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

Friday, 20 December 2013

High on a hill, a lonely goat heard ...

"So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen adieu; adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu..."
Shocked, surprised, excited, overwhelmed – we were all of these on Tuesday. Amisadai, Louisa and I (unfortunately Rachel wasn’t feeling too well so stayed behind) went to the village of Ikuka, along with Andrew, to say goodbye. Ikuka is the second village this year in which we have done a stove project. We haven’t been so personally involved in this project because we wanted Jesca to have room to lead this project without our getting in her way. It’s been a sheer delight to watch Jesca grow and develop this project in Ikuka from nothing. She really has gone from strength to strength.

We were thrilled to have Jesca receive us so warmly in Ikuka on Tuesday. She whisked us off to visit the village chairman who was unwell at home with typhoid. He has been the epitome of encouragement and support – a real servant leader who has helped the project so wonderfully. After our visit with chairman Joseph, we dashed back to the village office for the main event. We would have been happy with just meeting the group, thanking them for their hard work and encouraging them to continue… but no not them! They were determined and had planned to give us a lavish send-off… quite frankly far more than we deserved.

So we took it all in and loved every minute of it. One thing that has characterised the Ikuka project is co-operation… in many ways it has been a model project. So we were thrilled to see so many of the group present (in the midst of their busy farming season) along with the village executive officer and the pastors of the Anglican, Pentecostal, Lutheran and Seventh Day Adventist churches. It’s been a dream come true to see villagers, the village government and the various churches all pulling together for the good of their village. So no wonder they sang for us “Unity is Power” – they have demonstrated it!

After the introductions, the sermon, the thanks from the officials and pastors, the stove secretary‘s report of the challenges and successes, it was gift time and we mean GIFT TIME! The whole group disappeared out of the room only to reappear shortly after amid shouts of joy with a goat, yes a real live GOAT! The three of us looked at each other, amazed and excited, as we readied ourselves to receive it. Then they also gave a dozen eggs, a chicken, a bucket of maize and some money. We were bowled over – such extreme generosity when we have only been a few times. It’s a real credit to Jesca and the way she has conducted the project that the villagers are so thankful.
Bringing in the gifts!

Receiving the goat
Then it was our turn, and although we did our best to say thank you, somehow it seemed inadequate to me. But they nonetheless gratefully accepted our thanks. They chose the name, “Redemption Jiko Ikuka” for themselves. It’s a fitting name as they are a sign and agent of God’s community redemption and transformation in Ikuka. We hope and pray they will continue to be this sign and agent, especially as they are treasuring and reading the Bibles we gave them in October.
The Ikuka Stoves Group
Andrew wrapped up the thanks and then we shared a great meal together to finish the wonderful celebration. After the photos, it was time to load up our goat, Johnson, as the girls named him, and set off for home after a long but special day.

So now we have a goat which Amisadai takes out to pasture every morning. She asked for a goat two years ago and now she has Johnson and is wanting to take him to Mwanza!


1 comment:

  1. Wow. What a 'goodbye'. You must all be so grateful that the Lord has used you to be such a blessing to these people.
    Hope you can find room for the goat in Mwanza - it would be a pity to eat him now.
    Love, Dad.


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