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

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The In-Between Time

I realised it has been a long (really long!) time since I have written on this blog. For the past few months, it has been a strange "in-between" sort of time of waiting. And so I keep waiting to post on the blog. Waiting for when we might have some actual news. Waiting for results. Waiting for when all my unsettled thoughts miraculously flow into interesting and meditative prose! But the moment doesn't come, so I'll carry on regardless.

Our family has now been living apart for 10 weeks which does feel like a very long time! Something is clearly not quite right with Amisadai and we wait to get to the bottom of it! She has had good days and bad days. Although she is good at putting on a brave face and carrying on, this week she has spent more time in bed in quite a lot of pain. On April 27th, she is going to Southampton Hospital for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. We really pray that this will give us some (quick!) answers for the way forward. We realise that most likely we are unfortunately not going to be able to go home now for quite a while. Tim and Louisa will plan to join us as we hopefully go to Canada mid-June and then have some more time together here in the UK in August before returning to Tanzania.

But we are not twiddling our thumbs while waiting and Grandma has been looking after us very well! Amisadai has been working to keep up with schoolwork at home. I have been able to get on with admin-type things, research and think about more creative things and start a proposal for project funding. And we've been able to meet up with many friends, including a visit last week to Julian and Zoe's ...

Allecott Farm

We had a great time on the Willford's farm in Exmoor National Park. Amisadai did well health-wise most of the time and was thrilled with the opportunity to get involved with the lambing and spent most of her week in the lambing shed or pairing up ewes and lambs in the fields.

Amisadai after "pairing up" the sheep on the quad with Will

Delivering lambs
Meanwhile I had the opportunity to go with Julian to a good number of his beehives and learn how beekeeping is done in this country. No crazy bee tales this time! Julian and I went to the National Bee Convention where I was able to meet the guys from Bees Abroad who support Julian to come and help us with the beekeeping groups. It was great to network with various people throughout the day, see all that is "out there" and attend a workshop on top-bars!
Julian's Honey Shed

Out to the hives in the Land Rover

The finished product in stock on the local shelves!
We had an afternoon at Quince Honey Farm, where if you are in the area (South Molton, Devon), is well worth a visit to learn all about bees! There I enjoyed afternoon tea (a cup of Earl Grey with delicious Honeycomb on a Teacake) and we met Paddy and Ian, the beekeepers who run the centre and also support Bees Abroad.

On our final evening, we had a fantastic barbeque with Dave (who also came out to Tanzania to help with the beekeeping) and Mary and were introduced to their rather adorable donkeys!

All in all, it was just wonderful to have the time living and learning with Julian and Zoe. We enjoyed walks with the dogs on the hills and drives across the moors. I went to a crafting coffee morning with Zoe's friends as they spun their own wool and her friend, Bev helped me hugely with ideas for the mamas group soap-making (with help from her goats, she has made her own goats milk soaps).

If you would like to stay in this beautiful spot, check out their website here, as the Willfords run two lovely holiday cottages on the farm ... very appropriately named "Honey Cott" and "The Bees Knees."

Allercott Farm nestled in the hills in the centre of the photo
The Exmoor Ponies
I am writing this blog on Easter Saturday. The in-between day. The quiet day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday where nothing seems to happen. For Jesus' disciples, it must have seemed like such a long day. Afraid, tired, grieving. Waiting confused. They didn't realise a new day was dawning. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, the third day which is actually the first day, is the day we have all been waiting for. Risen. Life. A New Beginning. This is the Hope we now have. Easter teaches us to be patient during the in-between times. Even when we wait in deep grieving, despair, confusion or simply frustration, we know that He is alive. That all our waiting will be over with the dawn on Sunday.

Happy Easter!


  1. Sending best wishes for you all and hoping you can get to the bottom of what's affecting Amasidai. The honey farm sounds fantastic.

    1. Thanks very much, Emily! And yes... it was fantastic!

  2. Hello Rachel ,How good to catch up with your news and to hear about your time with Julian & Zoe during lambing time on the farm. Really sad that we missed you at the BBKA Convention . Maybe our paths will cross again as they did in Arusha Apimondia. Will be remembering you in our thoughts and prayers Be Blessed John & Mary

    1. Thank you, John and Mary! Yes, I was hoping to see you at the convention and sorry to miss you both!


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