Monday, June 2, 2014

“Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have.” ― A.A. Milne

Our Canadian/Finnish missionary friends Sam and Saara Leppanen stopped by yesterday and dropped off their son, Isaac, so he and John could talk and play computer games while they went out to Balumba to finish up some business there.  Then they returned and we chatted late into the night.  They spent the night here and then left this morning to go to Mwanza and from there to Dar Es Salaam and from there to Addis Abbaba and Paris and finally home to Canada.  They are good friends and we always enjoy having them stay with us.  They will not return until this September as they have to go back and raise money for their mission.  Like us, they have no denominational or large organizational support and depend on a few churches and the work Sam can do with computers and the tote bags that Saara designs and sells to finance their work here.  Also, like us, they were not sent here by anybody but God and have no plans to work anywhere else or do anything else.  So many of the missionaries we meet are short term or have the power, weight, and financial backing of a large church, an organization, or a denomination to fund their work and their trips home.  Most have language school for three months paid for by their sending agency.  We couldn't afford that and neither could Sam and Saara, so we are learning our Swahili the hard way.   Sam and Saara are committed to Tanzania and are doing some really good work here, like the recent evangelism events they hosted.  Sam and my son, John are getting together on a project to teach young men simple computer skills that will help the mission.  The students will leave their computers here where they are secure and come to stay for a few days at a time for John to teach them.  John has just gotten a new device called Rasberry Pi that is pretty revolutionary and cheap to begin teaching programming and other more advanced computer techniques.  I leave tomorrow to fly to Arusha so I can be at the airport to greet my wife when she returns from her six-week trip to the U.S. on Wednesday night.  Today is her birthday which she is celebrating with our oldest son and his wife in NYC.  Thursday is our 49th anniversary which we will celebrate in Arusha before flying home on Friday.  It will be good to have her back.  She has been missed.
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