Thursday, December 26, 2013

“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

We had a wonderful day yesterday.  After the respective church services (Pentecostal, Anglican, Methodist), the missionaries from our area all got together at Matt and Samantha Archer’s, our Australian, Anglican missionary friends.  They have five children, so it is easier to meet at their house than for them to travel with all of their children since the youngest is still in diapers.  The seven Archers (Matt and Samantha and five children), and the four Leppanens (Sam and Saara and Nick and Isaac), and the three Wigginses (Charles, Karen, and John) all met for an afternoon of pizzas (provided by the Canadian/Finnish Leppanens), drinks and snacks provided by the Archers, and chocolate turtles, date candies, and honey roasted almonds provided by the Wiggins family.  We played charades that included all the children, got to watch a Christmas play put on by the Archer children (with mom Samantha as a shepherd), had a short magician’s act done by the oldest of the Archer kids, and had young Isaac Leppanen do a couple of card tricks.  The youngest of the Archers, little Joash, was quick and proud to show you his damaged thumb that got caught in a door.  Someone had also given the Archer kids a whoopee cushion for Christmas and the kids got quite a kick out of quickly sticking it under someone’s bottom as they sat down and hearing the resounding rude noise that came forth.  There was lots of laughter, good food, active children, and occasionally the adults got to have a little adult conversation.  After several hours of this, the Leppanens came over to Maisha Na Maji to spend a couple of days before heading down to Mwanza.  We really enjoy having them (they did bring cinnamon rolls) and we have quite a lot in common with them as they, too, are “faith” missionaries without any major support and doing exactly what they feel that God has called them to do.  We will probably be doing some joint projects with the them including forming an NGO and doing some other projects that we both believe will really help the people here.  It is so nice to have good friends here who share our passion for mission and the people of Tanzania.  Our three families support each other and visit in each other’s homes and feel like we are each a part of the lives of the other's children.  Thank you, Lord, for giving us the blessing of good, Christian friends.  Priceless. 
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