Sunday, 5 April 2009

Isaac's Birthday

Dear all,

Isaac turned 3 at the end of March and had a lovely day. This is him opening presents in the morning, and enjoying his elephant cake with his friends at his party. Now he is 3 he is able to start the nursery class at Daniel’s school. They have just broken up for a 2 week Easter break but after that he will go each morning from 9 until 12. He is very excited and looking forward to it. Unfortunately this means 2 morning school runs for Christine as Daniel’s school day starts at 7.45. However, it also means Christine will be able to increase her work days and plans to work every morning from 9 til 12, which will give her much more time to get into the work. Work is going well and the loans project is progressing nicely. We are also trying to plan a big youth event later this year which will be held here at the university. Please pray that everything comes together for this event and especially that we are able to raise the funds that we need for it. Praise God that we have found a new staff member for the office, though she hasn’t started yet as she is having a baby very shortly. We decided to delay her start date until after the baby is born rather than employing her and have her leave immediately for 3 months maternity leave. Her name is Beatrice and coincidentally she is married to a member of staff here at the university. Please pray for her and her family as the baby is born and she prepares to start work, and pray that Christine and Beatrice will work well together and develop a good friendship.

Daniel has had a good term at school and came home with a certificate for getting “the most smiley face stickers for good behaviour” over the term which we were all very pleased with. His teacher says he has done really well this term and developed well both academically and socially, so thank you all for your prayers for him. At the end of term we had 2 big events – firstly the Reception class “Easter hat parade” and Easter egg hunt and then the school Easter show. The show was very impressive and had a very powerful Christian message which was wonderful to see considering around half the students acting it out were muslim, and their parents were all there watching too. Christian staff and students at the school are a wonderful witness to the rest of their community. Please pray for them.

Paul is recovering from a rough couple of weeks but is thankful to God for seeing him through it unscathed. The beginning of semester was manic to say the least with timetables to sort out, new courses to plan and last semester’s exam results still to be finalised. A few too many short deadlines meant that Paul overstretched and overstressed himself and succumbed to some sort of virus which kept him off work for a week (the longest he’s been off work in many years). Once nearly recovered Paul decided to go for a walk with the Boys and our friend Brandon at a local mountain however in a remote area we were robbed of everything we had on us by a group of youths in a fairly unpleasant experience that shook us all up for a while. Fortunately the Boys don’t seem to be affected much by the incident and Paul is now back to full health and feeling a lot more at peace such that he’s starting to take on more teaching (special relativity and teaching methods) and found some time to work on his shed whilst at the same time taking great care not to over do it again. Please pray for peace and perspective in Paul’s work and that he manages to find time to prepare all practicals for this semester’s Physics lab.

During March Revival choir visited a different church each Sunday, mostly in villages around Dodoma, which was exhausting but a great experience and wonderful to be able to share in fellowship with village churches and be a blessing to them. One of these trips was a weekend visit to Kilimatinde. We were very well received there and had a wonderful time. It’s great to see a real friendship building up between Revival and Masada choirs. This picture shows some of Revival choir at “the point” in Kilimatinde. Isaac came with us on this weekend too and Paul and Daniel had a nice boys’ weekend at home.

For a few months now Christine and a group of other missionary ladies in Dodoma have been meeting regularly for bible study, to pray for each other and especially to pray for the many muslims we know in Dodoma. A few weeks ago our friend Amani (see earlier blogs) came to speak to the group about his conversion to Christianity. It was a wonderful evening and a real blessing both to the group and to Amani. Following this some of the teachers from CAMS (Daniel’s school) who were at the meeting invited him to sing in the school assembly and to tell his story in several classes, which was very well received. Last week we held a fun night with the group and invited a muslim family from Dodoma to come and join us. Two ladies, Rose and Anna, and 3 girls came and we had a wonderful evening together. Please join us in praying for this family and our other Muslim friends, and for Amani and his family, many of whom are Muslim.

Lots of love,
Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac.