Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Back in the URTZ

Dear Friends,
We have now been back in Dodoma for about a month and are feeling very settled and at home. We had a shaky start as after a great flight we broke down in the car around 3 hours from Dodoma and had to be towed home by a petrol tanker! But we got there safely and 2 weeks later our car was finally roadworthy again. It has been wonderful to catch up with friends, to get back into routine and to settle back into our home.
Thank you all for your encouragement, hospitality and friendship whilst we were back in the UK. We had a great time and it was wonderful to see so many of our family and old friends and to make some new friends.
Christine is back to a very quiet office. Beatrice who she worked with over the last few years is now studying at the university so Christine is on her own, though hopes to be able to employ someone else very soon. Thanks to everyone who made generous contributions to the work of the youth office whilst we were back in the UK, Christine is now planning several projects such as a continuation of the small loans scheme for youth groups, seminars in music and worship and training in youth bible study, so it is a busy but exciting time. There is still a lot of fundraising to do for the recording studio project but even this is well on the way. Please pray that we find the right person to work alongside Christine and that the funding continues to come in so that we are able to support him/her.

Paul was thrust straight back into the thick of it on his return to the university as due to staff changes and sickness the Physics laboratory courses had collapsed. With the help of Mr Mwaka who stepped down stairs from Biology to help out, things are now ticking over well and Saimon the lab scientists is due to return shortly after an improvement in his health – an answer to prayer. Paul has also been teaching on the Physics Teaching Methods and Special Relativity courses but still finds that he has plenty of spare time having not as yet taken back the responsibilities of timetable and database coordination. Please pray that Paul seeks God’s will in what responsibilities to take on this year. There are many new possible exciting opportunities and projects both academically, administratively and pastorally as well as existing areas of need. At the moment he’s not rushing into anything.
Thanks to everyone who bought a CD of the University’s English choir we managed to return with a lovely keyboard which is a real boost to the worship in the English service. The English choir is still very small after so many members graduated last year but they struggled on in our absence and we are now trying to build it up again. Please pray for new members and growth of the choir particularly in the new university year which starts in October.

Christine also continues to sing with the Swahili choir of the local parish congregation. Sadly Revival choir split after a number of problems, so Christine now sings with “Kikuyu Gospel Singers” with many members of Revival and many new members. Please pray for the development of this new choir and pray that the remaining issues following the split are resolved quickly and peacefully.
The boys have enjoyed the month in school and have now broken up for their long holidays, and will start back again in August. Isaac was proud to be captain of the lions team in the nursery and reception sports day and Daniel took part in the end of year assembly singing in sign language with his class, as you can see in the pictures above. We have new next door neighbours, mission partners from CMS Australia who have four children, including a boy in each of Daniel and Isaac’s classes, so they are all very happy.
We were able to visit Kilimatinde a couple of weeks ago where we went to a fundraising event to raise money to wire up the church and vicarage as electricity will be coming to the village later this year which is very exciting. Meanwhile the electricity supply here in Dodoma is very erratic at the moment as a big hydroelectric power station has had to close down due to water shortages. We are therefore having power-rationing here with regular 12 hour power cuts. The university has invested in a large backup generator for when there are cuts during working hours which hopefully will mean that Paul’s lab sessions will be undisturbed but unfortunately it does not cover the staff houses so candles and torches are still in regular use at home and we are aiming to get a gas cooker very soon!
With much love and blessings,
Christine, Paul, Daniel and