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

Thursday, 28 January 2016

What's Going Right

Many times over the past few weeks, maybe months, we have felt discouraged. Many times tired. Many times frustrated. We seem to have been pedalling (or should I say mopping!) hard for a long time without stopping and it often feels like we are not getting anywhere! We seem to be jumping numerous hurdles in the house, outside the house, in the car and with our health and I've found it overwhelming at times. Realising I'd forgotten to prepare our guards breakfast and lunch, losing homework and school socks, fumbling around in the dark, falling in a wet trench and running out of cooking gas in the middle of baking a pie, sometimes with so many things going wrong, I could no longer think of anything that was going "right." So it has been good to start thinking together as a family at the end of a day of all the things that have "gone right"... and not all the things that have "gone wrong!" A good exercise in making that decision to choose joy even when it's not so easy! On the day of writing this, we are thankful that the bedding sheets have dried, that the power has stayed on all day, that the light came on in the kitchen, that we were finally able to talk on Skype to Tim's dad battling cancer, and also Louisa has been given the all clear on parasites in her intestine!

In line with that, here are a few photos from this week, which remind me of good things to be thankful for ...

Children with albinism at Lakeview School
It was great to be back at Lakeview School at the end of last week with Samuel and Megan, who did some stories, crafts and games with the children there! I am thankful for these kids with albinism and their lives which are being transformed!

And I am thankful we were able to get safely to the school and back home again! After all the heavy rains, the roads continue to be really awful! On the way home, we proceeded through a large puddle... and got well and truly stuck in mud, surprisingly deep. I climbed out the back of the Land Cruiser, jumping into the deep water and waded round to the front right wheel which was submerged almost completely in mud. Up over my knees, and well over my wellies, I groped under the water in the mud for the 4WD hub on the wheel to turn the lever clockwise. I managed to turn it and then tried to get around to the other front wheel. But I was well stuck in the mud.

With my boots full of water and now sunken in thick mud, I couldn't move! Tim grabbed my hand through the window and pulled! It was a job to get myself through the mud to the other side and definitely drew the amused attention of bystanders from the village! With four wheel drive eventually in action, Tim was able to reverse out of the pickle and get around to the other side! But wet and muddy as I was, I was relegated to sit and bump on the spare tire in the back of the Land Cruiser the rest of the way home!

Children from Mama Minja's Console Nursery enjoying games with Megan and Samuel
I am thankful for Mama Minja and her servant heart in action for the young children at Console Nursery School! She is currently struggling both at her home and the school with the heavy rains and flooding. As I drove Samuel and Megan to the school on Friday, it was another case of getting well stuck in the mud. I hopped out the drivers door into the large puddle and waded through the mud to the front wheels to turn the 4WD hub... yep... familiar story! We got out of the mud, but it was a dodgey road on! And when we arrived we were so sorry to see the trouble Mama Minja was having with squatters from the area digging channels in the road creating havoc for their home. There is just so much water. Mama Minja was telling me about one of the children who has lost their home to the floods, and it's not an isolated story. But through it all, Mama Minja is persevering and changing the lives of these precious, vulnerable children!
Roping Megan and Samuel into some hive activity!
I am thankful for our bees! With two hives busy with bees, while Samuel and Megan were with us, we baited a third hive with honey... yes, a sticky job! And then when night fell, by which time the hive was covered with bees, we helped Joseph to hang it with ropes in a mango tree at the bottom of the garden. I'm thankful for a harvest of honey to come and two bee projects about to start next week!

The Upendo wa Mama Group
Mama Penina holds the new official certificate!
Last, but not least, I am so thankful for these women in the Upendo wa Mama group! On Saturday morning we celebrated getting their "Certificate of Recognition as a Community-based Organization" from Mwanza City Council! With this they have opened their own bank account (no small feat!), which is now up and running! This is an awesome step forward for these women! We had a great morning together as Megan taught us how to make a new card design and shared Scottish shortbread and Thornton's fudge with us all!

Making cards


  1. Wonderful post. You have a lovely blog. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)


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