Happy New Year, An Interesting Name...

“ Experience is a hard teacher:  It gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR is the name of one of Heather and Candace’s best friends. Named by her father, Happy New Year was born about 9 p.m. on December 31, sixteen years ago. She prefers to be addressed as “Happiness” or “Happy” (appropriate because she brings happiness wherever she goes). Facebook would not even accept her legal name as her real name!

NEW BEGINNINGS. Today is a new day, a new week, a new month and a new year!  Don’t we all love new beginnings? The end of the year is such a great time to examine ourselves and set goals to be accomplished in a year’s time. For many, a new year gives new hope. Our list is short and our plans are to focus on a few key areas and a few projects…in other words, “quality over quantity.” May all of us have goals that reflect God as being first in our lives.

SAFE ARRIVAL. Todd and Lauren are back in the states. Their three-week visit was the highlight of our year! Our sincere thanks is extended for their contribution to the TZ Mission Work. The first week was spent as counselors / teachers at Tanzania Christian Camp. During the remaining two weeks, they visited with approximately 18 people (most were studies, some were visits of encouragement).

GUEST OF HONOR. Todd was invited as one of the guests of honor to a Masai Celebration (celebrating the recent circumcision of three young men). Others from the church were there also. For more information about Masai customs, search the internet.

GENESIS. The Ladies class is continuing to study this great book, so foundational to understanding the rest of the Bible. Last year, chapters 1-24 were studied and chapters 25-50 will be finished in 2012. In anticipation of the marriage seminar scheduled for May 2012 (Chris and Beth Akin will conduct), it is the plan to focus on issues in these remaining chapters that apply to marriage. It is our thinking that it is good to “prepare the soil” so that when the time comes to “plant” that something will grow! Tanzanian culture (as well as much American culture) is not conducive to a Biblical (and therefore, joyful) marriage.

"JIMMY BEAT ME". As usual, the Gospel Chariot (Trina’s old white van) made the rounds picking up women and children for services, and, upon our arrival (noticing Jimmy’s car), Trina said (in surprise) “Jimmy beat me!” Trina’s friend, Janet, who knows only a little English, replied “pole” (sorry) to which Trina quickly explained the two meanings of the word “beat” but wasn’t sure she understood. However, later in worship when Trina sat beside Jimmy, she realized a translator was needed to assure Janet’s correct understanding. Why? Last night, Jimmy’s face had been “sprayed” with acid by a Nairobi fly. It looked as if he had 2 long scratches on one side with abrasions on his nose and chin (who beat who?). We just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea! Unfortunately wife-beating is “alive and well” in Tanzania, even among some church members. These Nairobi flies mentioned are “in season” and almost every member of our family (plus folks at church) has at least one “burn” from these little critters. The shape of these burns depend on how the acid was sprayed.

PRAYERS NEEDED. Regular readers of our report will recognize the name Rosemary (Lembris’s wife). The Tanzania Christian Clinic (operated by Danny and Nancy Smelser, members of the Lord’s church) conducted a cancer-testing clinic last month. Rosemary was told that she had a problem and needed further testing at one of the larger hospitals in Arusha. Needless to say, she is worried. Both Lembris and Rosemary are planning to enroll in the Kisongo Bible School for evening classes.

FAMILY NEWS. Immediately after services, 5-year-old Elijah loudly remarked to David, “You’re right! When you sleep in church, it goes by much quicker!” Several of us are recovering from a bacterial infection (of the stomach). Most of the school work for the year has been planned for the older children (who work independently unless they need assistance). The best situation for us is to go to a nearby recreation center in the mornings to do school work and get away from the distractions / interruptions at home. While we “school,” the younger children play at the park and Matthew’s therapist exercises with him there.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. Your cards and emails are really appreciated! Many of you regularly uplift us and spur us on, letting us know that you are praying for us and appreciate us.  Besides family, Leadale Simpson, Patricia Russell and Dennis Itson  are just a few who make “encouragement” one of their main ministries.

ACSOP. As we reported back in November, we graduated the first Swahili-stream class in the history of the school. This means that we are taking in a new class in February of this year. It is our plan to take in 30 new students. However, as everyone knows, it takes money to support, feed and house these students. Thus, we would appreciate it if you, as an individual or a congregation, would consider supporting one or more students, either totally or partially. It takes $200 per month to support one student. Thus, over a two year period that would be $4800 per student. If you can help in any way with this, we would really appreciate it. All funds for student support need to be sent to the Kensington Woods congregation. The address for KW is on the first page of each week's report. Thanks for considering it!

A TURTLE…it’s been said that if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had help getting there. It’s the same with us here in Tanzania, East Africa. So many have helped us come and many have helped us to stay. Thank you for being a part…a vital part…of this growing and rewarding work! We look forward to a new and exciting year! May God bless you all in all your service to Him. 

Serving Together for the Cause of Christ,
The Jimmy Gee family

To see the report with addresses and pictures, click here.

Posted on January 1, 2012 .