Saturday, July 14, 2012

Classes, trips, bugs

Blankets for sale down an "alley way" shopping area in Iringa
 A couple of weeks ago, one of the families here needed to go to Iringa for a few different reasons, one being to get clothes for the young man that will be going to Europe to continue his education.  I was glad I could go along and learn a few new places.  We visited several locations where people get clothes, blankets and other things.  It appears that much donated clothes comes in bales, and then it is sold rather cheaply to local sellers who then sell it to whomever.  So we see ALL kinds of clothes from the US, Canada and I don't know where else.  Some of the shops are down back alleys and if you don't know where they are, you won't find them.  I was hoping that it was a safe place to be.  I was with two other people, and I kept a very close hold on my bag.  Here are a few pictures. 
Shirts for sale in Iringa in a back market area
 Many of the "shops" are make-shift structures with various poles, sometimes tin roof and sometimes plastic or tarps.  I wasn't shopping so I don't know the prices.  I was just learning my way around.

More of the back market area for clothes.
In various places throughout Iringa and throughout Tanzania, it seems that there is almost always chickens around.  While we were in the clothes area, I could hear chickens somewhere close even though I didn't always locate them.  Even right beside the MAIN road that goes through Iringa, there were loose adult and baby chickens.  Iringa is quite hilly and the road is a bit built up on the one side.  The picture is of the down-hill side with the little white baby chicken on the left.

Downtown Iringa - see the baby white chicken on the left.
I was thinking as I was walking around Iringa with the others about some of things that are so different here.  This is now life for me, and I think I am getting use to it quickly.  But there are some things that I don't know if I will ever get "used to."  One of those is the little "coffin shops."  They are very common here on the streets.  The thing that bothers me most is that most of the coffins are small.   That means that they are for children.  This isn't something that I think people are suppose to "get used to."  I could be wrong.

I was able to find a few things that I had not previously found like some lentils.  I did find three grapefruit also.  That is all that the man had and they were are hard as rocks!  They had dehydrated some and not rotted, so I knew they should be good.  They were TOUGH to open, but they were good!  Someone suggested I try some tamarind and also some buyu.  It was cheap so I bought a bag of each.  They must be an acquired taste.  We gave them to our helper.  She was thrilled.

The new training session for the lay-evangelism school started on the 3rd of this month.  Doug taught the first two days, and then I taught from the 5th through yesterday (Friday.)  We have 19 students ranging from upper teens to probably 60's.  There are also 3 more students coming.  They have been a great group.  They are asking lots of questions and many are really enjoying the classes.  I have been very blessed to be part of the program.  I so love to work with the people.  So many are so receptive to the materials.  It is a real challenge to get my morning duties done, breakfast and ride down to be in time for the first class.  Doug is now scheduled for the next two weeks.  I have one week off, then I will be doing substitute teaching again at the primary school for one week.

The solar batteries did arrive, but of the 8 (4 for us and 4 for another missionary) 6 were the right kind and two were a different kind.  They looked alike and this was just realized a couple of days ago.  We are hoping that we can get them exchanged.  Please pray that we can.  They will have to be taken back to Dar es Salaam and the correct ones will have to be imported.  This could be tricky (and expensive.)

Doug installed my wood cook stove!  This has improved the level of smoke in the house greatly!  I am so thankful.  We are still getting used to it.  I hope to try baking in it soon.  Since I don't have to teach this week, maybe I can try a few new things.  We will see how the week works out.

The other night, I was getting ready to go to bed, and this very little "fly" was on the cushion.  He was probably about 1/4" long.  He was so pretty. It was bedtime, but I really wanted a picture of him.  I took several.  Here is the best one.  God even made bugs pretty!  Oh, how I long for heaven.  After I took his picture, I put him outside.  I hope he was a "good bug."  Since I didn't know, I set him free.  He was blue and green, iridescent. 

Joshua and I did come down with some congestion.  Mine really hit me during the day Friday.  I think Doug might be coming down with it a bit also now.  I don't remember the last time Joshua DIDN'T have a runny nose.  I hope we can get our immune systems up and get some antibodies created in our systems for all these local "bugs."

Doug and I have also had several "patients" come by.  We had another lady that  came by needing reading glasses.  She told us that her eyes had gotten so bad that she was no longer able to read her Bible.  After getting her a pair for her needs, she was so excited to able to read again.  It is moments like this that make it worth it all.  I worked on a young mother this week who had some very tight muscles in her neck and should area.  She had been hurting for two weeks.  Most likely it was caused by carrying heavy loads on her head and being a bit off balance.  We worked on her for about an hour.  Her muscles relaxed a bunch.  She was smiling really big when we finished, and moving her head around checking out the results.  When they asked how much they owned us, we told them nothing.  Oh, they were so thankful.  These people make so little, how can I ask them to pay us?  I am just thankful that God blessed and she felt better.  We also taught her how to use hot and cold water applications if it was still hurting or started to feel worse.

We also had a little girl who we worked with for about 3 days.  She has some serious issues going on with her muscles and then there is another young man that we are trying to help.  He is still coming.  He seems to be improving.  We will see how far we can help him progress.   Doug also worked on two of the students that were having neck and shoulder issues.

Doug worked on welding up some more solar lights for the staff houses, but his weeks have been getting congested and he was not able to install them as he had hoped.  He has also been fixing more water leaks.  Doug continues to help a little with the plane as Fletcher requests it also.

I am now up to 6 piano students.  The youngest is 6 years old, and the oldest is 46 (Doug!)

Charlie the cat has been coming by every few days.  We hadn't heard a rat on the roof for a while.  I just mentioned that to Doug last night.  And JUST NOW as I am typing this, we hear something on the roof again.  We need the cat to come more often.

God is doing wonderful things.  I have a special prayer request for two of the oldest students.  They have diabetes and high blood pressure.  They are very encouraged to learn that through lifestyle they can reverse both.  Please join us in prayer that they will stick with the program and regain their health so they can server our Lord for many more years.

Do we have many more years????

From what I am hearing all over the world, from everything that I have seen myself, from what I have read in the Bible, our Lord's return is even at the door.  There are ONLY a very few things left to happen according to the prophecies in the Bible.  And the stage is set for those to happen as soon as God stops holding back the four angels and winds of strife.  We are praying that He will hold back the winds of strife a little longer that we will have our hearts right and that we will finish the work that all that want, can come to know Jesus and live with Him forever.  Time is short and we are trying to keep our priorities straight.

We appreciate all the prayers, support and encouragement.  THANK YOU! 

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