This month Agustine, Kashumba, and I went to Mosquito River to teach our first farming seminar. Around 30 men and women came to hear about new techniques and to hear the Word of God. Kashumba began by talking about Genesis and how God gave us the land and animals to manage and for our benefit. He talked about how this is a gift from God that we need to be thankful for, be good managers of, and use for the benefit of not only ourselves but others also; because everything we do should be done for the glory of God and not ourselves. With that attitude God will provide for His people.
Next, all of us went to the Shamba and we worked together building raised beds. We taught them how to lay out straight beds using strings and sticks. Then, we showed them how to use the excess grass and animal waste to line the bottom of the beds to help with soil nutrition. After we had the beds complete we showed them how to set up drip irrigation lines. Thanks to a local farmer in the Church we had young plants that we were able to plant. We then tried to answer all of the questions from the Church and spent time in fellowship with them while they fed everyone present beans and rice. The goal of this trip was to try and teach these people how to provide for their physical body and the physical bodies of others, so that they can use that to provide for their spiritual bodies and the spiritual bodies of others as well. Like we said earlier all things are to be done for the glory of God.
Evangelism (Anna’s point of view)
We held our first children’s seminar this month in a small village called Kioga. The idea for the seminar came from a local couple, Jane and Desdery Massawe. Children here are taught like miniature adults. Class typically consists of a teacher reading a story from the Bible, asking
questions and that is all. Jane and Desdery had the idea to go around to different villages, hold children’s classes, and then in the afternoon hold a seminar for the women in the Church on the importance of teaching children and how to teach them at their level. We also have a small resource room at the Arusha Bible School where Jane lives. We want to show the women the
resources available to them and how to use them.
We began the seminar at 9 am with just a few children (around 20). Samantha, Jane, and I led the children in Bible songs while Justin and Desdery stood outside greeting the incoming children. The children walked themselves and their siblings to the Church. Many of the children had babies, too small to walk or talk, on their hips.
By 9:30 the small Church building was packed. More than 150 children had showed up! At 9:30 we split the children into groups. Jane and I stayed in the Church building with the younger children 6 and under. While Samantha took the older group. I taught the younger children the Days of Creation while Samantha taught the older ones the books of the Bible. Around 10:30 we swapped groups and I taught the older children the Days of Creation and Samantha taught the younger children the books of the Bible. In addition to the lessons Samantha and I both had coloring sheets for the children that went along with what they were learning. Much to our surprise, when we handed out crayons, we learned that the children did not know how to use them. Many of them tried to hand them back to us. After a few demonstrations, the children were so excited to color the sheets we had provided for them! Each one wanted their “pitcha” (picture) taken with their coloring sheet. In my lesson we also handed out creation bracelets. They were just simple bracelets Samantha and I had made with 7 beads. Each bead was a different color to represent the different days. The children loved them.
At 11:30 we brought all the children back into the Church building where we again sang songs before Desdery prayed for our lunch. All morning the women of the Church worked hard to be able to feed the more than 200 people present. Feeding this many people was an interesting challenge but all went well.
Lunch ended around 1:00 and while the women in the Church cleaned up, we took the children to a nearby field to play games. Here is where things got interesting. Since this was the first seminar, we used our own money to fund everything. The food and drinks cost $300 (we are trying to think of ways to cut this down. We are going to try and take our own coolers of clean (boiled) water next time to put Kool-aid in to cut down on the cost of 250 drinks – even though we had this many, we ran out. However, we need to purchase coolers just for this. We are trying to get the food budget down to around $150, but it is difficult in a third world country where the food and drinks need to be safe and clean). After buying the food we went to find soccer balls that we could put the numbers 1-7 on to play a game where you throw the ball, catch it, look at one of the numbers either of your hands, touch, and say what happened on that day of creation. However, we only bought 3 balls – volley balls because they were cheaper – but still the 3 volleyballs cost $50.
So, going onto a field with 150+ kids with 3 balls proved to be interesting. We need more balls, games, activities for this large number of children.
After an hour we sent the children home and returned to the Church. Jane and I then talked to around 30 of the local women about the importance of teaching children. I started by talking about how Jesus saw the importance of children in Matthew 18. How they are the future of the Church and how if Jesus wanted the children brought to Him – we should have the same attitude. I then discussed why it is important to teach children at their level. I explained how they process things differently and pictures and activities help them to see what we are talking about in their minds. Tiffany Gaines, another missionary here, gave a great example that I used. In Kiswahili the word ndege means anything that flies i.e. bird, plane, bee etc. So, if you have a picture of what you are talking about it helps them better understand and see what you are talking about in their minds.
Lastly, Jane and I showed the women different resources available to them at the Arusha Bible School and how to use them. I showed them a coat of many colors they can use to tell the story of Joseph, felt boards that can show many different Bible stories, puppets who can help tell the stories, an apron that they can use to tell the 10 plagues etc.
This being our first children’s seminar we were praising God for its success. It went better than we ever could have imagined and we have God to thank for that. The next one will be held at Karatu on December 12th, Lord willing. If you would like to help us by sending funds so we can purchase food, beads for bracelets, ink for coloring sheets, games/activities, help pay for our gas etc. Please send checks payable to Horton’s Chapel Church of Christ:
Horton Chapel Church of Christ
925 Union Ridge Road
PO BOX 1100
Belton, KY 42324
PLEASE PUT FOR THE MAYNARDS – AFRICA.
Most of all, please keep us and this work in your prayers. All glory goes to God for He is able to do more than we ever ask or imagine.
The Maynard Family