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

Friday, 6 December 2013

It's Good News!

We have some good news! After months of waiting and our permit to live and work in Iringa expiring, with help from good friends in Dar and Mwanza prodding and probing, we finally received our new residence permit this morning. This allows us to work anywhere in Tanzania under the umbrella of the TAG church, which is what we needed to move to Mwanza! A big relief!

This week we have Ezekiel from Magozi staying with us here in town. We picked him up as we passed through on our way home from Kimande on Monday, and he is working on some experimental designs of stoves for testing purposes. Tim wants to see if we can improve the efficiency of the stove even more. So we have had evening rounds of Golf (card game) as many of you who have stayed with us could guess! And last night we all watched (and Tim translated) the Nativity Film which was much enjoyed with POPcorrrrrn!

Ezekiel at work on the experimental stoves

Ezekiel's experimental jiko designs!
We are going back to Kimande early Sunday morning (after some busy baking and selling with Lucy for the annual Christmas Fayre here in Iringa on Saturday) and this will be our final farewell. The seven of us (Mongers, Jesca, Ezekiel and Mendriad) will all be together in our little house for the last time which is rather sad. But it is good that we have such a team and we pray for them as we go that they, especially Jesca, will flourish in the work after we have gone. We will worship with the Pentecostal Church in the morning and then have a farewell service on Sunday afternoon with the Anglican church. On Monday we will have a farewell meeting (with cake of course) with the stoves group.

We should be back in Iringa on Tuesday afternoon and we will be able to focus on things here in town like finishing school, getting into Advent (unlike what appears to be the rest of the world, we haven't thought about Christmas yet!) and of course, getting ready for The Move.

With four weeks then before we are scheduled to drive to Mwanza, with a houseful of "belongings" in some bags and yet-to-be-found cardboard boxes, no idea how we will get it all from A to B and no house to move into when we do get there, I am wondering if I should start panicking yet. Or at least starting to pack! There seems so much to sort out in a very short time ... and I haven't even thought about what we will do for school after Christmas! I just keep quoting my mom, "Don't worry, it'll be fine!" And I'm sure in the end it will. It's just at the moment, we are so tired and really just want to stop for a while. Stop to-ing and fro-ing between town and village with its packing and unpacking, stop late nights of hurried lesson planning of graphing cubic volume of river water and Queen Anne's contribution to the Stuart Dynasty. Stop busy morning lessons of distracted spellings and maths, stop worrying about how many sheets need washing for the next beds in both houses and how to feed everyone another meal... I said to Tim I feel like one of those ancient computer games, Pac-man where you keep trundling along a narrow maze gobbling the next thing in front of you, unable to see ahead of you and wanting to stop, but the timer keeps ticking and you can't stop until you win or get eaten. I'm hoping for the former not the latter! And I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling like this at the moment!

But now as I write, this has got me thinking about Advent; what was it like for Mary and Joseph at that first Christmas? They also had a long journey to make ... moving to Bethlehem. And they didn't have a comfortable Land Cruiser in which to travel and pack all their belongings. I'm thinking we can't get much in our vehicle, but I know we'll get more than we would on a donkey. Mary and Joseph didn't know where they would stay when they arrived; I'm sure we will do better than a small cave with the animals when we get to Mwanza. And I have the significant advantage of not being heavily pregnant through it all! Mary and Joseph are not thinking about what they will get out of it all for themselves. I'm thinking about myself, what's in this for "me" ... my rest, my time, my... my ...my. Mary and Joseph are valuing something above their own personal comfort and personal security. And isn't that just how Jesus came? He came to creation, giving himself to a people that would not recognize him, that would ultimately kill him. He came as a baby, completely dependent, to share our life and ask us to share his. He demonstrated how none of us are designed to be complete without what others (including Himself) have to give us. It's not about me and my. It's about sharing our life! And that's good news!

And now reading this through, that last paragraph all sounds great, but it still feels rather easier said than done!


  1. Too right Rachel.love the blogs and hearing all your news.Sounds like your feeling weary,will be praying for strength for you and energy as you go through the packing and moving.No how you feel am looking at the contents of my house and just started the process of packing before I move and at the moment with nowhere to go.Love you guys.Gracexxx

    1. Thanks, Grace! Praying that you find a place too! Rx

  2. Don't worry! It'll be fine! :)

    We definitely know how you feel -- we were super stressed with our shift from Uganda to Canada (and that's without kids to pack up as well!). We're praying for the transition to Mwanza.

  3. Just wrote a long message and then when I previewed it it vanished. Never mind...will have a shorter go!

    Great news on the permit, that must be a relief.

    It's lovely to hear some good news for you. I have written serveral responses to some of your recent blog posts, but ended up scrubbing them out. Words failed me to convey anything that didn't seem trite, empty or simply worthless. The depth of pain, loss, heartache shared especially about Bruno, the armed robbers etc. so much. You can't type tears and that was all I really had; tears and prayers.

    But as ever it's inspiring, encouraging and uplifting to read your posts. Your last paragraph made me think of the psalms and David encouraging himself in the Lord; the way as you think through what Mary and Joseph faced and overcame, your thoughts about your own - let's face it; big journey - is put into a different context.

    As for the girls' schooling they are having the most incredible education. You're doing great. I just had a little look on their site and found their Book Review section and sent them a message. The funny thing is we've read almost all of the books you have reviewed! Just today we were talking about working on these over the next few weeks. I think the girls' reviews might encourage my boys in their reviewing too.

    Your Pac Man analogy made me laugh out loud...I know just what you mean!

    May God continue to bless you and make you fruitful in all that you do. Will be praying for restoration and for him to carve out time for you to prepare for the schooling just when you need it.

    With love from the Braithwaites,

  4. Big blessings to you all, a great team, blessing others all the while. Love to Louisa and Amisadai, have a very loverleeee Christmas Advent time. Hope you can see this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD5pqOsW1PU. xx

    1. Thanks Geoff! You just brightened our day :) Girls loved it!!! They LOVE you too!!! Big hugs :)


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