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

Monday, 9 July 2012

Saba Saba to Saba Saba

In Swahili, the word for "seven" is "saba." On Saturday, here in Tanzania it was SabaSaba (the seventh day of the seventh month), a national agricultural holiday. People from villages all over the Pawaga division and Iringa town as well, flock to the village next to Magozi every year for a week of displays and selling. Actually we didn't  notice too much "agricultural" going on, but there were a lot of onions and oranges being sold, and a lot of three-stone fires cooking up ugali for all the attendees. We were there with the Ebenezer Stoves Group to promote the fuel-efficient stoves. The group promoted very well; many came to find out all about them and we had crowds watching Mama Juliana and Ezekiel do the cooking demo! Unfortunately the group only sold four, but given the weight of the stove and the distance people were travelling, that wasn't surprising and now we just need to spread out to these other villages!

The Ebenezer Group Banda (shade from a very hot sun!)
The "information board" with Ezekiel's hilarious artwork showing the benefits
of the stove compared to the disadvantages of three-stone fires!

Crowds watch the jiko in action and are amazed at the haybasket rice!
(I had to stand on the land cruiser to get anything of a shot!)

In the Bible, saba (seven) is the number of completion, and I have to say I have felt rather melancholy this week in the village as we "complete" our year in Magozi. It was during SabaSaba last year that we moved into our house in Magozi and really started the project and it has been during SabaSaba this year that we began to move things out of our house as we prepare to leave in the beginning of August. Although our time in Magozi is soon completed, it certainly doesn't feel like we have completed all that we wanted to do. There are still so many more things we want to do and see happen, so much more to learn (I so wish I had improved more in Swahili and  learned more Kihehe and Kimasaii) but it is time to go and we have to say goodbye. Saba is also the number of perfection, and although our fumbling efforts have been far from perfect, we can truly testify to the perfect faithfulness of God and say His work in our Saba-to-Saba year has been "very good!"

Learning Kimasaii last week with Immanueli

Beds, bookcases, buckets and bodies squeezed in!
(Louisa wasn't quite so inside the basket for the drive home!)
It has been a very busy time recently, and while struggling a bit with just carrying on with everything, it is good to reflect on the complete perfection of God, particularly in my incompleteness and weakness. Feeling so tired, I was losing my patience to teach the girls as we try to finish the school year and losing the energy to keep cooking and to fight the mice and dirt in the village (getting locked out with Louisa in the heat of the afternoon one day didn't help!). But the encouraging thing in God's "Saba," is his perfect rest! He worked for six days and then He rested on the seventh, and it is in Him we find true rest and strength in weakness.

A few other things to finish ... Some good news is that we finally have a new EI Landcruiser!! This is wonderful news! Andy drove it back from Dar on Saturday, and while it needs some fixing up, it should be ship-shape soon!

Also, if you want to see a snippet of recent life in Magozi, click here for a video clip. And all our young friends can check out the girls' blog as Amisadai has just blogged and posted pictures of our "treat" trip to the gamepark with Aunty Ann and Rachel, and our Canada Day celebrations! Louisa will post her blog later as well.

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