Insects In Season And Out Of Season...

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders."  Psalm 9:1

Tanzanian insects are so amazing and spectacular! We have never seen such intriguing and wonderfully camouflaged creatures as found in Africa. This grasshopper's coloring and texture looks just like the bark of a TZ tree. What a Creator we have! 

The Ants Go Marching one by one... Obviously this is the season for large black ants. It seems there are more Tanzanian "insect seasons" than in the States. Others that come in "season" are the Nairobi Fly, flying termites, normal flies, hard shell bugs, and crickets.

The spot-light shines on Neema Martin.  Her TZ name would be Neema Elly (plus maybe another name) because wives take the husband's first name as their surname (but we Americanized her last name!). Many of you know her husband, Elly Martin (recently pictured in the report). Former TZ missionary, Ben Thompson, said something similar to this: "a missionary on the team can be replaced but if something happened to Elly the TZ 2000 Mission Work would be in dire straits."  "Behind (beside) every good man stands a good woman" is particularly true of Neema, our long-time friend (from 2001). Sporting a positive, sweet and helpful attitude, she is a tremendous support to her husband and the mission. While much more could be said, suffice it to say that she has helped all the missionary ladies through the years (especially Trina during our first year). Neema is an experienced translator for Ladies classes, seminars and personal Bible studies. "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future." Proverbs 31:25.

ACSOP: Beginning Monday, Gage Coldwater (Orange, Texas) will be teaching a two-week course on raising rabbits and tilapia (fish). This class should be very beneficial to the preaching students, helping them to feed their families and become self-sufficient (providing support for them after graduation). After attending this class, Lindsey plans to raise both at home. Also, on Monday, Jimmy will begin teaching a Master's class  (Humanism, Cults and Ethics).  

Ways in Which Our Life May Be Different from Yours: 
*We dig through piles of used clothing at the market (although occasionally we find new). Many vendors (especially men) raise the price tremendously because of our skin color. We go back and forth bargaining for a lower price. Finding good quality shoes is also very difficult.

*A jar of mayonnaise costs $4, a jar of peanut butter (16 oz) is $8, pancake syrup (24 oz) is $6 and a large block of cheese (5 lbs)... $30.    

*The cost of medical care and medicines is MUCH cheaper than the U.S. Doctor consultation costs are $10-15 per visit and a bottle of antibiotic costs $4 or less (and the medicine is of good quality). Although we pay for medical insurance in the states (for the sake of emergencies or major illnesses), we don't get the benefit of it over here. 

Furlough: Are you tired of seeing that word? We apologize, but please continue reading. Any missionary will agree that the least-liked aspect of the job is "fund-raising" ("the necessary evil"). Funds for reporting furloughs are NOT normally raised during the initial fund-raising required for going into the field.

Being a missionary or supporting one is a joint-endeavor of faith: The missionary family is to be committed to fulfill their duties, trusting that others will deem them worthy of financial support. Due to the high cost, we do not even entertain the thought of a yearly furlough (normal for missionaries). A large family in the field may mean several evangelists are working... that's at least four for the Gee family! Going into our 8th year in Tanzania, our family has taken two previous furloughs. 

Good News! Our supporting congregation (East Side, Cleveland, TN) is sending $1000 for the furlough fund. Many of you have been very sacrificial and generous as participants in this great work! Words fail us and saying "thank you" doesn't seem to be enough. If you or your congregation has contributed, please accept our heart-felt gratitude! In KiSwahili, we would say, "Asante sana!" 

The airline tickets should be purchased soon to "lock-in our departure date" {plain English: to purchase 11 seats to leave in time for Lindsey and Abigail's graduation reception, Todd's college graduation, Jimmy's graduation and Todd and Lauren's wedding OR in East Tennessee Hillbilly slang: we need to get a heap of them there seats, faster than a dog can tree a squirrel, to go to all the shin-digs and wing-dings and see the rest of our clan.} However, the majority of the furlough will be spent traveling and reporting to numerous congregations.  

An idea to consider: 
*Each person reading this could ask their congregation to have a special contribution and request each individual to simply give $1

*Then, if several people (from each congregation) could ask a friend or relative (attending a different congregation) to request their members to do the same (each individual to donate $1) the funds would come easy. The congregation could just send a check for the total money collected to:  

East Side Church of Christ
P.O. Box 1434
Cleveland, TN  37364-1434 

*On the outside of the envelope: GEE'S FURLOUGH FUND 

We hope it was not too bold of us to suggest this seemed like a good way to raise the remaining $13,000 without it being a burden to any one person/congregation. 

Would you go to "bat for us" and initiate this plan at your congregation? We have faith that everyone will work together so the funds will come in quickly (2-3 weeks would be great) and our minds can be at ease. Thank you for reading this lengthy update. Please remember us in your prayers as we will remember you. We appreciate each one of you and are looking forward to seeing you this summer. 

With Love from Africa,
The Jimmy Gee family

Posted on January 27, 2013 .