Friday, July 27, 2012

Tyre Valves

Here is an interesting observation of how things are done in Tanzania.

Last week I had a set of 4 new tyres put on the truck. They told me they needed to put two new valves on, the others were fine.

When I got home I saw that one (and only one) of the new valves was extra long. I knew this could cause a problem and when that night, Anne's dog started to chew it I knew there were problems.

So, today I went back and told them the problem. They immediately went about fixing it (very professionally)

Even though they put the wrong valve in they still charged me Tsh 3000!

Not that I am really worried, it came to about $2.90!

It's always fun in Tanzania !

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rivertrees in Usa River

Anne and I decided to take some time out, so after  our trip to Singida we planned for two days away at Rivertrees Country Lodge.  What a wonderful place. Here is there web address:

I have put together some photos of our time away, I hope you enjoy.

Relaxing in the dinning room. The food is SO good!

Paths to wander down

This was a coffee estate and it still have the little irrigation channels running through it

A picture of our room

Another photo of our room

Anne using the free wifi in front of our room

We stayed at No. 7

The deck over looking the Usa River

Across the lawn to the dinning room

Do we look relaxed?

Seek first the kingdom of God (in Singida)

Today I want to write about a young brother who is an inspiration to me, and I hope his will be to you. His name is Samuel Nandi.
I first met Samuel in Nairobi, Kenya last year. He was a quiet, reserved young man. We was a active member of the church by then. I remember he was asked to lead a prayer by the preacher and his shyness caused him to pray so quietly it was impossible to say, "amen".

The next time I saw Samuel was in Arusha, he had come for a Leadership study we had arranged. Again he was very quiet, but there was something about him. At the end of the study he told me he wanted to stay in Arusha to go to a tourism college and could he stay at the church building. Of course the brethren were happy for him to do that and he became a part of the congregation.
At the Leadership Study

Samuel was has a Kenyan father and a Tanzanian mother. He speaks very good English and he is very intelligent.  He showed a great interest in studying the Bible and learning. I ended up finding him work around the church building that needed to be done to help him with the cost of furthering his education.

He was waiting to start college at the beginning of this year when he told me he wanted to go to his family village in Singida to visit his mother. We have had this happen to a number of Christians and unfortunately we have not see these brethren again. I was wondering if this was going to be the case with Samuel.

Around that time Anne and I traveled to Malaysia to assist the brethren in Kuala Lumpur and then went on to Perth. While there I received an email from Samuel telling me he had started 2 congregations! One in the village and one in the town of Singida.
With Samuel and his family

Since then, readers of this blog will know that I have made a number of trips to Singida to help the work there. The congregations are small, the Christians are young, but the truth is being preached. Samuel had been living in the village with his mother and step-father, but he was concerned about the lack of growth in the town. He could not afford the cost of the bus ticket (Tsh 4000 - about $2.40) each way, to help them. He therefore decided he needed to move to the town to help the church there.

Just as we all do, all around the world Samuel has Samuel has to deal with the problem of supporting himself financially, and helping the church. He has just come up with a plan and I am so very proud of him.

Together with another new brother, Edward, Samuel found a unfinished house in Singida town and started renting it. The deal is that for the first 2 month it is rent free, but these young men have to do some work on the house - they are doing that.

They have set up the building so they can use the main room as a place of worship for the church on Sunday. During the week they are using it teaching school to the children of the area.  The local schools charge parents Tsh 200 ($.12) a day for after-school tuition. Samuel and Edward are offering their "school" for Tsh 100 a day! This means that these young men are earning around Tsh 1000 ($0.60) a day with which they are able to buy some vegetables to eat.
Edward teaching a Maths class last Saturday

The students on the seats (not built for comfort, but they work)

I am so proud of Samuel for doing this. He could leave Singida and get a job that paid good money, but he is putting the Lord first in all he does.

Please pray for this brother and the work he is doing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Quick trip to Singida

Anne and I have just returned from a very good little trip to Singida.

