Friday, 21 October 2016

Missions, Music and Milkshakes

We praise God for the last few months since we last wrote and as always we thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement.

The boys continued to enjoy their school holidays in July. Isaac had a new guitar teacher over the holidays called Imani, who has, unfortunately for us, now left Tanzania to study in the US. He taught Isaac lots of new skills and he now has even more enthusiasm for his playing. Daniel has also begun drum lessons with a drummer from a friend's church,

which he is thoroughly enjoying.

We had a fun trip to Kilimatinde during the holidays with the Chance family, good friends and fellow missionaries in Dodoma shown in this picture at the point in Kilimatinde.

We visited Grace and Festo and their boys Zephania and William who are in the picture below.

Christine has been very busy at work. In August we carried out the latest in a series of Evangelism seminars for the central zone of the Anglican Church, which took place in the diocese of Kondoa, training lay evangelists and carrying out door to door evangelism and open air missions in the area.
We have also just finished our annual music and worship school which as always was a great success. You can read more about both these projects on my work blog

Please also continue to pray for our project to develop an Anglican Church radio station. We have finally been able to apply for a license so please pray that this application will be successful and that funding will become available to enable us to go ahead with this project.

Kikuyu Gospel Singers held their annual mission in September, reaching out to the local people. Many people came to faith and were healed and the event was a great success. This was followed by the launch of our latest CD at which we were able to raise funds to buy a new mixing desk which we desperately needed.
Please pray for us as we now search for funds for a new keyboard. In August we also enjoyed a trip to Iringa to visit and minister to a church there.

As usual at the end of the academic year we had to say farewell to another group of students who are leaving the English choir as they are graduating this year. This is always a sad time but we celebrate our time together with a lovely farewell party shown in these pictures. Please pray for these graduating students as they look for work and move forward in their lives.

Daniel became a teenager in September and chose to have a party at the local hotel with his friends. This included swimming, games, and most importantly amazing chocolate cakes and milkshakes!

Paul has reached the end of his first year as acting head of Physics at the university and is hopeful that, with the appointment of extra staff in the department over the next few weeks, the workload for all will settle down to something more manageable than the rather hectic past year. One of the highlights of the past year was seeing some of the students get carried away with their final year projects. The photo shows some local school students who had been invited in to test out some science-museum style hands on exhibits constructed by one of Paul's students. As Paul starts what will be his last academic year at the university he is focussing on succession, training others and winding down roles in order to leave well.
At the same time he has been getting more involved in supporting CAMS, the boys' school initially as part of the parents society as it fundraises for building a new school laboratory (see photo). However, recently the diocesan Bishop has asked Paul to take on a senior role in the school as the current Principal's time comes to close and as a new principal is appointed.

We have just got back from a short holiday at the beach in Dar-es-Salaam, which was a much needed time of relaxation after and before some very busy times for us at work. We stayed at Kipepeo, a lovely beach to the South of Dar and enjoyed swimming, sandcastles and snorkelling!

With love and blessings,
Christine, Paul, Daniel & Isaac.x

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Building, Baptism and Birthdays

We have had a busy 5 months since we last wrote a blog post. We thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement over this time.
In March, over Easter-time we visited the UK for a few weeks and had a wonderful time visiting family and friends. The first picture shows the boys with their friend Sammi on a country walk and the second is with Rob and Judith, Paul's brother and sister in law.

We also celebrated Isaac's 10th birthday whilst in the UK, with 3 different celebrations first with friends in St. Austell, and then with family.

These celebrations were followed by one more party back in Tanzania on our return! These pictures show his party in St Austell and his party back home in the garden in Tanzania.
We have said several sad goodbyes over the last few months. Firstly we said goodbye to Will who had been staying with us for a few months and Claudia who had been working in Kilimatinde. The boys had grown very attached to them in the short time they were with us. We then said goodbye to our dear friends the Garrett family, an American family who have been best friends to us all since we first arrived in Dodoma. Finally we just said goodbye to our good friends and next door neighbours the Buchanan family from Australia who have returned home. The picture shows a final meal with the Garrett family and Will and Claudia. The boys are particularly sad to have lost some of their best friends.

In May Christine held her annual conference for Mission and Evangelism Coordinators which was a very successful event. The
picture shows all the participants, including 2 bishops who we were blessed to have with us this year.  
You can read more about this and  other projects with which Christine is involved on her work blog (link above). We are now working hard on the development of the Anglican Church radio, trying to raise funding to make the project possible, as well as preparing for the next seminar training lay evangelists in the central zone of Tanzania which will take place in August. Please pray for all this work, the God will provide the funds, people and resources needed. 

