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2007 Mission to Tanzania

2007 Mission Team 738

WEDNESDAY 18th JULY
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Our last day in Dubai was spent shopping for one's personel and family needs and packing our suitcases for the long trip back to good 'ol New Zealand. We also spent time in prayer, giving thanks to God for a wonderful trip, and as our custom has been on previous nights, praying words of encouragement over team members. Tonight was Mr Burrows' turn and he was blessed greatly by the words of affirmation from staff and students. My thanks go to all the staff who accompanied our trip...Mr Burrows, Warren & Lesley Strickett and my wife Sue. All worked diligently and selflessly for the students and the mission and the students and their parents can be very thankful for such a great team. It's now bedtime and an early rise (4am) to catch an 8:50am flight to Bangkok. Looking forward to seeing you all at Auckland Airport on Friday afternoon at 2:15pm, Flight EK418.

TUESDAY 17th JULY

In Dubai we are being accomodated in the Dubai Evangelical Christian Centre, a large and modern church building used by 10 different church groups. Today we were able to perform to the children and teenagers of one of these church groups...The Evangelical Christian Arab Church, made up mainly of people groups from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran. Some of the children and teenagers have recently emigrated from Iraq and Lebanon where war and killing was an everyday reality. Sona, the Syrian leader of the group, loved our "God of Nations" national anthem because it proclaimed God's peace over New Zealand. After performing puppets and dance items, the group prayed for the Hebron team and then we prayed for them in small groups.

In the afternoon we were picked up by 4-wheel drive Land Cruisers and taken on a drive through the desert in an emirate north of Dubai. We slid down sand dunes like we were surfing on a wave, much to the delight of the boys mainly! We eventually arrived at our desert banquet where we had a sumptuous feast and then some entertainment from a belly dancer. The students all got a (temporary) tattoo on their arm and we almost married off Tony Blaiklock to Delphina, one of the local Arab girls (see photo above). We couldn't resist giving the audience a taste of Kiwi at the end of the show and staged our haka which was well applauded. Another great day in almost unbearable heat...what did they do before air conditioners were invented???

MONDAY 16th JULY

Today the students experienced a little education. a little shopping therapy and a big dose of physical exercise and fun. We started off this morning visiting the Dubai Museum where we saw artefacts dating back to 3500BC. The early Arabs knew how to make beautiful pottery and metal objects such as daggers and spears. Dubai became famous for its pearl divers and pearls are still cultured and gathered today in this area. Then it was off to lunch and a little shopping in a market area of the town. At 4pm, in the cooler part of the day (I mean less than 35 degrees), we visited Wild Wadi, the biggest water park in the Middle East with the largest water slide outside North America (drops 27m so fast you become weightless for a time). After an exhilerating 4 hours of fun and excitement we went off to a mall food court for our dinner then home to bed. Another great day with awesome kids, fantastic adult helpers, incredibly fine weather, fun and laughter. All totally healthy and happy and enjoying life in God!

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SUNDAY 15th JULY
We have arrived in Dubai intact and with Frank! After an hour or so of haggling, they allowed him to stay on a hotel package deal but still be with us. Thanks for your prayers...they worked! The students only slept for 4 hours on the plane so have been a little on the tired side today. The temperature was in the high 30s so air conditioning is a must! 5 minutes in the sun is debilitating! We spent the morning at the newly opened Mall of the Emirates which contains a huge snow slope with burka-wearing skiers! After a quick lunch, we drove to a beach which is part of the Persian Gulf. The water temperature was at least 30 degrees and was like stepping into a hot bath. After an hour in the water and on the beach, we retreated to our accomodation, the United Christian Church of Dubai, using the same massive building that 9 other denominations use. It is clean, comfortable and above all else, air-conditioned! It's now time for an early night and a catch up on our sleep. PS We didn't go to church today because the Christians in Dubai go to church on Fridays, the same day the Muslims go to the mosque!
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SATURDAY 14th JULY
I write this update in an internet cafe at Nairobi Airport while we wait 3 hours to board our 11:35pm flight to Dubai. The departure from the guest house started two hours late due to roads being closed for the President passing through! We still found time to call into the Fountain of Hope on our way up to Kenya where we were farewelled by the staff and children and prayers were said. We then had 10 minutes of hugs and tears with many of the Hebron and FOH children crying on one another's shoulders...a truly emotional time and an indication how much the students have impacted one another. Then it was off to the Tanzanian/Kenyan border, lunch and drinks then off to Nairobi. We've all had a bite to eat and a drink but will be offered a dinner on the plane after takeoff. The temperature in Dubai is 40 degrees so we will be walking into an oven! Might plan a long swim at a beach on the first day. Urgent prayer need: Please pray that Frank Peng will be allowed to stay in Dubai with the team. Travelling on a Chinese passport required special entry permission which our NZ travel agents and host in Dubai have not yet been able to obtain. Must get back to the team...Kwaheri.
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FRIDAY 13th JULY
On our last full day in Tanzania, we had such a full programme that we cancelled out on one of three school performances and only visited two primary schools in the morning. The distances between them and the atrocious state of the roads made the traveling about as long as the actual performances! Some of the roads are so pot-holed and rutted that the bus can only move along in first gear otherwise we would be "scrambled" passengers and there would be the inevitable broken axle. We did make it however and the two schools visited were again, highly appreciative of our visit.

