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

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Back in Bunda

It has been over 6 months since that night we spent in Bunda after the car accident. ("Even When I Walk ...") But this weekend we were back. Back with the wonderful Archer family who took us in and helped us so much when we found ourselves in that dark valley. We are so grateful to this lovely family for all they have done for us; with their kind hospitality and loans of large sums of money (twice) as well as their prayer, help and support, they have been such a blessing to us! It was strange how much we felt we knew them going to visit this weekend, considering the incredibly short time we had with them months ago. And it was great to be together in happy and relaxed circumstances! This week is Sam's birthday and we were so glad to be able to let her and Matt escape for an overnight treat away by themselves for the first time in years! The kids had so much fun playing together over the weekend; we had seven children between the ages of 2-11! So rather more noise and food consumption than we're used to, but good fun!
Up Bunda Mountain with 5/7
(no, we didn't lose two ... this was before Matt and Sam left and so 2 stayed at the bottom with Sam!

Bunda Mountain from below

Out for a walk
And the really great news is that after all this time, finally we have Tim's driving license back! As time went on after the accident, we exchanged the occasional text with one of the friendly police officers. In a recent phone call with the police officer, Tim requested if it were possible for the license to be returned. Kind Sam Archer went to fetch it from the police station for us before we arrived! This is such a great answer to prayer. And it is amazing that Tim has not even been asked once by the police to see his license since April! We still wait to hear when the case will go to court and continue to pray that this would be cleared and closed soon.
Tim gets his license back!
While we were with the Archers, we were thrilled to see the work they are doing with young boys in Bunda, through the Boys Brigade. They gave us a tour of the vocational school they are working to establish. Matt is doing an amazing job training them in carpentry skills; their workshop was so inspiring! They pour so much into these boys, who all come from village backgrounds and have not been able to go to secondary school. Seeing these boys so proud of their uniforms, their English skills and especially their carpentry work is wonderful!

The carpentry workshop
Matt's class

The  classroom and dormitory, made to a high standard
The picture above shows the beautiful woodwork coming from the rough timber with the shavings fallen to the ground. The boys are learning the skills of the Carpenter. And they start with a cross. They learn to plane and joint.  They see something beautiful appear as parts are joined and bits are stripped away.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me." We remembered again this Psalm and the word of encouragement it was for us those months ago as a young man lost his life. We are not in that shadow now, but we remember and pray for the family of that young man who must stay in a far deeper valley for much longer. And we are so aware of others who are also in the valley of the shadow of death. A classmate of mine recently died. Other friends last week lost their son, Steve, a young husband and father, after his brave battle with leukemia. And tragically and sadly last night, the seven year old son of Robert (one of the farmers whose field we planted a few weeks ago) died. The young boy, Joseph, suddenly became ill just yesterday afternoon around 2pm, complaining of a very bad headache. His little life was over that same night. Late this afternoon, we went to grieve with the many family and friends at his house. Robert’s wife, Elizabeti, was so gracious and hospitable to us in her grief. Her courageous smile for us was beautiful despite so much stripped away and no answers as to why.

Truly we know His comfort is there to reach those walking through the valleys. And truly we can say the Lord is our Shepherd. And we are thankful.

4 comments:

  1. I am Samantha's mother and I thank you for the delight you brought me when I heard that you had so wonderfully gave them a night away together. I am so grateful to you for this lovely gift! I do enjoy reading
    your Blog and pray for your work in Mwanza! With Love in His Service Kay

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    1. Thanks, Kay! You have a lovely family :)

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  2. God bless you, Mongers. Thank you for these precious blogs. -austin

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    1. Thank you, Austin! We miss your blogs :)

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