Christine's Swahili church congregation are in the process of building a new church as we do not have our own building but use the university chapel for our services. It has been wonderful to see how church members have enthusiastically given of their money, time and energy in preparing the site and laying the foundations. Last month we held a big event to publicly launch the project, at which the diocesan Bishop laid the foundation stone and we raised funds to continue with the project.

As the year is drawing near to its end at the University, various student groups are beginning to hold farewell celebrations. We attended one such event for the "University Student Christian Fellowship (USCF)". The picture shows the procession of students, led by a brass band, into the main university hall where it was held.

Daniel and Isaac are now on their long school holidays. The school year finishes at the end of June and starts again in August. They both have done well at school despite challenges that the school is facing particularly with a shortage of quality teachers. Please pray for the school this year, and if you or anyone you know would like the opportunity to teach at the school for a year or two please get in touch. Both the boys had an exciting last week of term. Daniel had his standard 7 graduation. In Tanzania, though standard 7 is equivalent to year 7 in the UK it is still counted as primary school, so the students graduate at the end of this year. There the follows 4 years of "secondary school" as opposed to the 5 years in the UK. It was a great event and Daniel was very happy to be graduating with his friends, many of whom he has been with since nursery school. The pictures show him receiving his certificate and celebrating with Ian and Meshack.

Isaac entered the school talent show performing one of his own songs, and managed to win first place, This is him performing and receiving his prize. It was a lovely talent show this year and Isaac was surprised and proud to win.

As the boys are now on holidays we have just had a few days away. Firstly we went to Kilimatinde to spend a few days with the Kanungha family. These pictures show Daniel reading to Zephania and Paul with William.

We then went to Singida for the baptism of Chimosa, the son of our good friends the Njagambas. It was a wonderful service with many guests and visiting choirs and singers. The pictures show Chimosa with his mum, Mama Merina, and the Njagamba family together with us and the godparents, Meraby and Tomas.

We also were able to spend time at Singidani lake in Singida, one of our favourite places.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Candles, Christmas and Ceremonys

Dear Friends,

Local walk with neighbours
We hope you are enjoying 2016 as we are! We are still enjoying a long rainy season here in Dodoma which is great news for all the farmers around the area - the harvest should be plentiful this year.
Unfortunately in some areas the good rains have led to flooding but here in Dodoma we are grateful for a productive year for the first time in many years.

We had a lovely Christmas here at home with friends Will and Claudia visiting from Kilimatinde.

The picture shows some of our English choir at the "Carols by Candlelight" service at the  cathedral.

The videos below show this choir and also the school choir which sang in a special school service and the annual school Christmas production, which as usual was a huge success and great blessing.

On new years eve we had a party at home with the Chance family, the younger generation shown in the picture.
With the Njagamba family in Singida

Then on New Year's day we headed up to Singida to visit Musa, Mama Merina and their lovely family
including their new baby boy Yohana Daniel.

Christine is now busy planning various seminars etc for 2016. Please pray for the plans and provision of funds for the annual mission and evangelism conference, music and worship training and training of lay evangelists.
Pray also for our project to develop an Anglican Church of Tanzania radio station, that we will succeed in gaining a licence and funding. Christine is also struggling to get her work permit as there are many new systems in place in Tanzania making things very difficult. Please pray for this situation to be resolved.

Paul has had a very busy semester having been made acting head of Physics and taking on some extra Physics teaching after the previous head left at short notice. Together with a very healthy intake of new 1st year trainee science teachers (very much an answer to prayer) and the long planned rollout of e-learning across the university, this has made for a lot of work for Paul but he is coping fine and is particularly enjoying his new digital electronics course.
The picture shows some of his students doing practical exercises during one of his lectures. December saw the annual graduation ceremony which is always a special time and this year was made more special by being held at rather grand and spacious conference centre in Dodoma.
Graduation Ceremony
The semester is now drawing to a close and, once marking is over, Paul will be looking forward to some student teaching practice observations before getting stuck into the timetable for the next semester.

Please pray for the boys' school which is going through a difficult time, especially for the provision of new well qualified teachers. Despite the difficulties, the boys still love being there and are both doing very well. They are also still enjoying their music. This is Isaac playing with some of the worship team at the cathedral and Daniel with his new electronic drum kit getting some valuable coaching from Will.

We are looking forward to a short trip to the UK to visit family at Easter. We are sorry as our time is short we will be unable to visit all our link churches. Please pray for us as we travel on Good Friday.

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

Video of CAMS school Choir singing "What kind of Greatness":

Video of CAMS School Choir singing "Heaven invites you to a Party":

Video of St. John's English Choir singing "O Holy Night":