Tuesday, 26 September 2017

All Change!

Dear friends,

So we haven't written a blog since February! That is just an illustration of how busy a time it has been finishing off our ministry in Tanzania and beginning our new life here in the UK! We have now been back in the UK for 2 months and are starting to get used to life back in our old home in St. Austell, Cornwall.
At a link visit, The Avenue Methodist Church
We have begun our tour around our supporting churches, having visited 2 so far, and are looking forward to seeing the rest of you over the next few months. We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all those churches as well as our many friends and family who have supported us financially and prayerfully over the last 10 years in Dodoma (and for many during our previous time in Kilimatinde too).
Enjoying Cornwall
We would be grateful for your continued support as we continue our work with CMS until towards the end of January, and for your prayers as we adapt and begin to settle in to our life here in Cornwall. God bless you all for your love, support and encouragement.

So, a brief look back at our final few months in Tanzania ... It was a busy time, finishing off our work and handing over responsibilities, saying the many goodbyes with friends, churches and different groups of people who have known and loved over the years, packing up and preparing for the move.

Farewell at Christine's Office

Christine finished off at work with an evangelists training seminar in Zanzibar in March, and a final conference of Mission and Evangelism Coordinators in May. You can read about these events on Mission and Evangelism Department blog http://actmission.blogspot.com. Christine then handed over responsibility to Rev Paul Mahiza who is the Provincial Youth Coordinator but will now be taking on both roles, and finished her time with a lovely office farewell party.
Farewell at the University
Paul was able to pass on his work at the university to various colleagues although has been finishing off writing and marking some exams from here in the UK. He also handed over his responsibility of principal of CAMS school to the deputies as the search for a new principal continues.
Holiday in Zanzibar
Please pray that a new principal to take the school forward will soon be found. After many interviews and several offers of the post they are yet to appoint someone. Again Paul's time at the university and at the school was recognised by farewell events .

Isaac's birthday Party

The boys has a good last few months. Isaac celebrated his 11th birthday in March and had a lovely party with all his friends. Daniel finished the Easter term at school as "Knight of CAMS" coming runner up in the school chess tournament which was a great event at school coming out of the chess club which Paul initiated. The whole school became very excited about chess and the tournament.
Isaac's final certificates with his teacher and friend Rayyan
At the end of the school year Isaac received a certificate at the standard 6 graduation and also received a "principal's award", a special award which one person in each class receives each year.
Holiday in Zanzibar

We were also able to have a wonderful family holiday in Zanzibar in April before becoming too busy! It was a lovely time and hopefully a memorable holiday for the boys.

Kikuyu Gospel Singers in Kahama
Kikuyu Gospel singers Video Shooting
Christine was very busy with the Kikuyu Gospel Singers choir, recording our second video in March and then going on a trip to Kahama in June to visit another choir and work with them in outreach. We also had yet another farewell party from the choir. The video is on sale if anyone would like it, and we will be travelling with it as we visit our link churches. 

John in the recording studio
During our last few weeks Christine went to the recording studio, yet again, to record a few songs with our friend John for his solo album.

With friends in Kilimatinde
With Grace and Festo and family in Kilimatinde

We had many more parties and farewells with friends and were able to have a final trip to Kilimatinde to say goodbye to Grace and Festo and our other friends there, and Christine and Isaac had a trip to Magugu, near Arusha, to visit our friend Edmound and spend some time with his church and family.

Isaac and Edmound

We spent a lot of time sorting out our house and selling, auctioning and giving away our things so that we could return with (only!) 14 pieces of  luggage! We also had to say good bye to our guinea pigs and our lovely cat, Vanilla, who are all now being well looked after by friends.

Leaving party in the garden

Our final farewell party was a big party at our home for friends and colleagues from all walks of life.
Members of the choir came to decorate the garden and many people attended including friends who travelled from a distance to see us off. It was a moving and emotional time but a wonderful way to finish well and be able to share with all these friends.

With the Vice Chancellor and Diocesan Bishop

Finally the day came to leave Tanzania and we had a wonderful send off early in the morning as many friends from the choir, missionary friends and even the Diocesan Bishop and the university Vice Chancellor came to see us off. We travelled to Dar with our dear friend Grace who then returned with the car which now belongs to her and her family.

With friends at New Wine
We had a wonderful welcome back in St. Austell, and spent a week with our good friends, Ian and Marilyn, whilst unloading all our possessions which had been stored in our attic and making our old house into a home again. We had a wonderful week at New Wine with friends new and old from Holy Trinity St. Austell, a great time of spiritual refreshment and a chance to reconnect with friends for all of us. We are very blessed to have a wonderful group of young people at the church so the boys have a great group of friends there already.
Daniel's birthday
Daniel celebrated his 14th birthday this month and had a lovely party with many of these new (and renewed) friends.

After New Wine, Isaac had a wonderful week in Edale on a camp with other Christian "Third Culture Kids" which was a great way for him to share his experiences and have a fun and refreshing time with like minded children. Daniel had a week on his own with Grandma during that time which for him was an equally enjoyable and refreshing time.

First day at School
The boys returned to school a few weeks ago, at Penrice Academy here in St. Austell. It is a very large secondary school and we had some concerns as it is so different to what they have been used to. However, they are both thoroughly enjoying the school and are very happy with life so we praise God for that.

Over the last couple of months, as well as setting up home and all that entails, we have spent a lots of time visiting friends and family and generally enjoying the summer in beautiful Cornwall. We have had some lovely days on the beach and walking on the coast path and feel very blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

Christine with Grandma
We have been able to go to some family parties, including celebrating the golden wedding of Christine's Uncle and Aunt and the 100th birthday of Christine's Grandma.

We are now focussing on visiting link churches and winding down our ministry with CMS. 

We are also looking for work and Paul has begun the process of preparation for selection and training for ordained ministry within the Anglican Church. Please pray that God will clearly show us His will for this next stage of our lives and ministry.
Please also pray for us all during this difficult time of adjustment and adapting to the very different way of life here. Please also remember in your prayers our friends and colleagues back in Tanzania who are also having to readapt to life without us in many ways.

With much love and blessings.

Christine, Paul, Daniel and Isaac.xxx