Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Celebrations, Churches and Craters

Dear friends,

Lake Duluti & Mount Meru

It has been a few months since we last wrote, which supposedly should have been the wet season, but actually here in Dodoma, as in much of Tanzania, it has been very dry and there is a severe drought at the moment. Praise God today it is raining but please pray that God continues to provide rain and food.

Back in November after we last wrote, Christine spent a week in Kahama, teaching music and worship, a wonderful week with a great group of students including many women which is unusual on our music courses, though they proved themselves to be very quick learners and great students and musicians. 
During the evenings we also held outreach sessions in the church which drew many people to hear God's Word and receive prayer. It was a inspiring week in a very active church and a wonderful group of enthusiastic believers.

In the Recording Studio
Late 2016 Isaac went to the recording studio to record his first album, of 4 worship songs he wrote himself, one Swahili worship song written for him by our friend Musa, and a song borrowed from Francesca Batistelli, a well know Christian artist. We had a lot of fun in the studio and the CD turned out really well. He is now selling it and giving half the proceeds to his school here in Tanzania. If you would like a copy please let us know.

In December our focus was on many Christmas activities in the church and with various choirs and worship groups. Isaac came to realise how busy Christmas can be as a musician! The pictures show the candlelight service at the Cathedral

and the boys with friends at/after the school Christmas production, as well as Kikuyu Gospel Singers on Christmas day in our new uniforms. Pray for this choir over the next couple of weeks as we prepare to go to record our second video.
Kikuyu Gospel Singers

Please read Christine's work blog http://actmission@blogspot.com for updates on other projects she has been doing at work. At the moment we are making plans for another seminar training evangelists, this time in the coastal and Eastern Zone, based in Zanzibar. Please pray for this course that the practicalities and funding come together, that evangelists will be encouraged and inspired and for safety during the event.
Mary in the bookshop

Christine has also been working with her colleague Mary to try to improve the Anglican Church bookshop in Dodoma. The shop is developing well but it is a struggle as the shop is very understocked and Mary just needs a little capital to stock the shop with more bibles and other books to get the project running more efficiently. If anyone is able to donate to this or suggest an organisation which may be able to make a small donation we would be grateful.

This picture shows Paul, in his new role as principal of CAMS school presenting special awards of which Daniel received one for commitment and determination this year. The school is continuing well but is still in desperate need of teachers from overseas - please pray that God will provide. 
Also, in December, Paul took part in the graduation ceremony at St. John's University, as part of his other role as lecturer at the university.

Our dear friend Rachel came from the UK to visit us just before Christmas. We had a great time in Dodoma over Christmas with various friends. This is our house help and good friend Mama Asia with her family and this is
Christine with John and Neema, and Labani and Happy on New Years day.
On Radio Hill with Rachel, Patrick and KV

On Christmas eve we had a wonderful party at our home with many friends from the missionary community and other friends,
and on boxing day we had a lovely walk up the local hill in the early morning sunshine.

Labani and Happy have since welcomed their first child, a baby boy, into their family on 1st February. This is Isaac proudly holding his little brother at 2 days old!

Ngorongoro Crater

After Christmas we had a wonderful holiday with Rachel and our friend Musa.
We first went to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater and then to the beautiful Lake Duluti near Arusha, a very peaceful and relaxing spot to finish our time with Rachel.
Lake Duluti
It was a great time for the boys to see new parts of Tanzania, and parts that they don't remember.

The building of the local parish church just outside of the university campus is progressing well. This is for the Swahili congregation with which Christine worships. We currently meet at the university chapel but there are pressures on the use of the building as the University Christian groups are very active, and there is a pressing need for a new building.
Paul's birthday and farewell to the Chance family

Pray that we are able to complete this building project soon.

Since our holiday we have been getting back into the swing of work and school life as well as saying goodbye to several missionary families including our good friends the Chance family who are returning to the USA for furlough. so will be returning, but we will only see them for a week when they return as we aim to return to the UK ourselves in mid July. We said farewell to the Chances whilst also celebrating Paul's birthday, a lovely day.

The Chance boys

Please pray for all our preparations to return to the UK and as we say our goodbyes here. Particularly pray for the funds and personnel to become available to continue with our work when we leave. We will be planning visits to all our link churches later this year so will be contacting you all soon.
Ladies farewell for another missionary family
Please let us know in good time if your church has specific dates you would like us to visit. Also we will be looking to set up home in the UK. We have a lots of things already but if anyone (particularly in Cornwall) is throwing out any furniture or household equipment please think of us as it may be useful to us when we return.
Breakfast at Lake Duluti with Rachel

With much love and blessings

Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac. xxx