Saturday, 8 August 2009

Camels and encounters

Dear all,

Just to make us feel at home, today we went to Dodoma’s version of the Royal Cornwall show! Today is the “nane nane” public holiday (literally meaning 8th of the 8th!) to celebrate farmers day. Dodoma has over the last few years developed its own agricultural show which is very good, demonstrating modern techniques in arable and livestock farming. There is also an amazing display of wild animals including a very noisy, hungry lion, and the livestock section included a camel! We had a lovely morning there with our good friends John and Mama Prince, and their little boy, Prince, all with the boys in this picture.

The boys have been on holiday from school during July and had a very happy time. We were concerned that it would be difficult to leave them whilst we were at work but it worked out that one of us could be around for them most of the time and they were happy to be left with some friends on occasions. Praise God for that. They are now back at school and enjoying it as usual. Daniel now has a longer day at school so gets quite tired but is very happy.

A friend of ours, Noeli, who is a theology student at the university, was married in July to Eveline. Christine was part of the “wedding committee” who traditionally organise the wedding and party on behalf of the groom’s family. It was hard work but a lovely day. Unfortunately the batteries ran out on the camera that day so we haven’t any pictures for you! Please pray for Noeli and Eveline as they start their new life together.

At the end of July we hosted a CMS “encounter group”. A group of 9, young people and their leaders, from Brighton came to Dodoma for a week. They were a great group and we had a wonderful time with them. Each morning they ran a holiday club at the boys’ school (pictured here) which around 70 children attended and thoroughly enjoyed. In the afternoons they met up with Revival choir to sing together and teach each other songs, preparing for an event on the Sunday to launch Revival Choir’s “compassionate fund”. This fund is to help choir members when they are bereaved, ill or in difficulty, and will also be used as a loan fund for members who want to set up small enterprises etc. We raised a good amount of money at the event to kick-start the fund, and now choir members will continue to pay into it each month. On the final evening the encounter group and Revival choir had a football match which was great fun. This picture shows the 2 groups together after the match. It was lovely to see the way the two groups built up a relationship over the week. The group have now moved on to Moshi where they are helping in an orphanage. Thank God for them and all they have done in Tanzania and pray for them as they travel home next week.

Paul has been occupied with marking and collating student results for the past few weeks – a never ending process as now the provisional results are out there will be appeals, re-marks and then supplementary exams before results are finalised. He has also just come back from a trip to Dar to get his leg checked out at a posh hospital after a week of hobbling around due to some unknown condition. After a lot of prodding and poking, numerous different drug regimes and a Doppler ultrasound scan we are still none the wiser as to what the root problem is but it seems to be fairly harmless and getting better anyway. This week will see Paul off again to Singida to try to get as many teaching practice observations covered as possible before he has to come back through Dodoma and off to Dar to pick his sister (Mary) and family up who will be visiting for a week or two. The boys are all looking forward to playing with their cousins who they haven’t seen for 2 years.

Christine has been busy at work preparing for our big national youth conference in September. The plans are coming together very well though the fundraising is still an issue. Please pray that God will provide for this event. We have also just been invited by an organisation in Dar-es-Salaam to submit a proposal for funding for our recording studio project. We aim to build a recording studio in Dodoma where the youth choirs can record their music, which will build up and encourage the choirs, and will also generate a sustainable income to help the TAYO office, which is really struggling financially. Please pray that this proposal is well received and we are able to get the funding for the project. We are also selling CDs to raise extra money for this project. The CD includes 10 youth choirs (including Revival) from the Dodoma area who got together specifically to record in order to raise money for this purpose. It is a great CD. If you would like one, or are able to sell some please email me and I will arrange for some to be sent to you. They are priced at £10 each.

One great answer to prayer is that we have tenants in our house in St. Austell. They have been there nearly 2 months now and seem to be happy. Please pray that they will be happy in the house and will stay for a good length of time.

Lots of love and blessings,
Christine, Paul, Daniel and