December 16 report
APOLOGY AND EXCUSE: Please accept our apologies for not sending a report last week. An acquaintance came by after lunch last Sunday and stayed ...for FOUR hours.
THE FIRST ONE IS A DOOSIE: We are very thankful that Ben Thompson and the Rice Family (John, Denise and John-Tyler) came to conduct Tanzania Christian Camp. Not only was this trip to Tanzania the first one for Denise and John-Tyler, but it was Denise's first time to fly. They were re-routed due to a problem with the first plane (upon take-off, a problem was realized and they quickly landed). Barely squeezed onto the next flight and getting on at the last minute, they were forced to hold their carry-on luggage in their laps for the eight hour flight (no space was available in the over-head compartments). They literally "hit the ground running" in order to catch a couple of connecting flights. One of their layovers was spent in a cold basement of the airport in Dar Es Salaam with metal benches to sit/lay on without any food or water...for 7 hours. Then, they arrived without a single piece of their luggage (it arrived four days later). Can you imagine all of this happening on someone's first flight? Although Denise hasn't complained, we imagine her kissing the ground when she lands safely in the United States! Tanzania Christian Camp ended on Friday. However, the Rice Family will leave at 5 am tomorrow to travel ten hours on a bus to conduct another camp in Dar Es Salaam. Pray for their safe travel and measure of comfort. :)
TANZANIA CHRISTIAN CAMP (TCC): Eighty-four campers, plus the Tanzanian and American staff of directors, counselors and cooks enjoyed a great week of Bible study, singing, entertainment, crafts and soccer games. The best news is that 16 young people decided to put on Christ in baptism! A man and his mother (who own a local restaurant) attended services at TCC one evening at Jimmy's invitation.
"A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE" For the past 2 years, our master closet has been leaking after a rain. Each time we notified him, our nice landlord (who lives away) would send someone to repair the roof. Problem was that the repairman never once (to our knowledge) repaired it correctly. Still a puddle of water was on the floor after each rain. Finally, when we thought the ceiling would fall in, we asked him to send a different repairman. A couple of men came out and, after working two days (a half day each), we had a new ceiling, a repaired roof and could put everything back into the closet.
THERE IS A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING. We often think of this verse in Africa, especially when it comes to insects. Previously, crickets were everywhere in the house (in shoes, behind the couch, in the hamper etc). Now, Nairobi flies (the pupae) are everywhere mainly due to the heavy rains that fall in December. These tiny orange/red and black striped critters can really "pack a punch,” if they spray you. Our reading on the internet says they neither sting nor bite...but they can release a potent toxin that is highly irritating to the skin (more potent than cobra venom). The mark left by them resembles a burn (can be little or big). Probably no one here has escaped their fury. Recently Lindsey was "burned' in 3 different places on her lower legs (the Nairobi flies were probably in her boots).
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT...AND WAIT.... We rejoice with the Gaines family who spent the first night in their house last night and are driving their own car (arrived Thursday night). Now, the final "big" thing to wait on is their container with furniture and belongings. If living overseas doesn't teach you patience, then nothing ever will!
THE GOOD AND THE BAD: For the past several months, the mosquito net factory has been buying up the land around the ACSOP. The Kisongo church building is situated at the back of the property. This isn't an ideal place for it, but is serving as a temporary solution until the court case is resolved concerning the original land purchased. (Long story short, the person who sold the original property did not actually own the property...another family member did. The first guy "took the money and ran." Last word was that it didn't appear that the court case would be resolved in the churches' favor). Back to the subject, the mosquito net factory has put up fences and barriers making it impossible to get to the church building from the paved road. It's not such a problem, unless it rains (like every day this past week) because we can drive "over the hills and through the woods" on the small piece of land next to the school. When it rains, two very low spots fill up with water on this lot just daring anyone to drive through and get struck. So, we parked at the school building and walked through the swamp to church. While there are times like these when we long for the paved parking lots of America, there are still many things we like about Africa. There are also many nice places (restaurants and hotels) here due to Arusha being the hub of tourism in East Africa.
Today, Jimmy taught the Bible class at Kisongo, John Rice preached and we all ate a spaghetti lunch at our house. Thank you for your concern, interest and prayers. Seventeen souls made their lives right with God this week. Without people like you, it would not have happened.
With Love from Africa,
The Jimmy Gee family
December 23 report
Greetings from Kisongo, Tanzania (East Africa)! One of the young men is Lazaro who was involved in teaching a friend at Tanzania Christian Camp last week. Selected as Mr. TCC, he was often seen studying.
In addition, two others (not associated with the camp) were baptized during that week. The Rice Family is scheduled to leave at midnight tomorrow after completing a camp at Dar Es Salaam where another 15 were baptized (must be the magic number this year). The Future Preacher's Camp has also come to a close with one person putting on Christ in baptism!
Jimmy taught the Bible class and preached this morning. Happiness Elibariki invited Salome and Rahabu, students from nearby St. Joseph University, to worship with us this morning. After services, they agreed to study the Bible with Abigail tomorrow.
We hope you have enjoyed the pictures and that you know a little more about Tanzania Christian Camp. Our thanks to John Rice and Ben Thompson for bringing "camp" to Tanzania several years ago.
Happy Birthday to our wonderful daughter-in-law, Lauren, who turned 22 on the 13th. Also, Jimmy's father, J.W., turned another year older on the 20th. We love and appreciate them!
We regret that one of our largest contributors ($333/month) found it necessary to end their support this year. We appreciate their faithfulness and all the good they have helped to accomplish through the TZ 2000 Mission Work. If anyone can help to make up that monthly difference we would be grateful.
May the Lord bless you richly as you serve Him where you are. We wish you the happiest of holidays, spent with your family and friends! Thank you for ALL you have done for us...all the prayers, cards, financial support and every kindness since we have been serving overseas. Our heart-felt gratitude is also extended towards you for your genuine love and concern for the souls in Tanzania. Because of you, it was a great year for the Lord's church in Tanzania!
From Our Home to Yours,
The Jimmy Gee family
If you would like to see the Gee report with pictures, please click here.