Tuesday, February 24, 2015

“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” ― Henry Martyn

I got an email from a man named Paul Singleton the other day and in a couple of days, he and his wife, plus several others will be coming here to learn about biosand filters.  They are from Ireland and he wrote, “We are Tearfund UK volunteers and are working alongside their local partner AICT [Africa Inland Church Tanzania]. I am a Civil Engineer and Alice is a teacher so we are here to partner on a range of engineering and educational development projects.”  We are excited about having them as guests.  They are working in Shinyanga which a very large city about six hours from here by car (south of Mwanza if you have a map).  Anything we can do to get this technology spread throughout Tanzania is a really big plus.  It will also be very nice to be able to have conversations in English for a couple of days.  Both schools are back up and running and Karen is going up every day around eleven in the morning to sing with the little ones.  She is in pain and comes back exhausted but with a big smile on her face.  She has been singing and laughing with small children in schools since 1964 when she did her first student teaching.  I’ve never done anything that long except breathe.  The longest thing I’ve ever done has been to stay married to my beautiful wife, and we will celebrate our Golden Anniversary in June of this year.  As of now, I have also lived here in this house in Bunda for longer than I lived in any town or house in my whole life, so ending on a good note, I think.  Shaban has suffered some financial setbacks as his cousins stole his inheritance and now he cannot finish building his house and will have to sell it as is.  He is currently working on rebuilding a car for which he has a buyer, and with that money and the money he can get for his partly built house, he should be able to build a small house here somewhere.  He was really down for a while when he got back from his home village, but he is up and working again now.  He has a good head on his shoulders and will take good care of his family whatever happens—which is not the usual thing here.  We’ve had some severe rainstorms here that have torn most of the thatching off of several of our buildings, and we just don’t have the money to repair them, so it looks like the thatching will just come off a few of them.  There are green, rust-proofed, metal roofs under the thatching, so it won’t look bad, just not as African as it once did.  Sigh.  You can’t have everything, and even if we had the money to repair the roofs, we would probably spend it on food and clothes for orphans anyway,  so nothing really lost.  I struggled with myself a lot over yesterday’s blog, but few read it, so I guess I shouldn’t have worried myself.  You may find this hard to believe, but sometimes we think more highly of ourselves than we should.  Yep, even me.  God bless and be kind to one another today if it’s just a smile. 
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