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

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Through Cotton Fields to Malya and the Siafu Ant Situation

The road went on ... and on ... and on! We left home at 7am on Sunday morning, aiming to get to a place called Malya to meet with the church for their 9am service, at which Tim was preaching. But we were bumping along a dirt road for miles, passing fields and fields of growing cotton, until almost 10am! And when we did finally arrive, we were ushered warmly into the pastor's house for some hot milk and chapattis before the service. They wouldn't think of allowing us to continue with a service after our long journey without any morning chai! And the whole church welcomed us warmly when we finally appeared, not the least bothered that they had to wait for us for so long!

It was lovely to hear the Kisukuma singing. We are used to the Wahehe tribe singing in our churches in Magozi and Kimande, but here in the Mwanza region, the people are mostly from the Sukuma tribe and it is very interesting to hear the difference in singing style! The church shared their vision for serving their community; they are keen to start sewing projects for women and bee projects and tree planting. We would love to see this church known for these things, for their heart to serve and passion for sharing the love of God, particularly because at the moment they are known for their "disabled pastor" which is rather sad given the very "enabling" nature of both the pastor and his congregation. About thirteen years ago, Pastor Kayuli was fixing a water tank up high. The tank fell on his head, knocking him to the ground and seriously injuring him. He was in a coma for a long time, but miraculously recovered. But his body did not fully recover and he is left without the use of his hands and unable to move or walk easily. But he is a good husband to Shukuru (which means thankfulness), a loving father to their little girl, Glory (Gloria) and a Godly pastor to the lovely people in Malya. Enabled and we pray a man who will long be remembered for enabling others.

Rachel, Shukuru, Pastor Kayuli, Pastor Jovin (Mwanza),
a teacher from the local school ad our girls with Gloria

Pastor Kayuli greets the church

Malya Church

We had a walk around the church plot. We saw the great potential it has and the girls did their first cotton pickin' (there's a song here somewhere)! Land is ready for planting trees and attracting bees! We think this would be the first bee project in this area, so are very excited about this. They are keen to build a multi-purpose building for training of all kinds and already have mamas starting a small-scale sewing project.

Looking across the plot at the church building
Vision and potential!

In other news ... we are now in our new house! We moved in last Friday, after a few days of delays. We are all enjoying the lovely space, the sound of birds and insects instead of close neighbours outside our windows and very loud music! We are very grateful for this house and particularly for the outside space which is being prepared for bees, agricultural experimenting, a medicinal garden, vegetable garden and in which we have already planted Moringa and Neem trees!

We are still trying to sort out lots of niggles ... things like power and water were a bit of a problem for a while. After a prolonged week without shopping before the move (which led to a pretty poor and basic diet), things didn't get much better with no electric or gas for a little while ... we finally had food in the house, but no way to cook any of it! I know, where's a clay jiko when you need it? 

And then there was the niggle of the biting ants which have us surrounded outside! These are siafu ants, otherwise known as driver ants, army ants or safari ants. They really are lethal! We are not talking about the little ants that we have been "eating" with our peanut butter as they make trails through our kitchen. These ants have large heads and pincers that are used by the Masai as sutures. They have powerful shearing jaws and draw blood when they bite you. The girls make a running-leaping-hopping dash to the car from the front door to avoid the vicious insects! We looked out the window yesterday to see our guard hopping about in a crazy dance, while frantically pulling up his trouser legs to get rid of the things! They climb up you, cling on to you and then BITE. They are all in the grass outside and I have read that one colony has up to 20 million ants. Tim thinks we are all exaggerating and making too much of a fuss, but he wears long trousers, socks and shoes.  On the positive side, these ants eat things like cockroaches and rats and that is a very good thing. But we hope some ash will soon solve the problem.

We live on the property with a lovely family; mama is going to work for us during the week, helping us in the house, and funnily enough, her name is Lucy! It is lovely to have someone helping with washing the clothes (the family was bringing us buckets of water before we had the running water) and the floors and dishes. And today, while a man took our oven to pieces on the kitchen floor in an attempt to fix it, she cooked us all some beans on the sawdust cooker outside.

On Friday we are off to Dar es Salaam. Tim has been invited by Huruma Nkone to teach at the Bible School there and then preach three services on Sunday. We are looking forward to catching up with the Nkone family on Monday and then flying back to Mwanza on Tuesday.


  1. All sounds amazing rachel!! Much love and blessings to you all......and make Tim wear a pair of shorts and sandals for a day!!!

    Our news...beths partner called Jamie they now live together in lychpit has finally managed to get an interview for a fitness instructor at the aqudrome....He has never really worked properly but did a sports science diploma at college so this is something he really wants to do....We all praying very hard that they see his potential and give him a job! !

    1. Thanks, Rachel! That's exciting for Jamie and Beth :) Give Beth our love and we pray that the job works out!


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