We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Ukwega and Back

Driving back this afternoon from Ukwega, a small village next to Magozi, I thought wistfully about 176th Street in Langley, Canada - I miss that road! It's long and straight with no potholes and you can drink a coffee driving along it (not that I particularly wanted the coffee at that point ... but to divert along the coffee thought, our recent tragedy with the cafetiere has been heroically rescued by the Belleguelles in the UK who in no time at all have seen to it that a new cafetiere is on its way to Africa! Asante sana!) Driving along, I also thought how strange it would seem in the UK to be taking your clothes off in the car driving to or from a church meeting as Louisa did today feeling excessively hot!

The Ukwega Church after shaking hands
at the end of the service
  Today we went to meet with a small, very new church in Ukwega, recently started by Yuda who is also the chairman of the Ebenezer Stoves Group. About 15 adults and surely twice as many children come together in a small, carefully made shelter of sticks and straw. Inside they have embedded poles in the ground with a V to support horizontal poles to perch on; village style "pews" on which with a sleepy Louisa on my lap, perching is no easy task! They warmly welcomed and received us; Yuda was able to talk about the stoves project, with the help of the girls who were wearing the new and snazzy group T-shirts and sang the Jiko Jingle! Tim preached and they were all very encouraging about his Swahili! And following the service (yes, very glad to stand up!) we shared a meal with Stephano and Vicki, elders of the church who live in the village. They are an amazing couple with great initiative and energy. They have set up a "cafe" in the village serving chai and rice and also established a small shop which they stock every month by going on the bus to Iringa. They are now talking about building a church building.

Yuda and Tim process to the front at the start of the service.
Yuda talks about the project with the girls in the new T-shirts!
This week in Magozi, the kiln was fixed and the second batch of stoves was fired! All 70 stoves have been "spoken for" so production really does need to pick up as with the whole batch effectively sold, there are none left to sell at the market! We are also still having some problems with the clay cracking, so really trying to solve this one!

We are all going back to Magozi on Tuesday, taking with us Mama Masawa who will be staying with us to teach until Friday on business & marketing and to work with women on improving reading skills. We will also be presenting the new T-shirts which will be hugely exciting! It will be a busy week being "hostess" to Mama and teacher to the girls, and trying to attend as many of the reading classes as possible too! The plan for girls is to learn about the light of the sun as we make sundials, but to be honest, I rather wish the sun might go behind the clouds a bit more this week!

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