Tuesday, June 9, 2015

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela

This is the last week of school for our little ones in the morning and the older (nine to ten years) ones in the afternoon English class.  It will be really quiet here for a month or more while they are on their break.  You have no idea how good it makes us feel, especially when we are hurting, to hear the laughter and shouted lessons from the kids every day.  We have had one school here at the mission for ten years and two (we added a preschool) for about three years.  Since we have helped build a public primary school in the village of Kabasa, have our two schools here, and have helped start eight other preschools in our churches, we know we have made a big difference in education here.  Karen has taught several teaching seminars to train preschool teachers in the Montessori method of teaching that the teachers, parents, and students all love.  Other pastors are working on trying to get schools started in at least three more churches, so they can benefit as well.  And all of this is not to mention what our Cornerstone UMC in Jonesboro funded scholarships have added by graduating over 60 new, Christian secondary teachers now teaching all over Tanzania.  The local teachers college is being changed into a university, so we are looking to keep our program going at a teacher’s college in Tireme.  Hopefully, we will have that set up by August.  We have also paid school fees for over seventy children of pastors, evangelists, and of our own staff members.  We have seen three graduate from university, one of those is now teaching at a college, and two others are in graduate schools on scholarships.  Edina’s daughter will graduate next year with a college degree in nursing that we have funded out of our own pockets just because we love Edina, her devotion, and the fact that she has lost her husband and two children to malaria while she has been working for us.  We continue to serve the church, to help educate and feed the children, to assist widows with goats, to help villages build schools, to provide clean, safe drinking water to over 15,000 people every day, and to teach sewing, provide sewing machines, and to give bicycles to evangelists (which grows the church).  Since we started ten years ago, we have given 42 bicycles to evangelists and pastors helping to grow the church from its 400 members in 2005 to over 5,000 as of now.  Not to mention the work John has done with pumps to provide water to three villages, building soccer fields next to churches, and working on solar projects for education and light in remote villages.  No matter where we have lived, we have always left that place better than we found it, but no where have we been as effective, with much help from caring Christians in the U.S., as we have been here.  We are pleased that we have been able to serve God and His children for the past ten years and hope to continue for many more.  Keep Karen in your prayers as she slowly and painfully recovers.  God bless you all.
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