is planning to make good use of the few weeks of break left for both preparation and relaxation.

Two of our good friends have recently made CDs of their own Christian music which we are helping them to sell. One is by Musa Njagamba – some of you may have bought a CD of “The Njagamba Band” which Christine recorded with Musa and others back in 2001. This is now his latest solo album. The other is by Amani Shaban who you can read about in earlier blogs. Both CDs are excellent and we are selling them for £7 each. If you would like one or both please contact us by email and we will send you details of how to pay us. If you are able to let us know soon we can send the CDs back with Christine’s mum when she returns to the UK at the end of August. Thanks.

Please Pray:
n For the university and for Paul as the new semester approaches
n For the people with whom the group from St. Austell met here in Tanzania, that seeds that were sown will bear fruit.
n For Christine as she discusses her future role here.
n For Daniel as he starts reception at school and for his health
n For our parish of Kikuyu and our new vicar, that the change will bring positive developments.

With love and blessings,
Paul, Christine, Daniel and Isaac

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Video Clip

Dear All,
Please find here a video clip we have made for you to view now or download to show at your church. It lasts 6 and a half minutes and is not the best quality as we have tried to make the file as small as possible (7Mb) for ease of download however we hope it gives you a little more info on what we're up to in a different way. Please email us if you would like a higher quality version (bigger file size).
Much love
Paul, Christine, Daniel & Isaac

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Toddlers,toys,exams & enthronements

Dear all,
Sorry for not updating the blog for so long – we have been extremely busy as the end of term approaches.

A few weeks ago we visited this nursery school run by the Pentecostal church on the outskirts of Dodoma. A local pastor we know invited us and although we were only able to go on a Saturday we were warmly welcomed by a large group of children and teachers and given a good meal and gifts. The boys had a great time showing off their jigsaw skills! Christine hopes to visit with Isaac some mornings on an informal basis.

The following day Paul and Daniel had a very exciting trip to Mpwapwa, a village a couple of hours drive away from Dodoma where a missionary family are just packing up to return to the UK. They came back with a car full of goodies including a slide and lots of toys, books and jigsaws, as well as 360 copies of the Swahili alpha book we have been using, as it was this family who originally translated and produced it. We are confident that we will be able to use these or pass some on for use in other areas over the coming years.

Our first Alpha course ended last week. It was a great success and everyone is keen to see another course take place. We already have a good number of people signed up, mostly non-Christian friends of the participants of the last course. We hope to get enough people signed up to run 2 groups simultaneously – one for men and one for women – enabling freer discussion especially in the women’s group. We aim to start again in September.

The toddler group is still going well. The twins in the picture are two of our regulars and they talk about the group all week referring to it as “school”. Sadly, our neighbours and very good friends suddenly moved house into town so we have lost our most regular members.

Paul has been busy as usual within the Education and Science faculties at the university. The second semester is now drawing to a close and lectures and seminars are now finished with exams starting on Monday. Before students can sit for exams they need to pass their coursework element but checking this has involved entering the data for over 20 pieces of coursework (once marked) per student for 400 students into a newly written database on our computer. This has proved hectic but we’re just about there and fortunately very few students have failed. After the exams and the subsequent marking and collating of results Paul will have some time to focus on preparing for the Physics course. TCU have provisionally approved the Physics course to run in August but have yet to give the final thumbs up and may come and inspect the laboratories at any time. Paul is still cataloguing, testing and mending the apparatus and may need to prepare some practical experiments for a group of students from the Open University of Tanzania who may visit in June. With this and preparing course material for August there won’t be much time for an end of year break before observation of teaching practice students starts in early August before the start of the new term.

Julius, our gardener, continues to work hard with much help from Isaac and is very creative. Our garden has been looking beautiful recently and has started to produce fruit and veg too.

Christine has nearly completed her distance course which has been really interesting. She is also busy working with the choir continuing to plan for the big event in July. We have been visiting various local churches to sing and to generate support for the event which is great fun. Christine has also attended her first “Mkesha” since returning to Tanzania - an all night celebration to mark the end of a period of mourning following the death of a local man and to give thanks for his life. It began at 9pm and went on to 6am with a huge amount of singing and dancing led by the choir, and was followed (after a snatched 2 hours sleep) at 10am by a service of thanksgiving.

We recently went to Kilimatinde for the annual confirmation service at which Amani Shaban (see earlier blogs) was confirmed, by Bishop John Lupaa.

