Sunrise over Geita.
Praise the Lord! I arrived safely in Geita, Tanzania on Sunday, February 5th. It turned out to be an interesting journey for me. In New York I was informed that my flights connecting through Instanbul were not possible because of a huge snowstorm there. A very kind agent worked diligently to find a flight through London, England instead. I spent a day in central London checking out some famous sights. Although I arrived in Dar es Salaam much later than expected, God took care of me. After getting through customs, money exchanged, tickets confirmed, and into the waiting room -- I had not even sat down, when my flight to Mwanza was called to begin boarding! God’s timing is perfect!
I was met in Mwanza by Pastor Damson, my interpreter from last year. What a joy to be reunited with my dear Christian brother! Saturday was a day for me to rest up and to wander around the streets remembering sights and sounds from last year’s trip. Sunday, I attended the Anglican Cathedral and had a nice visit afterwards with a missionary couple from Canada. Later that day, Bishop Kwangu and Pastor Damson escorted me to Geita. Along the way, we stopped off in Sengerama to visit Capt. Nestor, a retired priest who has assisted our teaching ministry for the past several years. The highlight of this visit was meeting his 104 year old mother.
Monday was spent sitting under the shade trees at church getting to know some students and discussing plans. Tuesday I was asked to attend a regional pastor’s meeting in Sengerama with Pastor Mathias of Christ the King Anglican Church (my host church). While there I was given opportunity to speak to about 25 pastors for 30 – 40 minutes. I decided to share a message of encouragement from Hebrews 13, which I had read that morning for my daily Bible reading. It was a very long day for me. I had gotten up for an early morning walk to watch the sunrise, and we arrived home long after dark.
I have twenty church leaders in my class, five of whom are ladies. Some are from local churches and others have come by bicycle from as far as 80 km away. I have been able to complete the first course, “Introduction to Preaching”, in just two long days because the students have been very attentive and diligent. We have also covered a couple other short topics of interest to them: How was the date of Jesus’ birthday determined; and, How did homosexuality become so widespread in modern culture and what should we do about it? These are two subjects that they requested I teach about. Yes, it does require some prayer for God to give me wisdom to answer well!
The person I thought would be interpreting for me was not able to come, so I have a young man, Reuben, assisting me this week. He is a fine Christian man from a village near Geita who has been a school teacher and is taking some classes at a university in Mwanza. My host family lives on the edge of Geita on the uphill side, giving me a fine view of this city of 120,000 people. The red dirt roads, green fields, bright flowers and sunlight make for an incredibly beautiful sight to wake up to each morning. I often think, how come I am so blessed be allowed to come here. God is so good to give me the opportunity to experience the love of my beautiful Christian brothers and sisters here in Tanzania. I have taken a few photos, but it is no use trying to capture the warm hospitality and incredible smiles. You would just have to come experience it for yourself.
Until next week,
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Freezing in front of the Big Ben and Parliament building.
Getting to know the students.
Pastor's meeting at St. John's Church.
some students -- "Joshua, Meshack, Naftaly"
this one has two ladies in it - "Godwin, Cresenia, Liberatha"
My host's house has the red roof.