We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Mwanza and Back
We are back home in Iringa after a great visit to Mwanza, on Lake Victoria. We took the long bus ride to Dar-es-Salaam, excited to be meeting Tim's parents at the airport there. We managed to get all six of us, their six pieces of luggage and our two pieces to the place we were staying! We had some interesting treks across Dar - in small taxis all squashed in together - rather hot! And when we got to a bad bit of road, and were grounding on the holes and bumps, we all hopped out and then piled back in when the car had made it across the bumps! We had a great time with Huruma and the family, and Tim and his Dad preached in the different services at Victory Christian Centre on the Sunday. The six of us took a flight to Mwanza after our weekend in Dar. I shocked everyone at the airport as I attempted to go through hand luggage security with a Swiss army knife, box of matches and pair of scissors! Oops! Never done that before!
Mama Minja washing the children's hands
We had a wonderful week in Mwanza, staying at the home of Mama Minja, an amazing lady whose faith and perseverance and also determination to help children in need is inspirational.We saw the work she has done in setting up a school for orphans, visited land she has recently bought with hopes to expand the school, and also had a morning at the school with all the children. It is incredible how much this lady has done for these kids, by herself, with no means to begin to do anything. She just started earning money selling tea, putting money aside bit by bit, and now she has a schoolroom and is also providing food and clothes for 25 children. It is lovely to see how much these children so evidently love her. Her project is huge, far bigger than it seems she could manage, but she knows this is what she must do, she trusts God and without waiting for money or help, she just patiently gets started and works incredibly hard. And lives are changed because of it.
We had two days visiting a village called Kitongo, where we did some open air meetings, sharing the love of Jesus. Amisadai helped us with some mime dramas, Tim and his Dad were preaching, I did some singing and stories with children, and there was lots of singing and dancing!
Tim and his Dad did a Pastors Conference, which was a great success, teaching over a hundred pastors from all over the Mwanza region. This was the second time they have done it, and won't be the last! I managed my first Bible teaching in Swahili as we met with a group of women one evening. This group (called Christ's Daughters) has been set up by Evelyn, Pastor Zakayo's wife, to give women in difficult and hard situations (particularly widows and prostitutes) love and help. At the end of our time in Mwanza, the two churches we had been working with gave us an amazing farewell. A delicious meal at the beach at sunset and we were all given beautiful sandals! Their care for us, their hospitality and love was so special!