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 http://actmission.blogspot.com (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.