QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place..." Job 38:12
Dear Family, Friends and Supporters:
AND SHE WENT ON HER WAY REJOICING. Last Sunday completed Jimmy's month of preaching and teaching in White Rose. The church is continuing to meet in the house of Baraka and Angel who are grateful to have the church established in their neighborhood (both are crippled making it very difficult to either walk or travel on a bus to Arusha for worship). Baraka must walk with two metal canes. Angel is better off but still must walk slow. The parents of two young girls, this friendly couple have smiles that will light up a room. Selina asked Jimmy during Bible class, "How do I tell which is the true church? All churches say, 'Come here, come here'." Several had studied with her previously and, after baptism, she was one happy (but very cold) lady. A great way to start off the week!
TANZANIANS must exhibit an extra amount of faith when being baptized. The water is very cold and many believe it will cause sickness (thinking that even drinking cold beverages causes harm). Since dark-skinned people are normally cooler-natured than white-skinned folks, it is an ordeal for Tanzanians to sit in the freezing water while the baptizer explains the procedure (the baptistery is shaped like a large bathtub with much shorter sides than a U.S. baptistery). Most Tanzanians have never been immersed in water (majority have no in-door plumbing /no bathtubs) and most have never swam, making immersion a frightening thing. Many are unsure how to hold their nose and mouth closed at the same time (and many TZ baptizers need a refresher course on preparing the baptizee). Nose plugs are on the list of things to bring back from the states. Speaking of...
"MAJI BARIDI"... ("cold water" in Kiswahili) is what the ACSOP students are calling Gage Coldwater (including a "Mr." or "brother" with it). Gage, a Gospel preacher, works with the Manna Project (a missionary work under the oversight of the Vidor, TX church of Christ in conjunction with the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver, CO). Gage is teaching a two-week course on raising rabbits and tilapia (fish) together (teaching integration because the rabbit droppings are fed to the fish and also used to fertilize the water). Among other things taught to the 20+ students was the perfect rabbit diet, what foods NOT to feed a rabbit, the best adapted methods for rabbit cages in Africa, how to butcher a rabbit (students ate rabbit for supper one night), rabbit diseases and ways to diagnose, how to construct the best tilapia pond system, good gardening techniques (compost, mulch, bone meal) how to make salt-licks, the financial aspects of profit and expenses along with the amount of meat produced by one doe annually (120 lbs…a conservative figure)… and an enormous amount of information concerning the animal and human health benefits/uses of the Moringa Tree (found all over Tanzania). Graduate student, Gerald Chucuba, was very familiar with the tree and said, “they’re everywhere…we just didn’t know their benefits!”
LINDSEY SAID the class was very exciting and motivating and she loved the hands-on experience (although squeamish about the butchering). Planning on raising rabbits and tilapia when we return from furlough, Lindsey says,”I've learned so many new things that I want to implement and teach others!” Since the school purchased rabbits and tilapia for this course, this farm project has already begun at ACSOP. When put into practice, this “information-packed” class will be extremely beneficial to the students and their families, obviously helping the church grow in East Africa (giving new preachers the opportunity to support themselves while preaching)! Thank you, Gage, for all your time and effort!
TO LEARN MORE visit his very interesting blog at: mannafarm.blogspot.com. Unfortunately, Gage (highly allergic) was stung Wednesday three times by a wasp(s) while near the school building. After taking high doses of Benadryl, he was still experiencing pain and swelling the next day (he went to the doctor but also ran errands in town for his class).
REDEEMING THE TIME. While in the Houston airport, Gage struck up a conversation with a Catholic gentleman from Chad (African country). After explaining why he (Gage) was traveling to Tanzania, he told the interested man, “none of this will help you if you go to hell.” After Gage showed him a verse, the man replied, "Oh, no." After further Bible study, they exchanged email addresses. Imagine Gage’s surprise when he emailed saying he was looking for someone in Chad to baptize him and looking for a congregation to worship with!
AT KISONGO LAST SUNDAY, Trina continued teaching the ladies about Genesis (chapter 34, the revenge taken by Dinah’s two brothers) and Abigail taught the children about Moses bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Seven visitors introduced themselves when asked to during announcements. It’s puzzling that sometimes during a closing prayer someone will ask God to “please guide the ones on their way so they can reach worship safely.”
