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

Monday, 28 January 2019

Our Girls: Growing up Fast in Tanzania

This weekend I thought yet again how incredibly thankful I am that our girls are growing up here in Tanzania! The experiences and adventures they have had exploring cultures and languages; the opportunities to learn to be flexible, to deal with difficulties, to try new things, to make so many interesting and wonderful friends; the way they have been able to work out their own faith and build their own relationship with God. I really couldn’t be more thankful!

We blog about a lot of things and a lot of project news. And although the blog might not always show it, the fact is that Amisadai and Louisa are always so much part of everything we do! They share our heart for the work here. They delight in all the guests that come to our home. They love people and love helping. They have often given up their own personal desires to do some of the things we do. But they have gained so very much! And really, they just simply love living here in Tanzania! 
Playing about by the Lake
It is a wonderful thing watching them grow up here and I just wanted to share a little of what they have been up to this weekend! 


Yesterday morning we left bright and early to catch the ferry to get to the church in Nyamililo. We always love being with these lovely and lively people! We had chai (hot and milky lemongrass tea with chapatis) when we arrived. It was great to be back with Pastor Tito and his wife … but it did all mean we were a little late into the meeting!

Now Louisa is a particular favourite of Pastor Tito, who has a very soft spot for her! Last time we were with the church, he put Louisa on the spot asking her to preach! She agreed with him to preach the next time we came. And so yesterday, she went prepared! While she has been up at the front and said a few words to many, many churches over the years, this was her first time to actually bring the Word of God! And this of course, in Swahili too. She was nervous, but quickly got into her stride as she preached on the church as God's ‘chosen people'. The congregation was with her in true African fashion with "Amens" called out throughout! You can listen to a little clip of the beginning and the end of her sermon here! Pastor Tito was so happy to have Louisa in his pulpit and called her Mchungaji (Pastor) Louisa after that. Tim followed on from his daughter and then there was much singing and dancing! The whole service was 3 ½ hours!

After the service, many from the church came back for lunch at the Pastors' home. We had some time with Phoebe, the pastors’ daughter, with her growing son, Elisha. It was 3pm before we started the journey home … and with the long wait at the ferry, we didn’t get home until 6:30pm. It was a long and very hot day. But oh so thankful for it!

On a side note … we are well into the conservation agriculture project with the Nyamililo church now! It was good to see how their demonstration plot is coming along this year … even with the drought. 
Maize intercropped with soya and the pigeon peas flourishing behind
Here you can see how poor this neighbouring shamba is,
with the Church and its green flourishing plot beyond it


And now for Amisadai! She too has been putting her language skills to good use! She has been teaching a weekly English class to the women in the Upendo wa Mama Group (all Swahili-speaking). And they are just loving it! She started back in October, helping Tim’s mum teach the first class. And she has carried on and is doing such a super job! She has the women in several groups on Saturday mornings and is coming to them where they are at and working forward with them! She had felt a little frustrated and discouraged, but on Saturday, it was amazing to watch them all set up a “sale table” of products and interact in English with greetings and sales talk! Lots of laughter! One woman can’t read or write, but Amisadai is writing out notes from each lesson that she can take home and work through with her child at home! It is so wonderfully encouraging to see the confidence building, the skills growing and the especially all the joy they are sharing in it!
Starting with Grandma back in October!

Practicing the "sales" in English
The women in the group all secretly planned together to get a gift to express their thanks to us all as a family. Last week ,they came to our house laden with so many beautiful khangas. They are colourful cloths (which everyone here wears and uses for everything!), printed with wise proverbs. They had khangas for me and both girls and a monetary gift for Tim. With a card they had made and written with such love, it was just a beautiful expression of thanks to us all as a family. Which is just simply what this is all about. We are working here together as a family. We are learning and serving together. It was a word we believed from the beginning, that we would be a family amongst families and it has been our prayer to be on a mission as a family together! And we certainly couldn't do it without Amisadai and Lousia!

I feel I must make the absolute most of it now before these gorgeous girls grow up and go!


  1. Hi this has reduced me to tears I am in awe of you all especially the girls I couldn't understand what louisa was saying but it must have been good because it touched my spirit and made me cry so much love to you all �� �� �� ��

    1. Rachel, now you made me cry! Love to you both! Praying fro your quick recovery.

  2. Oh that is so beautiful. Tell Louisa that she is so much bravery then I feel when asked to preach. What an example of leadership. And teaching English....maybe she can give me Swahili lesson! :) So love your family and all the work. Glad the mommas took time to remind you all of their love. I see it on their faces, but there is a lot of sacrifice and I am glad they have taken time to notice that too. Can't wait to hug you soonish!

  3. Excited to see Louisa preaching and she can speak Swahili very well, I do remember when i met her parents when they came to Tanzania for first time. Louise was too young. Have very nice life and be good girl Louise always. I like that


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