I was looking at my increasingly busy schedule and realised that if I didn't go and visit the brethren in Singida soon, it would be a couple of months before I would be free to. Therefore we decided to make a quick trip this last weekend.
Samuel, the young man who started the work there, decided to move into the town as he saw the village congregation had members that were better able to keep it going. The congregation in town was really struggling. He together with another brother, Edward, have rented a house in which to live and hold services in. This house is not complete - it has walls, roof and bars on the windows. These young men have put doors on it and made a good place for the church to meet.

Anne and I were so happy to worship with the brethren on Sunday, there was only a small group meeting, but the worship was from the heart and scripturally correct. I taught the lesson, my subject was the Gospel and how to obey it. In the lesson we went to Acts 8 and studied about the Ethiopian Eunuch, how he obeyed the gospel and how he was the first African Christian.

We had to leave right after services to get back to Arusha before dark - you really don't want to drive in Africa in the dark! On the way we saw a young man we had seen in Singida, he was riding a bicycle and hitch hiking. We stopped and gave him a lift. Hi name was Michael and he was from Poland. He told us that he had been riding for the last 9 weeks all around East Africa. We gave him a lift into Arusha and found the Catholic Mission he was looking for to stay at. You never know who you will meet here.
Anne with our new friend, Michael

Gospel Meeting

Last Friday we had a wonderful meeting at the Nkoaranga church of Christ. The brethren there invited me to speak for them at an all day meeting. Of course I was very happy to do that and I arranged to speak for them on the topic of Spiritual Gifts.

There are a great number of Pentecostal churches in that area so the brethren were very interested to study on what the Bible teaches on this topic.

Harold was translating for the day

I started by teaching on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Most people here think that Spiritual Gifts are all there is about the Holy Spirit. I then went on to teach about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speakingy in tongues and how spiritual gifts have passed.

After each of the four sessions we had a Q&A time. The brothers came up with some very good questions and through these questions I was able to deal with a numbers of issues I had not had time to deal with in the lessons.

Some of the brethren gathered

Half way through the day, after the second session, the sisters fed us a good lunch. Previously, at other times, they had cooked up a big lunch for these days. But this time they got some sodas for everyone and some bread buns for us to eat. These were totally sufficient and most importantly of all, it meant that the sisters were able to be in each session, rather then being away cooking.

We finished the day off in a wonderful way. After we had finished and the closing pray said, brother Mbise, the preacher there, asked a young man to stand up and speak. This young man, Bernard said he loved the Lord and wanted to be a Christian and wanted to be baptized, but later. One of the brothers asked him why later. The answer was so sweet. Bernard said that the preacher (me) was too tired. So it could be done later so I could get straight home. I assured him and everyone I was NOT too tired to assist a new soul into the kingdom. So we when right out to the truck to go down to the river. Once there Brother Mbise baptized him.

Mbise baptising brother Bernard

Bernard is in the stripes

What a wonderful way to finish the day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What a Wonderful Day!

We had a great day today.

We have a regular study on leadership issues and this week we all meet at the church building at the village of Makamira.
The Makamira church building

It was a good study, we were studying on Worshipping in Song and there followed a good discussion with a number of questions coming from experience and enquires that the brothers had had regarding singing in worship and the use of instruments.

When we had finished I was told that a elderly man who was there, whom I had not met before, wanted to be baptised. So after we had finished we all climbed into the truck and headed down to the river for his baptism.

Rising out of the waters of baptism

After the baptism

With Jonah and Wilson in the background

Our new Brother, Jonah

What a wonderful day it was!
With Noah Msuya's children, Anna and Adoph.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Western Kenya Part 2

We had been told by George we only had 100kms to go (60 miles), but when we saw the state of the road, were so thankful we did not try to drive it in the dark. The pot holes were so big and so many! Most of the time I had to stop the truck and gently roll it down into the hole and ease it out the other side. George told us it was the over-loaded trucks that come from Uganda that cause all the problems.
You never know what you will see!
 Eventually we made it to the village of Ugunja where we met with brother George. He was a very kind man and was worried about us and our long journey. The first thing he wanted to do was get us settled into our hotel. It was a little ways out of town, but very comfortable. A definite step up from the “Resort” of the night before.

