Thursday, 4 December 2014

Winter in the UK

Dear Friends,

On the Cornish Coast
As the dark evenings draw in and the days get colder we are beginning to think about preparations for heading back to Tanzania in the new year. First we have Christmas to enjoy, when we will be visiting family and saying our farewells as well as visiting our final link churches. The boys are already getting excited with Christmas preparations which are very different to those in Tanzania.

In the Lake District with cousins Tom and Adam
At a link church
Harvest at Heligan
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in the UK up to now. It has been a great time of relaxation and refreshment and a chance to catch up with family and old friends, and we thank all of those who have helped and supported us in many different ways to make this time enjoyable and fruitful. We have also enjoyed our visits to various churches and thank you all for the warm welcome that you have given us, and for your continued support financially and prayerfully.We also had a wonderful holiday in the Lake District at half term with Christine's mum and sister and her family.
At a link church

Daniel's 11th Birthday
The boys have been very happy in school and have enjoyed making lots of new friends. It is great to see how well they have adapted and how much they have enjoyed school, but are still looking forward to returning "home". They have also benefitted from extra swimming and music lessons and have enjoyed all the exciting activities that are available in the UK. In September Daniel turned 11 and had a wonderful "lego movie" birthday party with friends.

Packing the container
Packing the container
As well as relaxing and enjoying the delights of the Cornish countryside we have kept ourselves busy. We have been very much involved with the life of Holy Trinity Church in St. Austell and have appreciated the support we have there. Christine has been spending time studying for a short module in church ministry with St. John's College , Nottingham, whilst Paul has been continuing to collect equipment to fill a container to send back to the university in Tanzania. He has done really well, collecting over 150 computers, lots more IT equipment, text books, laboratory apparatus and more. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us by donating equipment and finding contacts for us as well as helping us store and transport what we have gathered. We hope to send the container on January 6th, and follow ourselves soon afterwards, leaving the UK on January 10th. Please pray that the container arrives safely and clears customs with little hassle or expense, and pray too that we travel and arrive safely, and settle back quickly into life in Tanzania.

With Christine's Mum
Back in Tanzania things have been changing. A new vice chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Mbennah, has been appointed at the university. Also, a new general secretary, Canon Dr. Johnson Chinyong'ole has been apppointed for the Anglican church of Tanzania, following the installation of the previous general secretary as Bishop of our diocese, the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. This means new leaders for both of us in our work roles. Please pray that both may be good and effective leaders and that we will have good working relationships with them. Pray too that God gives us a renewed vision for our future work as we return to Tanzania.

With Paul's Mum and Dad
If you need any ideas for Christmas presents, we are selling 2015 calendars aimed at helping you to pray for us and our work over the year. They are quite big with lots of space to write and lovely pictures. If you would like one they are £10 each including postage. We are also selling DVDs of Kikuyu Gospel Singers (swahili choir, but with a translation inside) for £10 and audio CDs of St. John's Gospel Singers (English language choir) for £8. Please let us know if you would like any of these.

Finally we wish you all a very happy Christmas and pray that God blesses you rich in 2015.

With love
Christine, Paul, Daniel and










Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Back in the UK

Holiday on the Isle of Wight

Preaching at a link church
With Friends at New Wine
We are now back in the UK on 6 months home assignment. We arrived here mid July and spent time visiting family, attending various appointments with CMS , going to the New Wine festival with friends from our church and generally enjoying summer in the UK.

Enjoying Cornwall
We are now settled in St. Austell where we are living in a lovely mobile home owned by friends. We have also begun travelling around the UK visiting our various supporting churches and are grateful for the warm welcomes we have received so far.

We look forward to seeing many more of you over the next few months.

 The boys started school last week at Bishop Bronescombe School, the local C of E Primary School where they are very happy so far.
Ready for school outside our new home
They have also been enjoying the delights of Cornwall with its beaches, gardens, and cycle paths literally on our doorstep!

Computers for the Container
Worship in St. Austell
Whilst in the UK Paul is once gain putting together a container of equipment to send back to the University after the success of the last one sent three years ago. So far it's going quite well with over 12 computers and various bits and bobs collected after just a few weeks of asking around. We are mainly looking for computers (under 8 years old), university level text books and laboratory apparatus. It may be that you know of a school/college/university or business that is having a clear-out at the moment in which case Paul would love to get some contact details. Christine is also after keyboards and guitars and other electronic musical equipment for her projects which we'll hopefully have room for.

Evangelists Training in Kibondo

Although we are enjoying our time in the UK we are also all very much missing our friends and life in Tanzania. Much happened in Tanzania since our last blog, but in our busyness preparing for our journey we didn't have the time to write. Christine held another conference of mission and evangelism co-ordinators in May which was very positive and encouraging for all involved. Also in June she travelled to Kibondo in Western Tanzania to run a training seminar for lay evangelists from 5 dioceses. This was a wonderful event and again a great encouragement to those involved who are passionate evangelists and very active in their local churches but with little or no training.
Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators
English Choir Graduation
We hope to continue with this work across the whole of Tanzania. Please read more about these activities on the Mission department blog on the link above. Christine was also busy with Kikuyu Gospel Singers and the launch of our DVD which is now available for sale. Please contact me if you would like a copy.

