Ngorogoro Children’s Seminar
This month’s women and children’s seminar was held in the Ngorogoro area. For those of you familiar with the Ngorgoro Crater, we were at it’s rim for this seminar. We drove approximately two hours to the small village right outside the crater. When we were within a few miles of the church, our van could no longer travel on the roads. Due to the vehicle we drive, and the long rains turning the roads into a terrible mess, we had to get out and walk the rest of the way to the church building.
In our vehicle we had myself and Anna, our new missionaries Mason and Haley Norman, and locals Jane and Desdery Massawe, and their oldest daughter Martina. The Gaines were in front of us with a better equipped vehicle for these conditions and all of the material for the seminar. We sent them on ahead and we all got out and walked. The roads we flooded and muddy but no one complained as we headed toward the church. The road vehicles take would have been a very long walk and so the locals led us to a shortcut. This shortcut required us to climb a cliff that leads up to where the church meets. Once again, everyone was in good spirits and even Jane, who is seven months pregnant, did not complain and it was a beautiful journey to the top.
Given the heavy rains, we did not expect large numbers. However, when we arrived at the top we were happily surprised. Under a tarp held up by tents (this was their church building) was around 41 children and over 30 women waiting on us. Men were scattered about awaiting personal Bible studies. Everyone split up and we quickly began.
Daniel, Mason, Desdery, Jasper Julius (a local preacher), and I began conducting Bible studies. Tiffany, Anna, Haley, and Jane began their prepared lessons the women had asked they come and speak on. Anna began with a lesson on Christian Life and Tiffany followed with a lesson on Perseverance. By noon both women’s lessons were finished and the rain continued to pour. Every few minutes the women had to knock the pools of water off the tarp to prevent the tent from collapsing in on them. For an hour and a half the women asked questions on marriage and family and how to live a Christian life. Daniel came and helped take over the Q&A with the women so Anna, Tiffany, Haley, and Jane could take the children to do their portion of the seminar.
Due to the continuous rains, the only place to move the 4 adult teachers and the 41 children was an 8x8 one room, mud home. The children’s faces lit up with excitement over the colored pictures Tiffany showed them as she taught them about the Bible. After Anna taught them about creation and told them each they could take their coloring sheets and one crayon home with them, their excitement bubbled over. There was no room in the small house to allow the kids to color and due to the rain they couldn’t move outside. So, the children were thrilled to have their very own crayon (yes, just one each).
By three o’clock the rains were still falling and we decided if we wanted to try and make it home, we needed to leave. Daniel loaded his family, Desdery’s family, and the Norman’s into his vehicle (dala dala style) and headed back toward our car. Anna and I walked back down the cliff a few minutes before they drove down because the locals told us one of our tires on the van was flat. The path down the cliff had become a waterfall and there was no way to avoid water on the roads. The walk down was adventurous and cold but we enjoyed it.
Anna and I reached the bottom around the same time the Gaines car came down with the others. We did indeed have a flat tire. The roads were soft and mucky, terrible conditions to try and jack up our vehicle. However, Daniel, Desdery, and Mason picked up on the car while I climbed under and was able to get the jack in place. We are thankful to God and His protection that we made it home on terrible roads, two hours away, with a flat tire that had to be pumped up every 30 minutes.
Though this seminar presented many challenges God was glorified and the Word was spread. Pray for the Ngorogoro Kanisa la Kristo as they continue to evangelize the community around them.
Anna and I have purchased our tickets for furlough. We will be leaving Africa August 25th. While home, in order for us to be able to come back and stay for three more years, we will have to raise support. If your congregation is interested in having us come and present our work email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you would like to help the fundraising with a donation please send checks to Horton Chapel Church of Christ 925 Union Ridge Road, PO Box 1100, Belton, KY 42324. Put in the for line Maynard’s Mission Work.