We spent our first week becoming acquainted with our surroundings and learning about where we would work for the next year. We met with Rodrick, he takes care of the kuku (chickens), Abraham who takes care of the ng’ombe (cows), Ritchard and Kushumba who take care of the shamba (garden), and we had many meetings with Agustine, who is the local in charge of the farming project. We held many meetings with Agustine to discuss finances, nutrition, housing, and future plans.
The first thing needing our attention was the situation with the laying hens. The 100 layers were in very good condition, but were not producing the way they should. We quickly noticed several problems and set out to fix them. The first thing we noticed was that for 100 layers there were only around 8-10 laying boxes (all of which were on the ground). There needed to be 1 box for every 4-5 hens and they needed to be off of the ground. Layers do not like to lay in dirty boxes and since chickens like to roost, they were roosting on top of the laying boxes creating a mess. We quickly set about to build new laying boxes, thanks to the generosity of our brother, Sid Aultman.
I spent the time showing Roderick and Agustine how to build the laying boxes and why they needed to be built that way. What would have taken an hour in America – took all day. With no electricity everything had to be done by hand. It took a long time. The final thing we told them we needed to do was to put golf balls in each box. This is a trick we learned back in America if hens fight over one box or you want them to start laying in a new place. They think the golf balls are eggs and will begin laying there. The locals thought we were kicha (crazy), but the next morning when they had more than double the eggs – they were thrilled! We now get approximately 95 eggs a day!
Many other things have happened this month; we sold a cow and are currently looking for another milk cow. We met with a man who taught us to make our own silage, so we will begin that too. Roderick has already grown out one set of a 150 broilers and slaughtered them for the school and is now growing out 150 more for the school. We hope to eventually sell the chickens. Already, in the month we have been here we bought all of the feed (layers, broilers, and cows) with the money made from selling eggs! We are moving in the right direction thanks to the Lord God Almighty.
Another goal we have while we are here is to substitute the food at the school with our shamba (garden). They have several small gardens planted and have been successful thanks to Healing Hands raised bed drip irrigation system. We helped finish get the 1 acre raised beds ready for Healing Hands to install the drip irrigation system! All of that was done this past week. We are so excited about the opportunity this presents and our hope is to get beans planted before the short rains start (which is soon). We then hope to plant corn and beans during the long rains.
I had the opportunity to speak at the Tanzanian Leadership conference. Brethren from all over East Africa, Cambodia, and America traveled to attend. God was glorified! To read more about that please see Anna’s blog: goatgirlgazette.wordpress.com.
November 1st I taught class at the Kanisa La Kristo (Church of Christ) in Monduli. In December I will preach at Magi ya Chai. Anna will teach the monthly preacher’s wives class the first Saturday of November. Also, in December is the Future Preacher Training Camp for local boys 15-26 years old. I will teach during that week. The following week will be the Christian Youth Camp! Justin, Anna, and Samantha will all teach classes for the boys and girls. Lots will go on here and we appreciate your prayers.
All three of us will work with Desdery and Jane Massawe the second Saturday in November and the second Saturday in December. We will help them start a children’s seminar. Every month we will go to a new town, spend the morning teaching children different Bible lessons and then Jane and Anna will hold classes for the local women on how to teach the Bible to children. This is a problem here. Children are just mini-adults and so the locals think they should sit and learn like they do. We hope to show them the benefits of story-telling, crafts (we have a small craft room for the local churches to use), and Bible songs. If you would like to help with any of this please let Anna’s mother know. We currently have members in the states providing Bible materials but we also need funds to feed the children and adults every month during the seminar. Depending on how many show up this could cost between $100-300. Ebeth Edwards 706-397-8358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samantha is working on organizing the library at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching. It is a big undertaking but hopefully she can have it organized, color coded, and someone trained to take her place before she leaves in March!
There is so much going on here in Tanzania. Please keep all of our brothers and sisters here in your prayers.
To see Justin’s report with pictures associated with the information above, please click here.