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

Thursday, 27 March 2014


We have so much to be thankful for! A house, a car, a shower and a fabulous time with the King’s School Team from Canada!

Yes, it looks like we have a new house! It is a house built years ago by some Finnish missionaries on a plot of land owned by the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania. Interestingly, it seems that the Finns shipped everything for their new house over from Finland and we were amazed to see not only some fine wood panelling but also an old Finnish Aga and a beautifully finished wooden sauna! I can’t imagine ever feeling the need to warm up with either of these – I think just stepping out in Mwanza is enough of a sauna experience! But the house is good with three bedrooms and a study and also a large area outside for playing and planting a garden. We met with the FPCT administrator this afternoon and are hoping to sign a contract next week and move at the beginning of May! Thankful!
We are thankful to have our car back! It was rather bad timing, but our car broke down during the first week that the Canada team was with us. Although, as you can see in the photo, maybe having them around at the time was not such a bad thing! Thankfully, Mama Minja very kindly loaned us her Land cruiser to get us all about. And although it was terribly expensive, we were grateful yesterday to get our vehicle back on the road. And as for the water, I am very thankful to have water again! We have not had proper running water for over a week now, but today it has returned and so as soon as I have finished here I am going to enjoy a much longed-for shower! Very thankful!

And we are so very thankful for the fabulous time we have had with our Canada Team! We have shared many fun, great and meaningful times with them over the past three weeks. This week I was able to go with them to the Serengeti for two days. There, for the first time, we came up close with a leopard! It was so close lying there in the grass that we could have reached down and stroked it! Our guide was carefully watching the large beady eyes and took the cue when we should leave … NOW!  So beautiful and such a treat to see! Thankful!

Serengeti Game Drive

Looking Leopard
We had a real African adventure as we found ourselves standing out in the wild when our vehicle tire had a major blow-out.  And then again in the afternoon, when we started going up in smoke …  thankfully just a simple fuse problem and quickly fixed! Then on the second day we were waiting a long time with the zebras while several men took our wheel off and banged and bashed, fixing a brake problem! We had the full experience of camping in the wild in small tents under the amazing Serengeti sky, alight with innumerable stars. And then experienced the real African rains in a camp awash with rivers from the torrential downpour!  
Changing the tire in the Serengeti
Fixing the brake in the Serengeti

Tenting in the Serengeti
As well as bumping along through the Serengeti in an open-top gamepark vehicle, with the team we have crossed Lake Victoria in various forms of ferries. We had great fun traipsing the dusty, bumpy tracks across the island on the backs of piki pikis (motorbikes). A piki piki parade heralded by surprised cries of "WAZUNGU" as we passed by! And maybe not quite so much fun, we also bounced across the island squashed in dala dalas (local buses).

Across the island to the Secondary School

PikiPiki Parade

Dala dala across the island
But however we travelled, we certainly got around! With the team, we have been to an orphan nursery school, a “Village of Hope” for children without families, to kids on the street, to kids with albinism, to a church in the city centre and a church on the top of a mountain, to fishermen, to the elderly, to the suffering … So while we were sad saying our goodbyes today and are missing them already, we are so thankful for the time we have had with this team and for the doors that they have opened up here in the Mwanza area! Hearts of gratitude are surely a good thing and as the team left, there were many hearts full ... ours, theirs, many in the churches and also the hearts of those who have found faith or been encouraged. May we all take encouragement from what God is doing (in the midst of the difficulties) and share a heart of thankfulness!


  1. We're thrilled you had such a great time!

  2. I love the fact that you finally have a home out there, and such a gorgeous one to boot! May I know if your car in as good a shape as it was? What are the repair shops like out there? You certainly are all some brave souls to live such a life as that.

    Ronni Casillas @ JNH Life Styles


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