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

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dad and Daughter Time: Island Community Work

Louisa and I (Tim) were up early last Friday morning and walked down to catch the daladala (local bus) so as to make the ferry to Ukerewe Island on time as foot passengers (we’ve learned our lesson not to take the car ... see here!). We had been looking forward to this time (Louisa had special permission from her teacher to miss a day of school) and part of the excitement is the ferry trip. We booked ourselves and Joel Newby into the top cabin, splashing out with the extra 2000tsh (72p) each. And so we were ready for 3+ hour ferry trip and only 20 minutes past the scheduled departure time, we were off.

We settled into our “deluxe” seats, and Louisa tucked into a second breakfast of sweet tea and chappatis. Once she was finished she went outside and Joel and I continued chatting. After a while it occurred to me I should check on Louisa. But where was she? Nowhere to be seen! Had she fallen over board? I went up to the Bridge and asked if they’d seen her. “Oh yes, she’s up top!” Eventually I spotted her, happily playing on the top level, having climbed past the no admittance sign...
We reached Ukerewe in good time and docked at Nansio. And we were ready for work. We had been invited some time ago by the churches there to help them with entrepreneurship in the community. Since then a couple of things had come together to make this possible. My Dad’s company, the Isle of Wight County Press, had kindly donated some money for this project in his memory. Secondly, we have been joined by our new missionary, Joel who has business training. So our purpose was to introduce Joel to the leaders there so he could make preparations with them to begin a project that could impact the local community.

On the Friday and Saturday we visited different parts of the Island to view possible sites for new businesses and we held meetings with church leaders, dealing with plans, goals and expectations, as well as hearing their thoughts on potential opportunities.
Louisa as scribe for Joel as leaders rate their strengths in different areas
Meeting Pastor Ibrahim and family at his church
Their initial ideas for businesses ranged from chicken, goat and pig-rearing (they already have a small goat project), to providing a village community with cheaper water, to operating a machine to mill rice and maize, to even running a ferry to a neighbouring smaller island. We’ll see how many of these Joel will be able to help get going!

And remembering World Water Day today, here are a number of photos taken as we looked at and thought about getting clean water to communities ...
Pastor Ibrahim's church have already dug a well

Potential site for a community water project

Louisa pulling hard to draw water from the church's well
On Sunday we were privileged to go to Nansio Revival Centre, joining the church for worship. Joel preached superbly on Lydia, the Godly Entrepreneur (Acts 16:12-15). They were so delighted to have some support, and are expectant that those living in difficult circumstances can be helped to start businesses which also will in turn bless their local communities. 

As Louisa assessed the weekend, "it was a lot of fun!" I think part of the fun for her was being able to use different forms of transport across the island, but don’t tell her mum!

There’s a long way to go for this project – please pray for Joel as he makes another visit shortly and continues to make preparations – but as Louisa and I walked back up the hill to our home, with our shoulders aching from carrying our backpacks, we were very thankful for a productive and enjoyable trip!
Fish and chips!

Time to relax!