I hope this email finds all of you doing well and in good health. Finally after four days, I’m just now able to get on-line to write an email. I just wanted to write a brief note letting you know that Mary, Seth, Jan, Bill and Cyndi, Charlene, Gary, Menard, James, and I all made it safely from Dar-es-Salaam to Chimala. Mary, Seth, Jan, Bill and Cyndi, Charlene, and I landed in Dar Friday night a few hours ahead of Garry; and all of us were met at the airport by Menard and our driver, James. As usual, we spent the night at PCAT and were on the road a little past 5:00 a.m. the next morning. After the long 13 ½-hour road trip, we were most happy to see the Chimala Mission. The mission almost glowed from the vibrant green resulting from the rains. Most of my trips to Chimala have been in the dry seasons; but this was the first time I’ve made the trip in January. While Chimala always has a certain scenic beauty, being here this time is such a contrast to the usual hot and powdery-dry conditions that I’ve seen before. All of us were pretty beat that evening but still enjoyed a meal of chicken-curry and rice at Bill and Cyndi’s house before getting some sleep.
Since this was Jan’s first time to visit the mission and Seth’s first trip back to Tanzania since 2003, all of us decided to worship Sunday morning at the Chimala Mission congregation. Bernard Kulanga preached to a packed house including many of the students of the Chimala Primary School, while I was asked to preach that evening. As of today, Mary, Seth and I are struggling from jet-lag to stay up much past 9:00 p.m. Consequently, we’ve been waking up usually at midnight and ready to get up by 3:00 a.m. Apparently, jet-lag isn’t affecting Jan the same way as she’s been staying up till midnight reading lab machine manuals.
Monday began with the process of finalizing our students for orientation and the beginning of the new year at the Chimala Bible Institute. So far, we have 21 students with a total capacity of 25 students allowed with our current finances. Wednesday starts the first day of class. The classes I’ll be teaching are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’ve had a number of good meetings with the teaching staff. All of them have specific duties involved with CBI besides their normal teaching duties. From all indications so far, they are all doing a great job and seem eager to fulfill their roles. Having Garry here has been a blessing to CBI especially since we’ve combined the former two programs (Chimala Bible College and Chimala School of Preaching) into one program.
Also, having Mary and Seth with me is a great blessing to me personally. Mary has been preparing materials for children’s classes as well as making up gift packets for the new mothers at the Chimala Mission Hospital. Seth is here surveying the mission for possible future mission work. This is a large mission—the lower part of the mission consists of 400 acres with another 350 acres behind the mission on top of the mountains. And there is a lot going on here; so there is a lot to absorb. Bill gave Jan and Seth the grand tour Sunday afternoon—which takes quite a while.
We are just getting started here so I hope to have more to write about at a later time. To some of you I may have written too much, to others not enough. But the main thing was to let you know we have arrived safely, are all doing well, and so glad to be here having the opportunity to serve our Lord and the people of Tanzania in this capacity. We would be glad to hear from any of you and especially ask for your prayers while we’re here as you are in ours. God bless!
In His service,