Monday, 9 December 2013

Romans, Retreats and Recordings


Dear all,

Many greetings from Dodoma where it is trying to rain but not seriously. This is common for a Dodoma November/December and we still hope and pray that the proper rains will make it in time for Christmas and last for a good while.
Christine’s Mum, Jean came to visit us back in September. We had a lovely time together, she enjoyed staying with us in Dodoma, spending time with the boys and seeing all our friends and we all managed to enjoy some time at the beach too. The picture shows our trip across to “Lazy Lagoon” island for a short holiday.  She was also here for Daniel’s 10th birthday party which was a “Roman Mysteries” themed party featuring togas, a coliseum cake and making a mosaic from soda lids. These photos show him with his best friends, and Emperor Daniel being attacked by gladiator Isaac!
 
In October Christine spent a couple of days on retreat with other missionary women of Dodoma which was a lovely time of relaxation, refreshment  and fellowship.
Christine’s work in the mission and evangelism department is progressing well. Please pray for God’s provision in terms of funds and resources so that she can develop some of her plans. You can read more about this work on the link above.
The boys weekly bible club is still going strong. It is a wonderful time of fellowship, learning and fun for the children. We have recently got new T-Shirts for the group which look great on everyone. This picture shows Christine with Michaela, the daughter of our good friends the Garrets who host bible club. Christine, Michaela and her mum, Wendy have been running bible club for about 5 years now and Michaela does a wonderful job of leading many of the activities.
The plans to build a dormitory on campus as an investment for the University Chapel fellowship (which have featured here before) were given a much need boost, after slow progress of late, by the visit in November of Ed Luebben, an architect from America who has now returned home and is draughting plans for the building as an act of mission. With this help, it is hoped that things can progress to the next stage although we are still seeking funds and building work may not start until some time next year.
A few weeks ago Rosie, who has worked for us at our home for many years was married. She has been married for many years and is a Grandma but her husband was a muslim. Last year he came to faith and so they decided to have a Christian wedding. It was a wonderful event.
On the same day as the wedding, the university graduation was due to be held but the week before we heard the tragic news that the Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Gabriel Mwaluko had died whilst undergoing medical treatment in India and so on that day the university community instead gathered for his funeral.  His death is a great loss to the university. He was a wise and Godly man and a good leader. Please pray for his family and for the university as they look for a new Vice Chancellor.  Paul had the honour of being amongst the coffin bearers as shown in this picture. The postponed graduation will now be happening this coming weekend.
Last week Christine’s Swahili choir, Kikuyu Gospel Singers have been busy with the first stages of recording a video of their latest album. This picture shows some of the choir celebrating on location! We have completed 2 songs and aim to finish the work in February when Dodoma will be looking much greener!
 

We are now beginning to think about and plan our 6 months furlough in the UK from July 2014. Please pray for us as we prepare for this. We will soon be contacting our link churches to arrange dates to visit you. Whilst back in the UK Paul will once more be trying to put together a container of books, apparatus and computers to send back to Tanzania. If anyone has useful information about any schools, libraries, universities or businesses that are doing a clear-out around that time then please let Paul know at the above email address.
 
Many of you should soon receive our official CMS prayer letter which should reach supporters by email or on paper soon.
With much love
Paul, Christine, Daniel & Isaac




 

 

 

 

 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Sea, singing and Certificates


Dear all,
Whoops it’s been a very long time since our last update and some have been asking what’s happened to us. Well to make up for the long silence and to clear the backlog of news to tell you all, this one should be a big one.
We are now at a slightly quiet phase in our working lives as Christine has just finished one of her big projects (more later) and Paul is in the middle of the university break. Over the last few months God has been good to us, keeping us in good health and occupied in enjoyable service. As the end of the academic year approached Paul was involved in the annual Physics IT workshop – another chance to help our students to appreciate the use of Technology within the laboratory by performing a series of hands on data-logging experiments. He also found time, aside from his usual teaching tasks, to try his hand at software development by working alongside his friend and colleague Dr John Ham in making improvements to the university database system, with more developments possibly in the pipeline.
At the end of the semester we went through our, now annual, bitter-sweet experience of saying goodbye to half of the English Choir. Having had such a great year, working closely together during the recording, it was a sad moment to both congratulate but also say goodbye to our graduating members. The photo shows the leavers with their certificates and presents.