We are much more settled at church now and have been going to the English Sunday school in town from time to time. We have discovered that the service at our local church is exactly the right length for Daniel to complete a box of three 50 piece jigsaws so he is very happy! The English language choir has made a huge difference to the worship at the English service and we enjoy the fellowship we have with that group.

Today was a very important day for the Anglican church in Tanzania, with the enthronement of the new Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa. We didn’t attend the service as we anticipated the 5 hour marathon that it was and knew the boys would not cope, but we went to the welcome party (which took place here at the university) representing CMS UK.

Please pray:
n For the newly elected Archbishop of Tanzania – that God will guide him in his service to the church
n For the boys – that they continue to settle here, making new friends and growing in confidence
n For the tasks that Paul faces over the new few months – that he keeps focussed on God, manages to complete the many essential tasks ahead and settles into the role God wants him to play at the university
n For the forthcoming tamasha that Revival Choir are organising – that it be a success in that the church is encouraged, funds are raised and God’s name is praised.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Brides, Birthdays & Alpha away days

Dear All,
God’s still keeping us busy and blessed at work, Church and through our family.
The end of the first academic year for St John’s University of Tanzania draws near and despite all that has to be done in that short time such (lectures, exams, marking, teaching practices) it is incredible to see how God has made the seemingly impossible possible that we should have got to this point. The University is still incredibly under-resourced under-staffed and suffering first year teething problems. With an extra 1000 students joining us in September, more than doubling its size, we will no doubt be continuing to rely on God’s grace to survive.

Christine continues to be very involved with Revival choir (the Tanzanian group) and after encouraging them to introduce times of bible study, worship and prayer, we have started including this in each of our rehearsals. We have had some amazing times together which is really encouraging for the young Christians in the group and those who have not yet made a commitment to Christ. It is also great for Christine to have a group with which she can share in fellowship. Christine is also teaching choir members English once a week. Most have very little English having never been to secondary school, but are keen to learn! We are also planning a “tamasha” – a big sort of concert/ fundraising event to which the local MP has agreed to come as guest of honour. It promises to be a very big event to which we will be inviting various other choirs and singers who are quite well known in Tanzania. Much prayer is needed for it to be a success.

Recent events in our diary have included the wedding of Patrick John (an ex student of Paul’s) which was a great event to catch up with Kilimatinde folk despite it being held here in Dodoma.
Isaac’s Birthday was great fun. Presents were opened before Church and then we managed to ensure that the chain bridge in the playground was finished with an hour to spare before 20 children of a variety of nationalities descended on us with a few parents in tow. Isaac’s Tanzanian friends took a little while to understand the concept of ‘pass the parcel’ but soon joined in all the games and were delighted with their party bags.

Today was our Alpha away day which we held at the Cathedral. It was a great success and it culminated in a time of prayer when the presence of the Holy Spirit was experienced in power by all, some possibly for the first time. It has been encouraging to see God blessing this course despite initial apprehensions however we are already starting to think about how the current members can help to draw people to future courses.

Daniel is looking forward to the start of his new term on Monday, after a 2 week break which has been fun, though sometimes a little boring for him, especially as most of his school friends have been on holiday. He is generally much happier now and enjoying life. His photo was featured in the Thomas the Tank Engine magazaine which was very exciting for him.

Christine is now 2 weeks into her distance course in Christian microfinance which is really interesting. It is all done over email and gives the chance to interact with missionaries and development workers all over the world.

This picture shows our local dam – a “beauty spot” we have discovered which is good for walks and picnics!

We have some sad news for those who have contacts with Kilimatinde. We just heard yesterday that Canon Sospeter Ndahani, who we knew well as the head of the Bible School in Kilimatinde , died unexpectedly from malaria. We had not seen him for some time as he had moved to Kongwa Theological College before we came back to Dodoma however the news came as quite a surprise.

Please pray for:
n The university, staff and students, as the academic year starts to draw to a close
n Revival Choir as they plan the ‘tamasha’ and as they grow in numbers and faith
n The alpha course – that those on the current course become strengthened in their faith and empowered in their work for the Lord. Also that God may prepare those people who are right to attend the next course
n For the family of Canon Sospeter Ndahani, that they might be comforted in this time of grief

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Dear All,

Thank you all for your continued support. HERI ZA PASAKA (literally Easter blessings) to you all.
There were three bank holidays here straddling the Easter weekend and so we took the opportunity to travel to Kilimatinde and beyond to Singida after being invited by the church to share in their Easter celebrations. Despite some scary driving conditions in the rain on dirt tracks the trip was very enjoyable even for the boys. We managed to project the recently finished video of Masada on to the wall of the church in Kilimatinde which both amazed and entertained half the village who came to watch. We also had a very enjoyable picnic on the shore of one of the large lakes in Singida with friends old & new.

