Dear Supporters, Family and Friends,
Our visitors (short-term workers) have been very busy this week and eight precious souls were added to the kingdom! Your new sisters and brothers are: Adena, Alphayo, Allen, Lowden, Stanley, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Francis. (These last four young men are all students at the Kisongo Bible School. This school has been in existence less than a year and it is already bearing fruit, with the help of our guests). The total number of studies was 38 with 30 people. Thank you very much to Paul Richey, Lance Leavens, and Lindsey Whitehead for all they did in leading these souls to Christ. Thanks also to Neil Richey for teaching Romans and Galatians to the second-year class of the ACSOP. He is already scheduled to come back next year to teach another class. Paul left Friday night and the rest of the group leaves tonight. Please pray for their safe travel.
While Jimmy, Cy, Sean, and Elly were on their trip through southern TZ they had an opportunity to visit with the brethren at Chimala. Chad Wagner is the new administrator there and he has been having the typical "African Experience," getting broke in just right. Sorry, Chad, but we had to laugh when we read in your report back in June that you all were expecting the container in "just a few weeks." It was a "when donkey's fly" sort of laugh, knowing that nothing short of a miracle would allow you to receive your container "on time." They finally received their container at the beginning of September. In addition, they have had two fires in the school dorms. Please pray for him and his family and the huge responsibility he has undertaken there. We hope to see Chad at the Tanzania Leadership Conference in October as well as he and his family at Tanzania Christian Camp this December.
Tuesday, Lindsey Whitehead, some of the children, and Trina walked our neighborhood for about two and a half hours handing out tracts and visiting members of the church. We set up one Bible study and met some new people. This trip to Tanzania is Lindsey's second one and we hope it won't be her last. She has a bubbly personality, didn't complain about anything (although she was sick for a few days) and just fit right in.
Tuesday evening, Raul, the owner of Big Bites Indian Restaurant in Arusha, and his mother Sheila, joined us for supper. We really enjoyed our time and conversation and plan to invite them again for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Our daughter, Candace, turns 13 years old on Tuesday...bringing the total number of teenage girls in our home to four! When our girls were little, people would say, "oh, they are sweet now, but JUST WAIT until they are teenagers!" The time has come and we feel blessed beyond measure to have four wonderful older girls who are so trustworthy and capable, helping to run this household, cook, do laundry and help care for the younger children and teach Bible classes. On Friday, Candace's friends are coming over to celebrate and spend the night. Candace continues to babysit two young children at our house while their mother attends the Kisongo Bible School in the evening.
Congratulations to Mary and Miriam Martin (Elly Martins' daughters) who recently graduated from school and to Happiness Elibariki (daughter of Paulina) who graduates this coming Saturday! We've known Mary and Miriam for about 11 years now and Happiness for about 6 years. All three girls have a foundation in the Word, know English well, have had experience translating for English speakers and are already an asset to the church!
Yesterday, eight teenage girls enjoyed a devotional and picnic held right below our house. Lindsey Whitehead spoke on the importance of kindness...a much needed topic anywhere in the world! Their picnic consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate cake, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and sodas...in other words, enough sugar to throw a Tanzanian into a diabetic coma!
Lindsey (Gee) studied with Nice, Rehema and Grace yesterday (Nice and Rehema have returned but only temporarily, I believe...difficult to get the facts straight here sometimes).
Last week, we mentioned Hilda and her one-year-old son, Bless. Sadly, Bless tripped near the charcoal stove on the floor. His hand was badly burned when it landed in the hot oil on the little stove. When I was told about the accident the next day, I came to visit. His hand was extremely swollen, and the skin on the inside palm and wrist was peeled off. Because the local clinic did not clean it well, were not using the best burn cream and had not bandaged it, Bless and his mom were driven to the Tanzanian Christian Clinic in Monduli (operated by Danny and Nancy Smelser) for him to receive better treatment. Stephanie Stafford is going to continue the on-going care of changing the bandages at her home until his hand heals properly. In Tanzania, where most people place their "stove" on the floor or cook over an open fire, "burns" and "children" are almost synonymous. A simple wooden or metal table would have prevented this accident but Hilda doesn't own one.
WHATEVER IS MINE.. IS MINE AND WHATEVER IS YOURS IS MINE. This statement is said somewhat "tongue-in-cheek" but as you know, most humor contains a bit of truth...that's what makes it so funny! Please read the following without thinking we are "against" Tanzanian males (we love three of them dearly...our sons... and have respect and admiration for many here). With that in mind, allow us to share a little Tanzanian culture we observed. One of the women here (along with several others) received a pretty Bible cover for her participation in a ladies' seminar. The next Sunday, her sweet husband had HIS Bible in it and was using it. On more than one occasion, we have given ladies' shoes to women... only to see their husbands wearing them the next day! It doesn't matter if the husband has to cram his feet into them and the shoes are bulging at the seams...he's wearing them! At the market, Trina bought Naomi some new shoes. Shortly after arriving home and giving them to her, we noticed Elijah wearing them. Shaking our heads and smiling, our thoughts were, "typical Tanzanian male!" (To all the TZ men reading this: You know it is true! ha/ha)
While visiting last week, Paulina and Trina stopped at the home of Jaffey and Yomyake. Paulina directed her attention to Mary, their five-year-old. A small bone was poking up near her skinny little elbow. We learned that Mary broke her arm three months ago and they didn't have the money to get it set (and didn't want to ask anyone for money). Hopefully, with help from the missionaries, Mary will get her arm set properly.
As always we are grateful for all you do to make our stay here possible. May God bless you all for the sacrifices you make!
Jimmy, Trina, and the kids