Bishop Festo came by yesterday with some great news. All four of our pastors currently studying at the Methodist Seminary in Arusha have graduated! Of course, none of them had bus fare home, so I happily gave Festo the $200 to bring them home. We have a thing here called Mpesa, so Bishop Festo was able to send them the money through his cell phone, and they received it yesterday afternoon. It’s a pretty good deal for a poor country, and we use it a lot. He also reported that the evangelist for whom we purchased a bicycle last Friday was at a new village yesterday and had over thirty people listening to him. Amazing what a gift like that can do in the hands of a dedicated servant. He also had a letter to me from 26 young women in the church at Karikakari who had formed a net ball team (see picture at the right) and had the men put up the goals but needed a ball so they could challenge other young women to come to the church to play. Another instance of using sports as evangelism. A net ball costs about $30 and I was more than happy to put one in the hands of these eager young women. Net ball is a really strange sport (it was in the last Olympics) and I can’t explain it to you. Kind of a combination of basketball, keep away, a little rugby, and a net except in the poor rural areas. It also has rules I have yet to figure out even having watched two games at the Olympics. As long as the women here like it, that’s all that matters.
Also yesterday, two missionaries (one from Ireland and one from America) came by to pick up five biosand filters for an albino clinic in Shinyanga. Unfortunately, they had been having problems with their church sponsors who wouldn’t let them use the big car. So, they borrowed a small one, and we could only squeeze three biosand filters in it with no gravel and no sand because that would have broken the springs. We gave them samples of the kinds of gravel and sand they would need and lowered the price on the filters. They will be coming back to pick up the other two later this month. More importantly, the American, Tom, from Missouri, is working with an NGO called PCI in Musoma. They have been providing hot meals for students all over Musoma using funds supplied from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tom was very interested in the biosand filters and has the funding to do some really big things with them. He agreed to come back in a couple of weeks to do some more talking about how we can help each other. That’s just the way things are supposed to be. It took a lot out of me just doing as little as I did as I am still recovering from my last illness, but it was worth all the pain and then some. God doesn’t ask us to serve only when we feel good, but when He needs us. I was glad I was here to answer His call.