Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mago village and Tanga Town

(Especially the elephants.)

Doug, Joshua and I spent about three weeks at the Eden Valley Foster Care Mission outreach in the village of Mago, which is in the southern part of Tanzania, in the Mikete region.  There is a wonderful school there where the girls learn to sew and the boys learn to do carpentry.  They also learn English and Bible.
The boys in the carpentry classroom

Some of the very nice chairs and stools the students have built

The girls in one of the sewing classes.

"My classroom" while I was teaching students and staff in the cafeteria room.

My "students" and me after my last teaching session at EVFCM.

The students and staff were great and we enjoyed teaching them, and they seemed to very much enjoy the information that they learned.  Some made changes in their lifestyle and we heard many good testimonies in reference to the benefits they were already seeing in their lives!
Bibi the pregnant donkey with a broken leg.
We had the unexpected opportunity to work with a donkey.  Janet received word that a donkey had fallen through/off a bridge and had a broken leg.  The owner asked her to go pick it up in her truck and bring it back.  She left with the men, and came back with the added passenger of the donkey.  There had been some miscommunication about where they wanted the donkey, and the bridge on the road between the mission and the donkey's home was under repair.  So the donkey owner put the donkey on the mission property.  After several days we saw the owner over at the donkey and we went to see how things were going.  They were talking about either putting the donkey down or cutting her leg off.  The donkey's leg was badly broken and the wound was covered in maggots.  We offered to clean up the wound and to try to bandage and splint it better.
Clean new bandages and split for the donkey.

Donkey after her treatment.

It rained often, so we built her a shelter.

We made a special pants to keep the bandages clean and keep the splits in place.
 They were thankful for the help so we got involved.  The donkey's name is Bibi (which means grandma or Mrs.)  She was a super patient.  She was very gentle with us (most of the time.)  We grew very attached to her.  Everyday we would change the bandages, make sure she was eating and drinking, do research, etc....  The wounds were deep, the flesh was in chunks at times, and we ended up actually seeing and feeling the sharp break of the bone.  BUT, "our" donkey did improve very much.  Just before we came back to Kibidula, she was moving about the church yard finding grass on her own!  We were so excit ed to see her great improvement.  The owner was VERY surprised that she was actually getting around on her own.  She would sometimes get up by herself, but often she needed help in getting up.  The bridge was repaired and the donkey was taken to its home.  The last word we heard was that she was hobbling around into the neighbors yards getting grass.  She is pregnant, also.  We have no other word about her at this time, and may not find out further.  BUT after she was returned, the two Bible workers came by the house and were talking to us about it.  So many people had walked by seeing us working on this donkey, day after day.  They saw how we expressed interest in her and her owner.  People were talking.  The Bible workers said - that was medical missionary work.  I hadn't thought about it.  They said, we helped that man out with his need and now he is interested in what we are all about.  We spent time with him and his animal.  We sympathized with him, we helped him with a need he had.  We gained much of his trust - now he was open to more!  YES IT WAS medical missionary work after all!  I never thought working on a donkey would be outreach.  God is so good!

While we were at Mago, we helped Janet with clothes distribution to many orphans from the surrounding schools also.  We had hundreds of children come with their teachers for clothes and other useful items (including laundry soap.)
These children either have lost one parent, both parents or are "at risk" children that are in need.  The teachers made lists of children that needed help and they were brought to get clothes, soap and a few other things until we ran out.  I really appreciate the work that Janet and her helpers are doing at Eden Valley Foster Care Mission to reach lives and hearts for Jesus.
Children waiting for clothes

Happy students after getting clothes and soap.

Another large group of children after getting their clothes

Another large group of children after getting clothes and soap.

A group of preschool children after getting clothes and soap.

ANOTHER group of children before getting clothes.

This little boy was in need of clothes and shoes.

Got shoes?  Be happy with the things are blessed with.

After getting some new clothes, a very happy smile.
Doug continued helping with various projects around the mission complex, pulling teeth, putting up ceiling, patching holes, plumbing, etc.
Doug helping with a dental patient.