After lunch, we visited the Fountain of Hope for the last time to perform items not seen by them including the National Anthem, Polynesian Creation dance, the Amazing God dance and a repeat of the haka (performed at great decibles and enthusiasm). After farewell speeches and prayers we sent off the nursery children with a small bag of lollies and told the primary children they had a special gift...a wallet with 5 colourful and glossy memory verse cards which they could memorise and gain 15 more cards. They were highly excited upon receiving this gift and have already started learning their verses. We will pop into the school on the way to Nairobi Airport in the morning for final hugs and farewells.

Later in the afternoon we attended the crusade. About half the team with leaders were requested to pray for a family in a house near the crusade that was being afflicted by demonic activity (doors slamming in the night, sounds of people moving around the house, dogs barking for no reason, etc.) The areas is known for its wizards and witches but the new pastor in the area is determined to break through into these strongholds. We all prayed for God's peace in the home and called on God's protection on the house and home. Four members of the FOH joined us for dinner and presented gifts to all the team members - traditional Tanzanian material. After speeches and prayers, it was off to bed for the big packup in the morning and the long 8-hour bus ride up to Nairobi Airport in Kenya and our flight to Dubai. (This might be the last dailing posting for the next two days as we will have no internet facilities until settled in Dubai).

THURSDAY 12th JULY
School visits were on the timetable today...3 of them, 1 secondary and two primary. The visit to Majenko Secondary School was aborted, when, upon arriving, the Principal informed us the visit which had been arranged with a teacher had not been confirmed with the Principal and could not take place during class time. So disappointedly but not daunted, we motored off to the next two schools who had simultaneous visit times. We split the team into two with the drama group going to one school and the puppet group going to another. Reception was good at both schools with the majority of one school indicating they wanted to follow Jesus and live 100% for Him.

After lunch we were invited to Mrs Violet Kimambo's (Headmistress that visited NZ last year) house for a beautiful afternoon tea and a visit around their backyard farm (cows, pigs, hens). After an enjoyable afternoon's entertainment and feeding we traveled to the crusade which was not well attended (it had been hurredly arranged after a problem with the planned site became evident). We prayed for people requesting prayer for salvation and healing then headed home in the dark for another enjoyable guest house meal, evening games and bed. Another great day in Tanzania and only 1 day to go before heading up to Nairobi Airport. The students are pleading with me to stay another week or two...I'm tempted to say "Yes" but I know their parents are missing them too much!
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WEDNESDAY 11th JULYph400 dsc00723
Our first duty of the day was to attend the Fountain of Hope Farewell...brought forward because Glorious and Josephine Shoo are leaving tomorrow for the US to be interviewed by the Focus on the Family programme, and so wanted to be there. The children sang beautiful farewell songs and our students were presented with Fountain of Hope shirts. Each Hebron student and team leader was given an opportunity to give thanks and share their highlights of Africa with the children. The older children performed our haka and they were most accomplished at doing this. We have only two more days in Tanzania and it is going to be quite emotional for the students leaving the children at the orphanage which they have come to love so dearly.

Straight after the farewell, we travelled to a nearby Government secondary school, Malisita Secondary School. The students sang songs, performed the Maori cultural items and staged our drama which was intently watched by the 300+ students, a small number being Moslem children. Mr Matthews presented a "2007 Visit To Africa Tour" plaque to the Principal and thanked him for inviting the team to his school. After distributing our Hebron leaflet and some Swahili tracts, we headed back to the guest house for lunch.

Then it was off to another nearby primary school where we performed another set of items, presented this school's Principal with a plaque and handed out leaflets.