Paul managed to tie up most loose ends at the University before we left but would like your prayers particularly for a young man named Philbert Mushumbusi who is currently producing the university timetable after being trained by Paul over the last year. The university term has now ended with the provisional results just released. Please pray for those preparing to graduate this coming November. Please also pray for the newly appointed Vice Chancellor and the work ahead of him as he guides the university into another chapter of it's history.

Talent Show with the Headmaster

The boys had lots of positive goodbyes at school and bible club but were very sad to leave their friends for these 6 months. They both received good reports at the end of the school year and both got into the finals of the school talent school with their music, at which Isaac was very proud to win the primary section playing his guitar and singing.

With love and blessings,
Christine, Paul, Daniel and








Sunday, 30 March 2014

Christmas, Conferences and Cakes

We trust you all had a wonderful Christmas! It seems a long time ago now. We had a lovely Christmas at home in Dodoma enjoying services and parties with Tanzanian friends and with the local missionary community.  The pictures show the Christmas morning service at our own church at St. John's, and the "Carols by Candlelight" service at Dodoma Cathedral. 
After Christmas we had a wonderful few days holiday in Iringa with friends the Duncans and their daughter Hana, shown in the picture. With development of the road system in Tanzania, what was a long 9 hour trip to Iringa is now only 4 hours. It is a beautiful part of the country where we were able to enjoy walks in woodlands beside rivers and waterfalls and see sights such as “mini- Isimilla” pictured here with amazing erosion gulleys. Daniel in particular enjoyed the zip wire across the river which was the only way to reach the other side!

In our last blog post we gave the tragic news of the death of the university’s Vice Chancellor Prof Mwaluko. Since then we have been beset by further loss and are still in need of people to fill management positions at the University. A few weeks ago we learnt that the person appointed to fill one of our senior positions was now unable to come and we need to readvertise, then last week Paul attended the funeral  of Mr Muganda who had headed the communication skills centre since the university opened and now this week we have heard of the death of the Bishop of this diocese, Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo, who although not being directly involved in the university had huge influence in this area and was a great friend and ally. With the search for a new Vice Chancellor still ongoing, a feeling of loss and fatherlessness pervades the university at this time and we are much in need of your prayers.

Life and work, however, continues and Paul, having completed his teaching practice observations for this break, is currently trying to get the timetable finished before the start of semester in a few weeks time. There are plenty of other projects on the go for which I’d appreciate your prayers, many of which have been put on the back burner during the last busy semester. These include installing a rainwater catchment and cooling water recycling system for the Chemistry laboratory water distillation unit, the ongoing student dormitory project and completing the air extraction systems in the Chemistry laboratories.

Following the last blog the university celebrated its 4th graduation. It was a wonderful event and despite the recent loss of our Vice Chancellor and, at one point, a rather heavy downpour, the day was a good time to celebrate the achievements students and staff over the past 3 years. The picture shows the poor nursing students who were caught in the worst of the rain as they took their oath.

Outside of work commitments Paul has given the Swahili classes a break and is now running an after school club at CAMS (the school the boys attend). Around 20 pupils have signed up and, despite the occasional power cut, we are enjoying getting to grips with the SCRATCH child-friendly programming environment. It is hoped that within a few weeks, once we have covered the basics, the children can use their creativity to design and develop their own projects and games.

Paul has also built a new tree house. The old one was a little worse for wear and now the boys are older they are able to have a higher more interesting house which is great fun for them and their friends (and mum)

Christine’s work is progressing well with a number of exciting projects going ahead before our leave in July. We have just completed our latest music and worship school for musicians from across Tanzania. This time we had nearly 50 students and as usual it was a great success and a great blessing to all involved. We are now preparing for the provincial week of prayer in April, and a trip to Kigoma on the West of Tanzania to train evangelists. Read more in my work blog (link above)

In February we went to Nairobi for a CMS conference for CMS UK mission partners working in Africa, together with CMS Africa personnel. It was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, sharing and learning from one another, as well as a chance to explore the aims and vision of CMS for the future. The boys enjoyed a wonderful children’s programme and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

In February Kikuyu Gospel Singers completed our video recording and we are now waiting for the producer to complete the DVD. It was hard work but great fun to do. The choir have now been given a project by a local Christian medical centre which involves writing and recording songs on a number of health issues to be used in campaigns, and performing at a launch of a project to promote awareness of cervical cancer, which will take place in a few weeks. It has been a great challenge as it is very different to our usual work, but we hope it will be of benefit to the communities and help to raise awareness of some important issues.

Today we celebrated Isaac’s 8th birthday with a “Despicable Me” themed party, which was great fun with many “minion” themed games activities. The boys are now approaching their Easter holidays and are eagerly rehearsing for the Easter production.