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

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Planning to be Generous

We have recently been overwhelmed by generosity. Overwhelmed by people who give. Overwhelmed by how an opportunity to give results in so much more than one gift received.

Last weekend (Friday to Tuesday) we were treated to the most amazing hospitality from our friends in Victory Christian Centre in Dar es Salaam. They invited Tim to teach at their Bible School and preach on Sunday, and also asked Amisadai to play her violin for the Sunday service as we led a song together. They sent plane tickets to us and put us up in a wonderful hotel, a luxury I confess I had been selfishly coveting. After so many long day journeys to Dar and less than luxurious nights, this was such an amazing treat. We had incredible hot showers (yes, I confess I loved all the different flow settings as much as the girls!), baked beans and cornflakes for breakfast (not in the same bowl), a swimming pool and comfy couches. We were so spoiled! We were welcomed so warmly by Huruma and Joyce Nkone and the rest of the church. We shared a meal at the home of good friends, Martin and Esther; we met the fiancé of Samweli, a friend who goes out of his way to serve and help us; we generally received abundant love all round!
With the Nkone Family

Alice and Samweli

With Martin and Esther
This church gave generously. They have their own very great needs as they are working hard to build their own building and expand their work in many ways. But despite their own great needs, they gave so much; to us personally and for the work we are seeking to do in Mwanza. They planned to be generous.

As Brits/Canadians, just talking about money is awkward! But here in Tanzania, things are very different, and the longer we live here, the more we appreciate that what is culturally different is not necessarily “wrong”! People are comfortable talking about money. And people are incredibly generous. When the girls came up with their plans to raise money, although pleased they wanted to do something to help others, I was reluctant because I didn’t want to ask for money. But we went ahead as I told myself it was to benefit others, that loads of other people did this kind of thing, etc etc... But as the money came in, coming generously in from loving givers, I began to think more about it. Generous giving leads to the meeting of needs, to a valuable expression of community, to demonstrations of love and the blessing of the giver. Who was I to deny that? And we have been so encouraged by the generous giving of so many of you. One woman in the UK, touched by the heart behind the words of Dr Makori (in his interview on the Braithwaites blog), sacrificially gave much, and Dr Makori humbly and gratefully received, feeling keenly the bond of unity that reaches across cultures and countries in the simple but generous act. We are encouraged and moved by the hearts of children like Sophie, Samuel, Josh, Dan and Issac who have unselfishly demonstrated love in order to help. Following our accident and the many expenses that resulted, many of you have generously given and we are so grateful.

So I can only say thank you to those who have given so generously. But you must know that your gift does not stop here. So many good things result from giving! And in it all, I am encouraged to plan to be generous and see more of these good things!
And now for little "Monger Update" … some of you will have heard that Amisadai cut her ankle while in Dar es Salaam. Shortly before we were leaving for the airport, she gashed it on a sharp step in the swimming pool and the green and grimacing nurse (yours truly) managed to stick all back together with steri strips and bandages while blindfolding the equally green and grimacing patient and feeding her little sugar bags. Thankfully Dr Makori picked us up from the airport in Mwanza and cleaned and redressed it. The wound is now healing nicely!

We are settling into our new house… navigating various hurdles like the electricity company sneaking through our gates and almost cutting our supply! Some swift negotiations and all is now ok. Not so the shower and various other water problems which a workman has been attempting fix over the past two days… but he keeps forgetting significant parts and disappearing constantly to go and find something! I wonder if the end result may be worse than we started, but live in hope. The siafu ants meanwhile seem to be migrating away from the immediate vicinity of the house after some serious jungle slashing and a "safe" route laid with aisles of ash.

The March of the Siafu Ants
At the weekend we had a lovely visit from the Wingfield family who drove up from Iringa and will journey home down through the west side of Tanzania. The kids all had a great time playing again and enjoyed the treats Mwanza has to offer like bakery cakes and a swimming pool! With them we were also able to visit a church in the village of Tambukareli introducing and demonstrating the fuel-efficient stove. We are hoping to get a small number of people from this church helping us to begin some clay stove work and help us proceed with an actual stoves project.  
Tim looking deep in concentration while fielding questions
at the stove demonstration after the Church service

The Wingfields and Mongers in Mwanza
With their departure on Monday, we are now eagerly awaiting (and a little frantically preparing!) for the arrival tomorrow morning of our team from Tadley. Our pastor, Greg Whittick is coming with a group of four young people for three weeks. We will try and blog some of the things we get up to with them… exciting times ahead!

2 comments:

  1. Exciting times. Loved your comments on generosity which reflects the heart of our great God. Enjoy the visit of the Tadley Team.

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  2. Miss you guys! As I prepare to leave for texas, I sometimes wonder, "what if" I had been returning to TZ. Thank you for keeping my memories alive. x -austin

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