We’ve now had two sessions of the Alpha course at our house which has gone well although many of the people seem to have some faith already and so it’s very difficult to judge what impact it is having. However these are still early days and we are trusting God that he will bless what we’re doing in ways we may not expect.

Christine & Isaac’s toddler group is going well with new members coming each week although sometimes erratically. Daniel’s enjoying school and likes entertaining friends at home especially now that the climbing frame in the garden is near completion.
Paul is frantically trying to get the play area in a semi finished state before Isaac’s second birthday party this Sunday when all his friends both Tanzanian and International will descend upon us with parents in tow.

Church life has been a struggle with choir commitments and little in the way of Sunday school at the university church such that the Boys were not getting much from church. We have now, however, started going to the cathedral service in town on alternate Sundays which has a good English language Sunday school that the boys enjoy.

Paul was glad to get a few lectures behind him before the Easter break and is now busy preparing for further lectures, redrafting next years courses for TCU approval (still no news on the Physics course) and writing exams for the end of the year.

Next week Christine will be starting the third in the series of distance learning courses in Christian development and microfinance which she started back in the UK. Hopefully this will prove very useful in the future as there seem to be many opportunities to get involved in this sort of work with the church in Dodoma.

We now have internet access in our home so emailing will be much easier and if you have skype we can talk at leisure!

Please pray:
n Continue to pray that the Physics course is approved by the TCU so that it is able to start next academic year.
n Pray for Christine as she begins studying next week that she is able to balance her time between all her various commitments and time with the family
n Pray that Alpha continues to be a blessing to all who attend
n Pray for Isaac on his birthday, that he has a lovely day with all his friends
n Pray for Daniel that he will continue to develop friendships and feel more at home here.
n Pray for the parish of Singida, especially Rev. Mlowezi, that God blesses their work in the town.

Rev Mlowezi is pictured here on the left with Rev Deo a visiting preacher and ex teacher at Kilimatinde

Monday, 3 March 2008

Dear all,
There’s been a lot happening over the last few weeks, beginning with a weekend away in Kilimatinde 3 weeks ago.
We spent most of our time there helping choir Masada to make a video of one of their songs which was great fun. We are now busy editing it and if it produces good results we will continue to record other songs with them to make a marketable DVD.
This week the university chapel was honoured to host the elections of the new archbishop of Tanzania. The elections went smoothly and a new archibishop was chosen who will begin his role in May this year. In the evening we were invited to a big farewell do for the retiring archbishop Donald Mtetemela at which Christine sang with choir revival. It was a great event though extremely long as is always the case for such parties, finishing after 1am.

The Alpha course now has a full quota of people and we even have several on the waiting list for the next course! It is due to start on Monday 10th March. Thank you to those who have made contributions towards the cost of running the course. We are still looking for more funding to cover our costs.

The English language music group is growing slowly and surely and we have led the singing in the Sunday morning English service for the last 2 weeks which has been greatly appreciated by many. We have a keen core of regulars some of whom can be seen in the picture but are still looking for new members.

Paul has been quite busy with his work mainly within the education department, leading seminars and preparing for the lectures (to over 400 students) that he will deliver in a week or so’s time. Preparations for next years’ Physics course are still ongoing although we are still waiting for confirmation from the TCU (The body that authorises university courses in Tanzania) that it can go ahead. This depends on the quality of the paperwork we have sent them and a forthcoming inspection of the laboratories. We’re also still on the lookout for suitable books, apparatus and computers that people are throwing out in the UK that could be shipped here. Please contact us if your workplace is doing a clearout.

Daniel is happier at present than he has been recently, partly as he has a new best friend at school called Timo, who is from Germany, although communication can still be difficult. Isaac is still entertaining all the local people and enjoying all his friends. He is speaking much more (both English and Swahili) and still loves helping. He can be seen here helping our neighbours to collect water! The Tanzanian toddler group has had rather low numbers recently although everyone still seems interested. They probably just need reminding regularly.

