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

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The "Chinese" Mongers

With all the blogging that the girls have been doing this week, there doesn't seem much more to say! It has been a rather slow week and seemed pretty mundane with schoolwork after all the adventures of last week and our special visitors the week before! But thank you to all of you who helped with Amisadai's "Daylight Hours" survey! It proved to be a great lesson in science, geography, math, social studies .... Her results are now on their blog (see here!). So thank you for making it interactive and fun! 

Here are a couple of photos that we missed in the blogs about last week's adventures...

Dr Isaac and Tim

Mama Robin on the back and Dr Makori back right.

Mama Robin, (the lady in white) came to visit us at the guesthouse on Kome Island, telling us about the mama's group that is now running there. It is essentially a Village Savings and Loans Scheme in which the group works together to save and loan money for their own small businesses. Mama Robin wanted us to go and be formally introduced with the local village chairman before going to the group, but it was a fair distance away, necessitating transport... i.e. pikipikis (motorbikes). I wasn't too convinced that the idea of our whole family tearing along the bumpy tracks on the backs of pikipikis was a good idea (and it wasn't cheap getting lifts on these things!). So I stayed behind with the girls while Mama Robin took Tim, Dr Isaac and Dr Makori  to meet the official. As it turned out, he was having his chai and wouldn't be disturbed, so rather than hang around waiting, they all came back after signing the ever important visitor's book.

The plan was to go to the Mamas' group after lunch at 3:30pm, but lunch still hadn't arrived by then, so we headed off on foot to the group meeting place in the shade of some trees and a house. As we walked we had our first experience of being mistaken for Chinese! With all our blond hair, that was one thing I never expected! But walking through the village, many people were saying "Look! The Chinese are here!" Others were saying we were Koreans! I guess many of the people there on the island have never seen people that looked quite like us and they had seen people from China and figured we were pretty similar!

We were thinking that I would share something with a small group of Mamas, but we were all astounded to find a huge group of people, men and women seated on the ground waiting for us! Businesses represented there included fishing, farming, sewing, chicken keeping and goat-herding among others.

"WEE" came the introduction cry from the leader and there was a loud "WAA" in response! It was all very formal ... and I completely chickened out! Tim came to the rescue and did an impromptu entrepreneurial seminar using the Parable of the Talents. He is amazing - and his Swahili heaps better than mine!

They all thoroughly enjoyed it and are keen for lots more! Mama Robin set the group up herself and they would love some guidance and help. We are looking forward to an opportunity to go back .. and having read Acts 4:29-31 again, I am resolved to be braver! But really, these entrepreneurial and innovative people have a lot to offer the people around them, and could be significant agents of change!

The "Mamas" Meeting

On Sunday, back in Mwanza, we were privileged to be at the first service in the new building of Bishop Charles' church! The church has been working on a new building for quite some years now, and people from Basingstoke and Tadley (UK) have visited it and also supported it! It is not yet finished, but the roof is on and it was wonderful to worship there! It is big enough for 1200 people, so we are praying for this lovely church of 400 to grow in both faith and number!

Mkuyuni Church: The new building!
We were excited that our weekend night guard, Joseph, wanted to come with us. He said it was his first time in a church and he loved it! He asked for prayer and shared his desire to become a Christian. He wants to continue coming to church with us and has started reading the Bible we gave him later this week.
Joseph and Louisa

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