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

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rivers and Rafts, Pain and Armed Robbers

I am making the most of our electricity at the moment, to get an update up on the blog! Tanzania is on limited power for a while now and we are never too sure when or for how long we'll have it!
We have just returned from a great time down by the river! The EI Tanzania team (Wingfields, Sharpes, Dan, Jesca and our family) went to Masumbo for a team retreat. We (the Mongers) left a bit earlier on Friday to have an afternoon of River Investigations for our current school topic. The girls will tell you more about this later! I'm not sure how many teachers in the UK go to such extremes on field trips with their classes, but I ended up in river water up to my neck, fully clothed, for the sake of scientific enquiry!
Crossing the river
Measuring the river

Our River Investigations
The rest of the team arrived in time for tea on Friday after which we had some fun games before the kids went to bed. Then we had our first session looking at our story as a part of God's Story. The highlight of Saturday was the challenge to get our whole team (including all five children and Jesca and Dan who can't swim) across the river. We had poles and jerry cans and string and Andrew, who clearly thrived in Scouts and knows every knot under the sun! We all made it across - we did get a little wet, but only Andy fell in the water! We were all keeping a keen eye out for the hippo, as we found his footprints on the bank on the other side.

Preparing to make the river raft

It floats! Success! (see the hippo prints on the other side!)

Hippo prints!

We celebrated Dan's graduation from University with a special cake. (Please pray for Dan; he was at the hospital today and has been diagnosed with Typhoid). We had some rather hysterical rounds of Pass the Pigs, which we introduced to Dan and Jesca for the first time! And with times of sharing, worship and prayer and lots of eating, a good time was had by all. We headed home on Sunday morning, in time for the Ordination Service at the Cathedral in Iringa, which lasted a whole five hours! I confess I stayed at home with the girls to get ready for school, but Tim was able to support the pastors from Ikuka and Kimande who were being ordained.

Dan sharing his graduation cake with Andy!

We are now getting ready for a big event at the weekend in Kimande. There are big village-wide meetings planned with the churches to show the Jesus Film in Swahili on Friday and Saturday evenings. We are excited to be working with two of the Kimande pastors for this and praying for God to be working in the lives of many through this weekend. Recently we have seen so much pain, sadness and wickedness, and we are praying to see this "sadness come untrue." We are still praying for the family of Bruno, the young boy that went missing a few weeks ago. He hasn't been found. This week, Simon, a member of our Kimande stoves group, was shot by armed robbers who broke into their home in the night. He was shot in the leg, so it is not fatal, but he cannot walk. In a very short space of time, there has been so much death, including the child drowning and the suicide, as well as the mango tree incident, armed robbers, and bandits on the road (Jesca was unable to return to town from Ikuka a few weeks ago as no one dared travel the road because of armed bandits). We long to see God's transformation in these places. To see his light driving out the darkness. We hope that this weekend we can encourage the churches as they seek to share this light in their community.


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