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Monday, September 24, 2012

Road Rage Incident

Recently we went on a trip to a national park with the young men from the Timothy House.  We had a great time enjoying God's creation and this was the first time for these young men to see animals such as elephants, giraffe, cape buffalo, zebra, gazelle, impala, and we were even able to see a pride of 8 lions! 
We are all standing in front of this giant baobab tree which we were all able to crawl into the small opening at the bottom and fit comfortably inside.

We saw hundreds of elephants and were able to get within a few feet of them.  These animals are wild and we thought we were safe in the car.  Usually elephants will give some warning signs before making a charge, but I guess we came across one that was having a bad day.  Out of nowhere he charged our vehicle and we took off.  The young male elephant chased us for several meters before letting us have it on the back side of the car. 

Nobody was hurt but we all got quite a rush out of this road rage incident.  All of the young men hit the floor of the car when the elephant charged and needless to say their first safari was an exciting one.  I think we will wait awhile to get the car repaired as it is such a good story, plus I don't think our insurance will cover an accident with a wild elephant.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Using Education as a Tool

We were blessed to have a group of 4 teachers from our church to come and minister with us through education.  They spent a week at the Truth Learning Center observing our classes and teachers.  They prepared a seminar for our teachers to help them in their teaching techniques.

The following week the guest teachers visited public schools in our area.  We hosted an education seminar at the Truth Center for the teachers of the public schools.  Around 80 teachers attended 4 workshops and were encouraged in their work.  The church paid for a meal for the teachers and the members served in different ways throughout the day.  Around 20 teachers came the following day for a special Sunday service where each one received a Swahili New Testament and a gospel message.

Kweli Learning Center teacher Augustino is showing students some basic skills on laptop computers donated by the group.  The group raised money for the Truth Center to purchase its own photocopy machine.  The school was blessed with other supplies as well, and some supplies were also donated to the local public school teachers.
The ministry of the Truth Center is growing and we needed a new water line in order to meet the daily needs of the school and Timothy House ministry.  The new water line is direct from the local storage tank and the trench had to be hand-dug for 600 yards.  Lord-willing this new line will provide enough water to meet the growing needs.

We were praying for over two years for this small piece of land next to the Truth Center.  It was the last open plot available next to the Truth Center and needed for future growth.  At first, the land owner was not willing to sell, but through prayer and God's provision of the funds needed, the plot is now ours.  We are praying about how the Lord would have us to use this land in the future.  Some possible ideas are to expand the projects for the Timothy House, a dorm building for the school and Bible Institute, a pastors home, etc.   
We have the blessing of working with a great group of independant baptist missionaries in Tanzania.  We get together once a year for a time of fellowship, planning, and preaching.  We cooperate in areas such as youth camps and training leadership through Bible Institute and national pastors meetings.

Augustino has been a faithful church member and also teaches at the Truth Learning Center. (See picture above.) He is also one of our Bible Institute students and was able to graduate from the first level of this training which focuses on serving in the local church. He is leading our Sunday night youth meetings and is continuing in the leadership level of the Bible Institute. 
One of the great blessings of living in Tanzania is being surrounded by God's creation.  While on "safari" I saw these elephants dancing "trunk to trunk."
Even while sitting down this camel was taller than Caleb.  He got to ride this camel on a recent trip to Arusha when we took some time out to have some fun.
The crocodile hunter?  Hardly.  This is about as big of a croc that I will hold.
Sarah celebrated her 3rd birthday with a Hello Kitty party complete with custom cake.
Caleb turned 8 and we celebrated with missionary friends who came to visit.  Caleb is very interested in space and we tease him that he will be the first missionary to the moon.
After a busy few months we were able to take our family vacation along the Tanzanian coast.  We enjoyed our time together as a family swimming, snorkeling, and playing on the beach.