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

Monday, 22 September 2014

Students, Pastors, Farmers

It's hard to know just how to catch up on our blog! With many things happening and very bad internet, we seem to be many stories behind and we are now another visitor ahead with Sue Fallon visiting us from the UK. But here is a bit of a catch up!
We have had a great month with Tim's parents here. Amisadai and Louisa have blogged about some of what they got up to with Grandma and Grandad. Tim has started teaching weekly at the Bible College here in Mwanza and is enjoying his 19 students as they work through Missiology together.
Last week we were with Mama Minja and the children at Console Nursery School. I know many of you have visited or supported the work here and you will be so pleased to see how well the new building is coming along! They are almost ready to use the new classrooms which will make such a huge difference for these young children! And the plan is to also use the building for some income generating projects to support the school with a fully-paid and qualified teacher and provide more nutritious food for the children. Praise God for Mama Minja and the amazing work she is doing! 
The new building for Console Nursery
One of the new classrooms

Pastor's Conference
We had to wait a while to begin the Pastor's conference the other week. The electric meter had run out and no conference can proceed without PA! So we waited until someone had topped it up with some money in the slot and then we were powered and ready to go! The only problem was he can't have put enough in, as a few hours later everything fizzled and he had to pop out again to top it up! Needless to say, lunch was a little late later on! But the conference was great! Tim and his Dad taught over the two days and there was lots of good discussion and good questions from the various pastors there, all from different denominations.

Teaching at the Pastor's Seminar
The conference delegates

A good lunch!
Agricultural Training Seminar
Last week, we were excited to officially start the conservation agriculture project! This has been a lot of preparation work for Tim recently. We are working on this project with a group of three graduates from St Augustine University, Mwanza. These visionary young adults have formed an awareness group to focus on the need for agricultural education in this region. It seems crazy in an area which struggles agriculturally with bad soil conditions and unfavourable weather, but we hear that agricultural courses have been cut. So this group has taken it upon themselves to initiate change! They formed the awareness group, applied for and received land from the government on which to work and are now working with us to help train local farmers in conservation agricultural techniques.
So we invited eight subsistence farmers from three surrounding villages to work with us. We are going to work with them for a year, with the condition that they then teach  others all that they learn! So they came last week for two days of "classroom" teaching where we laid out the theological basis of what we are doing and outlined the practical steps we will be taking. Tim's Dad led the opening with the Word on Psalm 65. Peter and Esther (two from the awareness group) also helped with some of the teaching. Now the task for the farmers is to prepare their mulch and compost for the planting season coming up. But it will be a busy few weeks as because we had some early rains, the schedule has moved suddenly forward!
So it was a good two days in Nyakato - albeit very hot and long for Mum and Dad as it was all in Swahili under a tin roof!

Peter demonstrates how to space seeds when planting
with the use of a rope and scrap cloth markers

Esther teaching
And here are a few shots from our farewell picnic on the beach before Grandma and Grandad left us here last week on the shores of Lake Victoria!

A game of horseshoes
Leaping in the Sunset

 And finally ... anyone looking for a foam mattress?

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