We are delighted to be able to welcome some new additions to our mission team in Arusha. Justin and Anna Maynard, along with her sister Samantha Edwards, recently arrived to work with us. Justin and Anna are going to focus on helping expand the farming aspect of the work at the school of preaching.
This is a very important part of the school for two reasons: First, it helps with the sustainability of the work. By cutting food costs, and even creating revenue with surplus foods, the school's budget will be that much less dependent on outside support. Second, the students can learn valuable gardening skills. While the demand for preachers is high (we can't graduate men fast enough to meet the need), much of this demand is from congregations that can't fully support a full-time preacher. Being able to garden will help our students to feed their families while they are working as evangelists.
Additionally, Samantha has agreed to serve as librarian for our school. She will have the opportunity to be a great help by providing some badly needed organization to our book collection, implementing a system for maintaining that order, and training a permanent librarian for when she returns to the US. This will be a tremendous asset for our students.
You can catch up with the new workers on their blog here.
Pray for them as they get adjusted to their new lives in Africa, and bless their hearts that they now have to put up with me all of the time.
With short courses going on and the Tanzanian Leadership Conference around the corner, we have the pleasure of hosting a large number of guests in the coming days. We are no strangers to dealing with a lot of guests, but usually it is one or two large groups at a time where everyone's schedules are pretty similar.
The current situation is unique in my time here. We have so many individuals trickling in and out on different itineraries, that we are in the midst of making 10 airport runs over the course of 13 days. Keep in mind that an airport run, realistically takes half a day for the driver. On top of transportation logistics, we want to make sure that all of our guests are well cared for and have everything they need. Almost all of these individual guests also have unique agendas for their visits, requiring personalized attention.
With the unfortunate limitation of only being able to be in one place at a time, there is absolutely no way that I could juggle the current situation alone. That's why I'm taking the time now to praise our faculty at the school. Charles, Ahimidiwe, Godfrey, Michael, and Augustine along with some others here and there have stepped up and taken on new levels of hosting responsibilities. They've had Americans into their homes to eat, helped with transportation issues, and generally been absolutely indispensable resources.
I hadn't planned it this way, but necessity forced these increased roles. In hindsight (if it can be called that from the midst of the situation), this is actually proving to be a valuable growth experience for local leaders, as well as for myself.
So to sum up the message of this report: Thank God for teammates, both foreign and local. I pray that He blesses them all.
Our other teammates and dear friends, Cy and Stephanie Stafford are each facing medical situations. Your prayers on their behalf would be much appreciated.