The end of the school year brings the talent show “CAMS got talent” at the boys school (CAMS = Canon Andrea Mwaka School). Daniel played the keyboard at the show and did very well. This is him and some friends with their certificates.  Isaac was a little too shy to enter this year – maybe next time! Isaac is definitely more outgoing than Daniel in general but Daniel is a confident performer! They are both now enjoying their new year at school in standard 5 and 3 and are so far very happy with their new teachers.
We had a wonderful holiday during the school break at “Kipepeo” (butterfly) beach in Dar-es-Salaam. Daniel discovered a love of the waves and we almost had to drag him out of the sea (destined to be a surfer when we head back to Cornwall!) Isaac is happier on the beach hunting for crabs! In this picture he is trying to dig one out of its hole!
In June Christine and Kikuyu Gospel Singers organised a mission in the local community of Kikuyu, with our friend Evangelist Musa Njagamba as our preacher. It was a wonderful event which reached lots of people. Many people gave their lives to Christ and others were healed. These pictures show Musa leading a time of prayer, and Kikuyu Gospel Singers and friends singing.
Also in June Christine’s good friend and ex-colleague from the youth department, Justine, was married to Salome at the Cathedral in Dodoma. It was a wonderful and very joyful occasion.
At the end of the school holidays we spent a few days in Kilimatinde and got to know Zephania (Grace and Festo’s baby) a little better. These pictures show us on a walk to the rock in Kilimatinde with Zephania
 
 
 
 
 
 
Christine has just finished a month long music and worship school for church musicians from all over Tanzania. It took place at St. John’s during the university holidays. It was a wonderful event and the 35 students who attended were very blessed by it. We taught practical music and music theory as well as music ministry and worship.  We also taught song writing techniques and gave the students the challenge of writing a song based on a passage from Song of Songs in groups. We even managed to record some of these songs. The video below shows one of the songs which was very different to the usual Tanzanian style. These pictures show the whole class and a group learning the keyboard. I will soon put more pictures and details on my work blog too. (see link above)
With a few weeks to go now before the students return once more, Paul is occupying himself with the timetable and other ‘holiday jobs’ and enjoying the lull before the coming storm as he’ll be back to a busy teaching load this coming semester. In his spare time Paul has also been tinkering in his shed and has completed version 1.lots of his rowing machine. It was designed for Paul to keep fit and worked to a degree in that it was exhausting to build and tweak but now it’s complete it has turned out to be more popular with the boys as it’s not quite tuned for adult use yet. Daniel can be seen using it ont he video below. Perhaps version 2 may appear during the next university holidays.
With love and blessings,
Paul Christine, Daniel and Isaac.xxx
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Camping, Catechists and Cathedrals

Dear all,

We had a lovely holiday at Easter camping  in Bagamoyo with our good friends the Jones family, Mission partners from Australia. We also enjoyed Isaac’s 7th birthday whilst we were there and were also joined for the day by the Ayling family from Dar so it was a good celebration. The pictures show the boys on the beach and Isaac with his good friend Hudson opening his first present, with our tent in the background.

 

 
 
 
Shortly after Easter we had a lovely weekend in Singida where our friend Musa Njagamba was commissioned as a Catechist in the Anglican church. We had a lovely time with him and his family. The pictures show us relaxing beside Singidani lake, and the Njagamba family during the commissioning service. Pray for him and his family as they develop their ministry in Singida and all over Tanzania.

 
After many months of rehearsals we have finally made a recording with our English language choir “St. John’s Gospel Singers”. We are now waiting for the CD to be produced. We had a great time doing the recording project and enjoyed great fellowship with the group. The first picture shows the whole choir and the others show rehearsals in our garden and the sopranos in the studio.

Christine is settling in to her new role as Mission and Evangelism co-ordinator at the Anglican Church of Tanzania. Work is proceeding slowly due to lack of resources but we are planning a gathering of representatives from all the dioceses later in the year so that we can begin to plan together and also to provide much needed training for diocesan co-ordinators. We are also preparing for a month long music and worship school which will take place in August as a follow up to last year’s school which we ran through the youth department. Please see the links above to my new work blog and also to my new just giving page. I would be very grateful if you are able to support my work through this page and would be grateful for your prayers as I try to develop this work.

 
On Saturday 18th May the new archbishop of Tanzania, Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya was enthroned. The service was a huge affair. Christine and the rest of the staff from her office were responsible for the organisation of the event which was hard work but the event went very well. The Archbishop of Canterbury was also present and the president of Tanzania was the guest of honour. Around 3000 people attended. The lucky few hundred were able to be in Dodoma cathedral whilst the rest were outside watching the proceedings on large TV screens. The first picture shows the new archbishop of Tanzania with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Dodoma airport, and the second shows the archbishop of Tanzania signing to make the enthronement official and legal in the Cathedral. We praise God that the event was joyful and peaceful. Below is a video clip of the reception of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Dodoma airport (link to you tube)



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

 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Elections, Events and Electronics


Dear all,

Hopefully some of you will have received our most recent linkletter which tells of all our news up to a few weeks ago. It should shortly be available from the link letter section of the CMS website here: http://www.cms-uk.org/Resources/Publications/Linkletters/tabid/158/language/en-US/Default.aspx

The university is now in its inter-semester break so things are a little quiet on campus with no English service or Choir however we are still keeping ourselves busy both in and outside of work. We have had the real pleasure of having Chris, a young friend from our church back in St Austell, staying with us over the past few weeks. The boys have loved the extra attention and Christine and Paul have both enjoyed the evenings of settlers (a board game) and having a helping hand around. The photo shows Chris with the boys on Radio Hill in Dodoma as Isaac discovers a fear of heights.