Doug and Joshua putting up ceiling in the pastor's office in the church.
Before we left the students and staff did a health expo to reach out to the village.  MANY people came to learn about health, and what they could do to be healthier, and to learn more about Jesus.  The leaders of the village, the head master and teachers from the local school and many, many others came.  The students and staff REALLY enjoyed reaching out and teaching the things that they had just learned.
Health Expo Mago village

The students and staff teaching the locals

A mountain village in the background on the way to Mago and back.
While Joshua was gathering grass for the donkey one afternoon he found a chameleon.  Isn't it cool?
God is so creative!

I was able to be at home for over a week while Doug returned to Mago to help with the electrical system and a few other items.  One of the students at Mago wants to come to Kibidula and train to be an evangelist.  He is a wonderful young man.
Joshua and Ashuli working in the garden.
He is 15 years old, very spiritual, loves the Lord, is super helpful and polite.  He came home with us to Kibidula and has been traveling with us.  He will return to Eden Valley Foster Care Mission next month to continue classes for one more year, and Lord willing come back to Kibidula for more training.  Joshua has REALLY been enjoying his company (as have we.)

Then we left last Friday to come to TANGA!

It was a 14 hour trip from Kibidula to Tanga.  The main road goes through the National Reserve area of Mikumi where the local wild animals are more protected.  We saw many giraffes, elephants, antelope, zebra, baboon, cape buffalo, and one wildebeest.
Mountains and Mbuyu trees on our trip to Tanga

Cape buffalo

A really cool tree.  I don't know what kind it is.

Local traffic on the highway

The mud house are different here.

More local construction


Mountain roads and the river below.


Giraffes (my favorite!)
And Saturday we went even further north to visit a church in Masai land.  Over 80 people came to church in the One-Day-Church structure that Kibidula helped to build last year.
Joshua and me with some of the church children.

Many Masai people visiting the church

Over 80 people worshiping at the One-Day-Church in Masai land

Our "drive way" into the church was a foot path, rough and often narrow.

Starting the outdoor teaching session

Teaching principles of health

I look so sedate in this picture.

And so animated in this one!  It would have been nice if Joshua could have taken one somewhere in between!  :)

At the guest house, Joshua is trying to climb a coconut tree (he got tired before reaching the top.)

Doug teaching hydrotherapy

Monkeys in the tree outside our room yesterday morning. 
Saturday afternoon we started our teaching outdoors at the main church in Tanga with maybe 200 or more people present.  There were a LOT of people.  The message was very well received, and we are already getting lots of request to teach more and in more places.
It is now Tuesday and we continue to get more invitations.
Please pray for us to have wisdom, time and means to continue this work for our Lord.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Earthquake, tooth pulling, church building and more

We were blessed to be very busy supporting our students and doing outreach over the last several weeks.

The week we returned from Mbeya, we went out to be with half of the lay evangelism students at Mtili village where they had been for a couple weeks doing door to door work, health outreach and evangelism.   We assisted them in doing a Health Expo more than 40 village people attended (not including children.)  There were many people that came to get their height, weight, blood pressure taken, chair massage, lung capacity test, and to learn about various aspects of both physical and spiritual health.  There was one particular person that came that has been seeing witch doctors and was having serious spiritual issues.  Her mother gave us permission to work on her and to pray for her.  The mother took off the witchdoctor beads and encouraged her daughter to call out to Jesus for help.  It was quite an experience.  I am leaving out a lot of detail. I did a lot of praying, that I can say for sure.  I was very encouraged to hear that some of the people that we met that day decided to give their hearts to Jesus before the effort was ended in their village!  There were six baptisms.  The local church members also had many more that they were to continue doing Bible studies with.  It is so wonderful to see people giving their hearts to Jesus.  It is also so encouraging to see our students now being the teachers!
Mtili Health Exp (More than 40 people)
The following week, we drove to the other village (Kwatanga) to be with the other half of our students for another Health Expo.  We had over 100 people come to this event.  We also took reading glasses and did reading glasses test.  People continued to come long after we had planned to end, so we stayed late.  It was a very challenging drive there and back.  It was a very good thing that it was the dry season.  At the end of the efforts in that village 15 people decided to follow Jesus in baptism, and more will continue to study with the Bible worker that Kibidula has hired for that village.
Kwatanga Health Expo (more than 100 people)

The following week we packed up and went to Madibira for 17 days of evangelism effort at three sites.  We all stayed in a guest house together each day, and we split up into three groups for our respective sites.  We did one Health expo at each site.  My site was site #1 Ikoga, Doug’s site was #2 -Mahango, and site #3 was Iheha.

