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|
|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.