AT KISONGO TODAY... Again, Trina taught the ladies and Abigail taught the children. Chad Wagner preached an excellent sermon on the Beatitudes! Chad, Administrator for the Chimala Mission in Chimala, TZ, and his family made the long 16-hour trip to Kisongo. While Chad is teaching "Romans" at the ACSOP, we will enjoy spending time Rena, Anna, Laura, Micah, Chandra and Jonah.
IF YOU’VE BEEN TO BACKWOODS CHRISTIAN CAMP (BCC) you've heard the song "Magdalena Hagdalena." When John Rice (BCC director) conducts the camp here (Tanzania Christian Camp) he sings this silly song during skit night (while someone translates the words to Tanzanians). Our friend, Happiness, told us something funny. The song begins with, "Magdalena Hagdalena oga boga toga boga, oga boga toga was her name." In Kiswahili, "oga" is bathe, "boga" is pumpkin and toga doesn't mean anything. So Tanzanians are hearing "bathe pumpkin," "bathe pumpkin" "bathe pumpkin" is her name!
SPEAKING OF HUMOROUS MISUNDERSTANDINGS: Years ago, we provided coffee for our guard to help him stay awake at night (until we learned hot tea was preferred). We didn't know the word for "coffee" (kahawa) so in English we said "Would you like more coffee?" No wonder we got some strange looks...the guard was hearing "kofi" which is "slap" in Kiswahili. He probably wondered what he had done for us to mention the word "slap!”
IT’S A WHOPPER! Previously funds were requested to buy a large generator for the ACSOP to provide power to the offices, student and guest rooms and kitchen during power outages (sometimes lasting several days). The donations were very much appreciated (half the money being donated by one person)! Since there is “no hurry in Africa" the tax exemption took almost a year to receive. After many attempts to get the government to give us the exemption check, the school had to pay the taxes anyway! Please accept our "whopper-size" THANK YOU for the "whopper-size" generator.
WAYS IN WHICH OUR LIFE MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM YOURS:
*Up until about 3 weeks ago, there were only two traffic lights in Arusha (at other major intersections round-abouts are used or a "keep-lefty" as local people say). Two additional traffic lights were recently installed at congested intersections (without a round-about). These lights are very helpful and work great...when everyone follows the rules. While we were stopped at one of the new traffic lights, a motorcycle, a dala-dala and car whizzed right past us and on through the red light (so much for law and order)! Even at the other traffic lights, many times a policeman is needed to enforce the rules. (If a policeman has to be there, what use is the traffic light?) We personally prefer the round-abouts and think they are much safer (although in rush hour the one-lane becomes two lanes going around).
*We are somewhat isolated and don't know all the latest American crazes/trends. Jimmy reads news on-line, staying somewhat "updated." Although American newspapers are available we rarely buy them. We do not listen to the radio nor do we subscribe to local TV. The children and Trina are especially out of touch with American life (except what is read on Facebook where our two older girls communicate with selected friends). Sometimes... "ignorance IS bliss."
*Businesses are closed on National holidays, Christian holidays, Muslim holidays and Hindu holiday (many stores are closed on EVERY holiday. Most stores close early on Saturday (about 2 pm) and most are closed on Sundays.
*Sometimes at a petrol station (service station) or “Shelli” (the connection to Shell stations) there is no fuel. Afraid people will leave without paying, there is no such thing as "self-serve" in Tanzania. Normally women are pumping the gas (an easy job for them). When we first came to TZ, it was beyond Jimmy's "raisin'" to allow a woman to pump the gas so he insisted on doing it. But, as time went on, it was easier to let the person do the job they are paid to do ("when in Rome, do as the Romans"...unless it's a sin, unsanitary, or senseless).
“WE OUGHT ALWAYS TO GIVE THANKS…” (II Thess. 1:3) Abigail, our main cook, has worked tirelessly this week providing meals for us and guests, Gage Coldwater and the Wagner family. Trina retired from the kitchen years ago. Also, Lindsey deserves our thanks for all the hours she spends inserting pictures and sending out the weekly update (a job Jimmy “retired” from recently). The goal of parenting: turn over all jobs to the children. (Wink!)
GOOD NEWS! Our new furlough balance needed is: $11,000 (thanks to some very generous donors!) Please continue to pray that our furlough funds will come in soon (the sooner the tickets are purchased the cheaper they will be). SIXTY-NINE DAYS...til our appointed day of April 15th! Please help us make sure we get the seats in time (they fill up quickly). We stand in faith! A huge "thank you" to all who have contributed!
With Love from Africa,
Jimmy & Trina & Family