We then headed out to George’s house to meet his wife and the rest of his family. George’s wife, Jacqueline, had made us a wonderful lunch and we felt very much at home. We were then able to talk at length with George about the work in that area and how we could help. I was so thankful that Allen was there, as he was able to bring up so many things that were relevant. Hossiana and Jacqueline made a very firm friendship and were sitting under a tree in deep conversation all this time.
Myself and George

Here we are with some of George's family
We arranged to meet the following day for a Bible study, and so late in the afternoon we made our way to the hotel.

The study was to be at about noon. And so we headed into the village, met up with George and went to a little house behind a shop, where the study was to take place. We studied three men, brothers, who came from a Catholic back ground. We were able to study in English, but when it came to reading the Bible, they wanted it first from the King James Versions (“easier than my NASB”??), then in Swahili and finally in Luow, their local dialect. It was a great study – we looked at the Ethiopian Eunuch, with many questions. These three brothers will soon be converted I believe.
After the Bible Study
Our time with George was just about over. He came to the hotel the following morning and had breakfast with us. We agreed that it would be a good thing to work together and make ties between the Tanzanian work and the Kenyan work. We then started out long drive back to Arusha.

I decided early that we would stop in Nairobi and I made bookings at Hampton House (not a plush hotel of the same name, but the Baptist Guest House). We had a long and tiering drive there, and this time we made a point of stopping as we crossed the equator – my GPS telling us the official marker was about 20 meters off!
Standing right on the Equator (with George's son, Ken)
Hossiana and Allen at Hampton House
After a restful night in Nairobi we headed home to Arusha, arriving about 1.30 pm, tired, but very satisfied with our journey.

Western Kenya Part 1

Last week Alen Mkita, his wife, Hossiana and I made a trip from Arusha to Western Kenya (the country immediately North of Tanzania). We were visiting brethren there and had a wonderful trip.

Looking on the map we thought it would be a long days drive – may be 12 or so hours, but driving in Africa is different. When we left Arusha we had a wonderful high speed highway, just newly finished. It then took us about 2 hours to get through Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city), but we then still thought we were ok with our time estimates.
A coffee break in Nairobi

On leaving Nairobi soon we came upon the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. This is a geological wonder that starts at the Sea Galilee goes through the Red see and into Africa and finishes with Africa’s great lakes.  We had to stop and take a photo, but soon we were “bothered” by vendors selling us the endless supply of curios. We politely told them we were not interested and moved on.
Allen and Hossiana at the Great Rift Valley

The traffic started to get worst as we hit the hills. They have overtaking lanes, but they are not used as they were designed. It was common to come to these and find three slow moving trucks abreast completely blocking every lane of the road, including the wrong side of the road!

We then hit a long section of road works and our rate of travel really slowed down. We realised that we were not going to make our destination so we contacted Bro. George and made for the city of Kisumu.  I did a search for some accommodation on my GPS and it too us to a lovely brand new shopping centre. I guess the guest house made way for development. So we stopped in the car park and I got out my Kenya Lonely Planet Guide which Anne had just bought me second hand. We found a budget lodge in the book AND its location was on the GPS. It had the wonderful name of Kisumu Beach Resort.

My room at the "Resort"
We made it to the resort without any problems and found a rather run down place with hundreds of dogs. Fortunately most of them were tied up!  There was no reception, you just have to find the bar! After being shown what the rooms were like we decided we would stay the night – after all we had been on the road for 12 ½ hours and were very tired AND the rooms were cheap!

We ordered dinner (a 45 minute wait) and sat down to rest. Allen went off to wash up but came back very quickly as his room was now full of dudus (insects). How they got in I don’t know, they weren’t there 10 minutes ago when we looked. I was thankful that I travelled with my own insect spray and mosquito coils!

Lake Victoria 
We had a good dinner (eventually) and a good sleep. Breakfast, however, didn’t start till 9 am. That just meant we were forced to leave a little later and it meant we were able to survey the resort.
Allen and Hossiana at the Lake
 While there was obviously a beach at some time, it was now overgrown. The wonderful Lake Victoria was there, but there was a lot of floating aquatic weeds (apparently at one stage a few years ago the lake was almost completely covered in these weeds). We now saw a rather down-at-the-heals resort that was over taken by time and development (it was on a large plot, but in what was now an industrial area).

After breakfast we headed off for our last 100 kms – which proved to be the very worst of the trip.