Please pray:

n Give thanks that so many have signed up for the alpha course and pray for the course as it begins on the 10th that many people will come to know Jesus.
n Give thanks for the English language music group and pray that it will continue to grow and be a blessing in the worship at the English service.
n Pray that the Physics course is approved by the JCU so that it is able to start next academic year.
n Pray that the local toddler group grows and is a blessing to all who come.
n Pray for the Anglican church of Tanzania during the transition between archbishops.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Dear all,
Looking back over our last entry it seems much more than 2 weeks since we wrote it. We have been very busy!

Our new tenants moved in to our house back in the UK last week which was a real answer to prayer although things haven’t gone that smoothly and we are indebted to Richard Staples for sorting out malfunctioning boilers and other teething problems.

Paul has had his first taste of teaching here and is glad to be back in the saddle. At the moment he’s taking seminars on educational psychology (of which he knows very little) and is preparing to teach on the curriculum and teaching methods courses in the next few weeks (of which he knows slightly more). Other jobs have included helping interview prospective new staff, planning the refurbishment of the current laboratories and the development of new ones, looking into helping run a college virtual learning environment and trying to resource unwanted laboratory apparatus back in the UK.

Daniel is loving school and is always very excited when he is met afterwards proudly displaying his most recent creation. Praise God that he is now slowly getting more settled here.
Isaac is getting a busy routine too with 2 ex-pat toddler groups and our new Tanzanian group which was a great success this week. It was lovely to spend time with local mums and their children rather than just being invaded by all the local kids! Isaac loves trying to ‘help’ everybody at the moment and can be seen here ‘helping’ Julius, our gardener, to water the plants and Paul to build the playground.

Christine has just been elected on to the committee of the choir as treasurer. This week we will also be trying to start up the English language music group again which failed to take off at the end of last semester as students were too busy with exams.

Preparations for the Alpha course are going well. We now have a set of Swahili course books and several people are already signed up to attend. We are looking for funds to help run the course, to pay for meals for the group at each session, course books and away day expenses. We need around £250 for this first course. If you or your church are able to make a contribution towards this please get in touch but please do not let this detract from your giving to CMS.

Our official CMS link letter should be distributed shortly in paper form and as an email attachment to our bloggers mailing list. Please let us know if you do not receive either of these and wish to be added to the appropriate list.

Please pray:

n Once more for the English language music group – that a sufficient core of committed people come forward.
n For the students and staff at the University as they start the second semester of the University’s first year.
n For the forthcoming elections for the new archbishop of Tanzania – that a Godly and wise man be chosen to continue the work done so well by archbishop Mtetemela who retires this month.
n For all the preparations required to start the alpha course especially that God prompts the right people to sign up to the course
n That we as a family continue to develop good relationships with the people we work and live with.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Dear all,
Thank you for all your prayers – its great to know there are people back home praying for us. We have just had one answer to prayer in that we think we now have a tenant for our house back in the UK which will mean that we will be a little more secure financially.
We had a wonderful holiday in Bagamoyo as can be seen from the pictures. The kids loved the beach and pool and we managed to all keep ourselves from frying to a crisp in the scorchingly hot weather (sorry if this makes you all jealous back in the wet and cold UK but there are some advantages to living in an equatorial climate).
We have been busy in other ways too: Paul has been helping the english and chemistry departments in their exam marking and is busily preparing for the new term. He was also invited to speak to a group of pastors on Christian Unity at the weekend. The talk went down well and it was encouraging to see church leaders from a variety of denominations within a local area coming together to see how they can support each other.
It was good to see Amani Shabani today who has recently managed to re-establish relations with his parents (see earlier entry). He is now planning to make a CD of Christian songs he has written and has asked Christine to be part of the backing group.
Daniel is looking forward to starting nursery school on Monday from 9 til 12 each day and Isaac will be joining his ex-pat toddler group. Christine is hoping to also start a local toddler group at home for Tanzanian mums and tots – something new to Tanzania.

Please pray:
n Praise God for answered prayer and pray that the new tenancy goes ahead smoothly
n That Daniel will settle quickly into his school and make new friends
n For the local church leaders group – that they may be encouraged to work together under a common purpose
n For all who are supporting us in our mission both prayerfully and financially

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Dear all,

Sorry for the long break since the last blog entry and thank you to all those who have been asking when the next one is coming! Its good to know you are enjoying reading it! Sorry we have been a bit slack in taking photos recently too. We will take more for next time!

Paul has been very busy preparing for his teaching in the new semester as well as collecting & downloading materials for the faculty of education electronic library, preaching at morning prayers, invigilating university exams and spending our Christmas money on wood, pipe, chain, cement, sand, gravel, rope and tools for building the adventure playground he’s designed for our back garden!