More than 100 people came to the Health Expo at Mahango

More than 150 people came to the Health Expo in Ikoga
Iheha Health Expo more than 63 people (not including children)

We did health talks with power point presentations (powered by portable generators) each night before the evangelism preacher would speak.
Site 1 - Ikoga (about one hour before the meetings)

Site # 2 Mahango Outside Meetings
 The speakers for the efforts were part of the ASI program from Czech Republic.  It was a “Share Him” program.  It was nice doing the health presentations before each meeting.  Many people came to the meetings, and also for health advice and help.  There was a Bible worker that was placed in those villages before we came, and he will continue a couple more months to follow up with more that want Bible lessons.  Before we left, there were 48 people that were baptized at the end of the meetings.   The rains have returned to this area of Tanzania.  Doug’s location had their meetings outside, and we are very grateful that they only had two meetings that were affected by the rain (affected but not stopped!)  We also helped to build two “one-day-churches” in the Madibira area.  The first was at site #2 – Mahango, and the second was at Namba Kumi (number 10.)
Site #2 - One-Day-Church we helped to build (Mhango)
Namba Kumi new One-Day-Church that we helped to build.
We packed up the guest house and came back to our Kibidula home and the following day we were picked up by Janet Fournier, director of Eden Valley Foster Care Mission.  She had asked us to do a L.I.G.H.T. training session with her staff and students in Mago, Makete (Tanzania.)  We have been here for five days and have been enjoying our work here very much.  It has rained almost every day.  There are some VERY receptive students in our class.  It is very encouraging to get the positive feedback and the “ah ha” expressions.

On our way to Mago, we stopped at the hospital and visited two of the patients that Anita sent there to get medical help from the village of Mkangwe.  They are both advancing well.

Pendo before and after surgery and Biatus before and after treatment.

Doug has also been helpful in fixing some electrical issues both in the house we are staying in, and the church.  He has been doing many odd jobs including the following:  fixing doors that rub the floor, installing water pipes, fixing leaks, putting in ceiling in the church, pulling teeth (there is a dental outreach here), massages and things I have already forgotten or don’t know.  We are taking turns teaching different subjects at the school.  This is the location that we have requested prayer for because the government has told them that they want to install 5 hydro-electricity dams on their river, and one of them would destroy this mission field.  She did get word from someone that they decided to drop the number from 5 to 4 and the one they would not do was the one located here, but all the officials she has asked about this (to confirm it) have said they know nothing about it.  So we would appreciate prayers that the final confirmation would come that they really have decided to not destroy this beautiful and productive work here.  We really would like to have the official word before the middle of December, since that is when she will be returning to the US for a while.  I also ask that you would pray that she would find a suitable replacement to be the director here.  Janet is ready to turn the project over to the person that God calls to run it.  It is a very challenging work and will take a special person, but God knows exactly who that person is and when they should come! 
Doug learning to pull teeth.
Our current plans are to finish the spiritual and health classes we have started here over the next few weeks.  To train the staff and students to do a Health Expo (and to do it,) to continue the nightly health presentations for the village and campus people, Doug wants to learn a lot about the dental work that Janet does (he is getting lots of opportunity, people come almost everyday to have teeth pulled), we hope to start doing some first aid for wounds, and whatever else God opens the door for us to do here while we are here.

Oh, and I got to experience my first earthquake here!  It woke all of us up on campus except those under 14 years of age (including Joshua who was disappointed he missed it.)  It was fairly strong, no damage that we know of, but lasted for a while also.  They have started having them here over the last few years….  Jesus is coming soon… it is another sign of His soon return.  I am thankful that we can be active in His fields to prepare people!