Paul’s usual ‘holiday jobs’ of timetable construction and teaching practice observations have been complimented this year with supervision of some 3rd year students who have stayed back for a time to work on their final year Physics projects. The photo show James Kapinga, one of my more promising students as he struggles over his digital electronics project constructing a simple calculator.



Christine is just beginning her new role in the mission department of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, after finishing off various youth projects such as the small loans project in the diocese of Mpwapwa. In this picture she is with one of the youth groups and their pig project. The new role will be exciting but also full of challenges so please pray for God’s guidance in this. Look out for a new blog coming soon too!

The Anglican Church of Tanzania recently elected a new archbishop. Bishop Jacob Chimeledya of Mpwapwa diocese was elected, and God willing will be installed  in May this year. The picture shows the preparations for the elections in the cathedral in Dodoma. The banner reads “ Special Synod for the election of the Archbishop”



We are now approaching the end of the rainy season here. The harvest will be mixed – in some areas the maize has grown well (as you can see in this picture) but in others the rain stopped early and the sun has been very harsh and the crops have dried up.

On Sunday Kikuyu Gospel Singers (Christine’s Swahili choir) held a special event to launch our first album. It was a wonderful event and we were able to raise a good amount of money to help us towards our next goal of recording a video of the album. The video clip shows our entrance on the day! If anyone would like to buy a CD please let me know as I have some people in the UK who could send you one.


video

The next clip is the video which we tried to upload in our last post but failed! Hope it works this time. It shows a few highlights from Christmas 2011 to Christmas 2012, with more music from Kikuyu Gospel Singers.

video

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year to you all! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We thank you all for your Christmas greetings, good wishes, cards and gifts and we continue to thank you for your prayers and financial support which are a great blessing to us.


 We were extremely busy before Christmas which explains our long break from blog writing, but have had a restful few weeks holiday in the UK and the boys went back to school yesterday so we are now getting back into routine.

On the first of November the rains started and two happy boys ran straight into the garden to get wet as you can see in the picture. The rains have been fairly good so far and after a worrying break it has started raining again today so please pray that it continues so that everyone can get sufficient crops this year.

 

In November St. John’s university held its third graduation ceremony. The picture shows a small party which we held in our garden for 3 of our graduating friends from our English choir.

 

Shortly before Christmas Christine held another music and worship seminar  in Kasulu to the West of Tanzania. This was a very long journey but well worth the effort as once again the seminar was a huge blessing for all who attended. The pictures show the team of musicians and evangelists who ran the course and Christine teaching.

 
After this we set off for a 3 week holiday in the UK which we all thoroughly enjoyed. We spent Christmas itself with Paul’s family at his brother’s home in Lancashire and new year with Christine’s family in Cheshire, then travelled to Paul’s parents’ home in Cardiff, visited friends in Cornwall and finished up with Paul’s sister near Newbury. It was wonderful to see so many friends and family though time was short and were sorry to have missed others.  We managed to do many of the things which the boys had been looking forward to such as fireworks on new year’s eve, a trip to a pantomime and the cinema, visiting the beach and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, visiting museums and castles, and much more!  Thank you to everyone who made our holiday so enjoyable.

On the beach, Cornwall
 

At the Lost Gardens of Heligan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With Granny at Raglan Castle
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Raglan Castle
 
Christmas Day
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With Christine's Grandma
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With Stella in St. Austell
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The break back in the UK came at an interesting time for Paul as it was right in the middle of a particularly hectic semester for him at the university. Despite having to catch up on his return It turned out to be just the break he needed, as now as the semester draws to a close, he has managed to finish all the seemingly never ending marking and administration needed for his monster course in educational media and technology. This year Paul extended his e-learning experiments at the university from doing on-line seminars with just 50 students last year to doing so with all 800 students on the course this year. Early feedback from the students has suggested that it was a great success with the vast majority of students saying that they preferred these seminars to normal face-to-face ones and it is hoped that this could lead to further programmes in e-learning at the university and some research for Paul.

Please pray for the university community which has been shocked recently by the murder of one of our students whilst walking home from evening studies on campus. The whole community came together the day after to pay their respects to her in a service in the main hall and overspilling far outside. Please pray against any spirit of anger or fear and that those who are now preparing for their exams may find the comfort in the peace of God which is normally evident within the university.
 
We were all sorry to say goodbye recently to our good friends the Heaneys who have returned to the UK. Isaac, especially was sad to see his best friend Sam go. The picture below shows Isaac, Sam and other friends receiveing swimming certificates at school before Christmas.


The attached video clip shows some highlights of 2012 finishing before our Christmas holiday.