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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Parasites, Postal Paperwork and a Birth on the Pavement!

Louisa hasn't been too well for a while. I kept attributing her lack of energy and poor appetite to tiredness due to starting school, late nights with a busy time recently and told her to just "get a good sleep ... finish your lunch ... drink more water ..." But with repeated bouts of diarreah and recurring tummy aches, I finally clued in that she might have a problem. So we had her tested and she has another amoeba. But then it might just be the same one which has been lying dormant for a while? I am trying to figure it all out, but every time I start reading up on it, I end up just going again to wash my hands!

So this was all a cause of great distress as Louisa remembers all too clearly the last amoeba, or rather the medicine given to treat it. Before it does the job, the medicine causes more sickness than the amoeba. It isn't fun. But as we began waging war on Louisa's parasite, today we plodded through hurdles at post offices with little yellow papers in order to procure a parcel of books for pastors, and I read a prayer that seemed rather amusingly appropriate. The prayer by Anne Washington (who lives and works in Bolivia) is her prayer for all those "suffering under the weight of paperwork or parasites" ...
“May your lines be short and your patience long.
May you rejoice in the moments of health and know that in the moments of sickness this too shall pass… literally.
Or you’ll vomit and then you might feel better. Or you might not feel better but at least you might lose a few pounds.
May you have the gift of tongues to interpret the medical jargon on the very strong medications.
May you interpret, as well, the official wording on forms, visas, signs, documents, contracts, etc.
When the parasites come crawling and the paperwork keeps trailing may you be surrounded by people of compassion and be filled with perseverance that pushes through to find some kind of humor in it all.
Amen.”(Life Overseas)
Other than treating parasites and plodding round post offices with papers for parcels, today (which happens to be our 13th wedding anniversary and thus entitled us to coffee at Gold Crest), I also had an interesting drive home from school! As I pulled up to a stop with a carload of kids, waiting to turn onto the main road, I saw a woman struggling on the ground in obvious pain at the side of the road, surrounded by a few others. One was stretching a khanga (cloth) across on the roadside. But from where we sat, we watched one woman bend over the first and then incredulously realised what was happening as she suddenly lifted up a tiny baby! She wrapped the baby in a khanga and other women hovered over the new mother, setting her as gently as one could on the hard tarmac at this busy corner. With speeding motorbikes cutting the corner and a huge ditch right beside, this has to be one of the worst places to give birth, but what excitement to all see a new life begin! And it was all over just like that as we turned onto the main road! Wow!  
Anniversary selfie at Gold Crest!
This past week, we have enjoyed having Sue Fallon, manager of EIUK, here with us. She came to see how things are going, so we've had plenty of time to chat about what we are up to, how we are doing, go over our finances situation ... and play some games, make loom bands, climb to the Dancing Rocks and enjoy dinner out at Malaika (we will post some fun photos soon, but here is a sneak peak... )

She has been able to have a few visits with us to see what is happening on the farms with the agricultural projects, to meet with the BMCC women's group for a Bible Study, and meet with various key people we work with here.
So on Wednesday we were with Sue in Kisesa, (a village about 20km away), checking out the three or four "shamba's" (farms) of people we are working with. As you can see, the land is very dry now, but we are anticipating the rains and preparing for planting.
Potential for growth!

This pit is being painstakingly dug by hand to collect water in the rains.
Hot, hard work!

Treking along narrow dirt roads cut with thornbushes!

Surveying the land

This deep pit still has water, but I didn't want to attempt descending the slippery pit to collect it!

Making plans for planting
So with parasites in check and parcel procured, I am left only wondering what they named that little baby ... thinking it must be something like Barababa (road) or Haraka (fast, quickly)!


  1. Wow. Let's trust that the new birth is a sign of spiritual birth coming equally quickly in some very unusual places.


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