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

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Donkey Shot Draws Spade Attack

I don't tend to take risky or inflammatory photographs. But this week, as I took what I thought was an innocent donkey picture, I had no idea of the perils to follow! I remember once trying to get a photo of a nesting Japanese crane and running from her in terror as she chased me and Tim's dad! And I remember once leaning precariously over the edge of a waterfall to get a good angle. But donkeys?

Tim, Peter and I were coming back from Kayenze in our landcruiser on Wednesday. You remember the road! We came upon quite a number of donkeys, all heavily laden with sacks of sand. I thought it made an interesting photo, particularly to show Amisadai who loves donkeys! Tim, who was driving, slowed a little as I aimed through the window. But the donkey herders (not young boys this time) saw the camera and started shouting and waving their fists. Tim reacted quickly, accelerating on the bumpy dirt road, which was a very good thing. One of the men had just hurled his large spade at our car... which thankfully missed! In the panic of the moment, we missed our turn off, but neither of us thought it a good idea to turn around and go back at that point! So we just continued on. Here is the disappointing, un-brilliant, and rather boring photo of the donkey bottoms. The men were not even in the shot, ... although that would have made an interesting shot with fists raised and a spade approaching in the foreground!

The Donkey Shot
We had gone to Kayenze for a meeting with the village leaders and local church leaders to talk about the upcoming agricultural project. We were really pleased with how well it went; the meeting was promptly on time and 13 of the 15 people expected were there! All there were very interested and receptive, and we all enjoyed chai and chappatis afterwards. Word about the fuel-efficient stoves is spreading, and they were keen that we demonstrate them soon and do some stoves work there as well! Tim returns with Peter and Esther on Tuesday for three days in the village doing the agriculture training seminar with local farmers. We are very thankful for Pastor Amon who has been so instrumental and helpful! Planting is expected to start soon (sooner than we thought!) so preparations will get quickly underway after the training. 

The Kayenze Meeting
The following day, we had Dr. Makori round for a meal and it was so good to catch up with him properly after being away. We were keen to hear how the health work on the islands is going. Do please pray for this work. There is much to do and so much potential but it is not an easy work.

The daily electricity cuts continue to teach us patience and perseverance! Seeing it as an encouragement to be creative and imaginative and accept a challenge keeps us on our toes. With friends this week, we had imaginary pineapple-upside-down cake for dessert... one had to turn the pineapple over and imagine the cake part! I confess I felt I had lost to the challenge as it is completely possible to cook this on a fire, but after all the main dishes were cooked, I felt upside-down pineapple would suffice!

Today was the first day of agricultural training at the Church Planting School. Things didn't quite go according to plan, but Tim did well! We were all planning to go, but Amisadai went to bed yesterday in a lot of pain with her ear and when we rose early to leave this morning, she was feeling much worse. So Louisa and I stayed to keep her home in bed. The previous day we discovered that Peter had been sick for some days and would not be well enough to go and teach. So we had been trying to get hold of Esther to take on some of his teaching segments. Tim was unable to get through to her phone - even as he waited at the agreed pick-up point in town. Tim went on without her, and later finally made contact to discover that her mother was very sick and she couldn't make it either. So poor Tim was there on his own with his prepared teaching as well as Peter and Esther's which he hadn't prepared for at all! But he managed and the thirty or so students were very interested and keen to learn more. They grasped the importance of what we are trying to do: taking responsibility (without excuses) for the land and working through churches to serve the local communities...

Pushing through the obstacles, the seminar continues next week and then planting will begin with the ever-present hope of the harvest!
Training begins at Kisesa

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