We had a difficult few days the week before last as Daniel managed to get malaria. He was very poorly to start with especially as he was delayed starting his medication due to the local doctor diagnosing the flu! However once he had started his medication and many of you back home started praying for him he recovered very quickly apart from being very tired for a few days. He has also been having a difficult time settling in but during this last week he has suddenly become much happier and has been really enjoying his new Tanzanian friends. It his great to see his happy face again. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for him.

Isaac continues to enjoy life and is becoming very Tanzanian! His favourite foods are beans with rice or ugali (a stodgy maize dish) and chips mayai (chip omelette!) – real Tanzanian staples! He loves the local children and stands on the step shouting until they come to play with him (this usually involves them pushing him around on his new bike).

Christine has been working hard entertaining the entire population of small children in the area who love to play with the boys (and their toys!) and continues to enjoy the choir. This week she will also be starting a music group of students from the university who want to learn English songs. We have an English service at the church following the Swahili service which we usually attend. At present the music is pretty awful as nobody really knows any of the songs. The plan is to start up a group which will lead the worship at these services.

We are also hoping to start an Alpha course through the church. We heard from some missionary friends elsewhere in Tanzania that the course has been translated into Swahili and they have been using it with great success in their church. We are still in the early stages of planning this but the vicar seems very interested in the idea.

At the end of the week we are planning to go to Bagamoyo on the coast for a few days break before term begins for Paul and Daniel and we all get very busy! Daniel is very excited at the prospect of swimming in a warm sea! Isaac has been missing the beach so will be very happy.

Due to the miracles of modern technology we can get free phone calls over the internet using skype. Our skype name is SalamansTz. We have also bought a webcam so should even be able to do video calls with anyone who’s interested.
Today we had a visit from our good friend John Lupaa now Bishop of the Dicoese of the Rift Valley - it was good to chat over some dinner and even though we are no longer in that diocese I'm sure we will still work together alot over the coming years.

Please pray:
n For continued health and protection especially for the boys
n For our holiday that it be a time of relaxation and refreshment
n For the college and its students during the current exams
n That Paul will be ready for the start of term on the 4th of Feb
n For the English service music group – that they may worship God faithfully and draw people to this service
n For John Lupaa as he leads the Diocese of the Rift Valley at a crucial stage in its history

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Dear all,

Heri za mwaka mpya (happy new year)

It seems a lot more than a week and a bit since our last blog entry. First there was Christmas day – we managed to wake the boys and open stockings before going to the 7:30 am service after which we opened more presents, (including the bikes which were a real hit) and had dinner with a group of staff and students.
It was nice to be able to the share the festivities with new friends, however it was even better to meet up with old friends in Kilimatinde on boxing day.
We stayed there for 4 days and had a very relaxing and fun time and were very well looked after in the guest house by mama Pulo and Teresia. We spent a lot of time with Choir Masada and met up with Festo, Allan and Agnes Sallum and family, Ernest and Ester Ndahani and family and John Lupaa, the new bishop of the Rift Valley, to name a few whom people will know.
The boys had a great time playing with various friends’ children and are keen to go back and visit again. It will be a nice place for us to go for breaks.
We were back home for new years eve which was a quiet celebration with our neighbours and then 7.30 in church again on New Years Day!

Paul is busy preparing lectures for the “teaching methods in science” course which he will start teaching in the new semester in February and is also now starting to do some preaching during daily worship.

Daniel has a long break now before starting pre-school properly on 28th Jan. He is getting more confident now and is happy to play with the local children, but it will be a challenge to stop him getting bored over the next few weeks. Isaac is very settled and happy to play with anyone now.

We are beginning to settle into church life now and Christine is enjoying singing with the Revival choir. We have also started taking it in turns to go to a little housegroup at our neighbours house on Sunday nights with missionaries from the university and from town.

Please pray:
n That the new year will bring opportunities for us to serve God using the gifts He has given us
n For the village of Kilimatinde and the Diocese of the Rift Valley, that recent changes under the new bishop will lead to spiritual, practical and economic growth
n For Rev Allan Sallum and his family (now vicar of Kilimatinde) and for choir Masada in their work in Kilimatinde and surrounding villages.
n For Christine, Daniel and Isaac over the next few weeks before school starts, that they will have an enjoyable time and develop new friendships and relationships.
n For Paul as he begins preparing for the new course and preaching