We then headed for the venue of our next crusade. Unfortunately, the required council permit was only issued late in the day so the stage erection and advertising were all delayed. Consequently, we divided the students into pairs accompanied by 2 Fountain of Hope children and one teacher to go door knocking, inviting the locals along to the crusade on Thursday and Friday nights. One group got into such a "roll", they lost track of time and only returned as daylight was fading.

The return to the hostel for a hearty meal, a soft drink (staple diet in this part of the world, 30c/bottle and guaranteed to be safe to drink) and a free night was the order of the evening with everyone into bed by 9:30pm for a well-deserved sleep (the students are now sleeping through nightly dog fights, Muslim call to prayer at 5am and rooster crowing at the break of dawn!). The students continue to be such a great bunch, they're all healthy and happy and always willing to speak and perform for the Lord. And the weather continues to be fine and sunny with no rain & wind. I believe Auckland has been a little damp lately!
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TUESDAY 10th JULY
The whole of today was spent travelling to,driving around the Ngorongoro Conservation Park and travelling back to Moshi, starting at 7am and arriving back at our guest house at 10pm...a rather long day. The park is inside the rim of a huge crater of a volcano and covers thousands of square kilometres. We saw animals such as lions, hippopotumuses, hyenas and jackals, animals that we didn't see in Tarangire Park yesterday. We drove out of the crater in the late afternoon and started heading back to Moshi. Our trip, once again, was rather slow as one of the vans developed radiator problems and had to stop for repairs. So it was a quick and belated dinner, showers and into bed. Take a look below at some of the beutiful animals we saw....

MONDAY 9th JULY
One can't visit Africa without seeing its wildlife in the flesh; our students saw many of Africa's animals and birdlife in the Tarangire National Park. It will be a day they won't forget for a long time. We split into three groups and traveled through this huge reserve looking out of a hole in the van's roof. Throughout the day we saw elephants, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, water buffalo, implala, baboons, various types of birdlife and plants and trees. We have all seen this wildlife on TV and films but to be actually among it is quite surreal.

We drove out of the park in the late afternoon having had our "fill" of Africa for the day and arrived at Tiga Camping ground where we are lodging for the night in comfortable and clean cabins. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant, a swim in the pool and observed fireflies flying outside our cabins before retiring for the night. Another awesome day in Africa. Hakuna Matata. PS We have been having absolutely beautiful weather throughout our trip...around 24 degrees, no rain (what's that?), no wind, beautiful sunrises and sunsets...we read that NZ is have the opposite...we hope NZ weather improves when we return!!!
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SUNDAY 8th JULY
We arose at 5am for an early morning start to travel to Arusha, about 1.5hrs from Moshi. We arrived at the Ebenezar Church at 8am and it would have to be the smallest and poorest church any of us had seen. The walls of the church were odd-sized, rough-sawn planks of wood with gaps everywhere. Needless to say, there were cooling breezes blowing through the congregation during the service. We performed our Maori items and puppet songs/dramas before Mr Burrows preached a sermon on modern heroes of the faith. After a time of very animated singing and dancing, each member of the team was called up before the congregation and presented with a Masai blanket (males) or a Masai wraparound shawl/skirt (females) and this was followed by a traditional Tanzanian lunch. We were all blessed, not so much with the gifts and the lunch, but the overflowing generosity of such a giving people from such a poor area. On the way to our accomodation, we popped into the Arusha Masai Market where the staff and students purchased African crafts and knickknacks for friends and relatives. After settling into our accomodation at the Arusha Backpackers Hotel, we headed off to the Joshua Foundation, a bible college and teaching training institute started by kiwis Allan & Lynda Stephenson. An afternoon tea was laid on by resident kiwis Liz and Paul Scouller, Allan & Sue Dow, Paul and Sally Carseton and Vanessa (nee Hill & ex-Hebron student) + hubby. Before leaving we gave them a taste of Kiwi by staging our haka on the college lawns. We are all looking forward to relaxing over the next two days in the the two safari parks looking at the animals and bird life of Africa. The students have worked hard and deserve some free time. They all continue to be a great credit to themselves, their families, the school, their nation and above all else, the Lord God who we all serve.washday

SATURDAY 7th JULY
Today was the day for practical help. The students chose to undertake the following activities: planting bougainvillea plants to form a hedge at the Fountain of Hope, painting a wall at the Fountain of Zoe and continuing medical treatment at the nursery school. Each activity went well and everything planned was accomplished. The pictures below tell the story. After lunch was the time for a little shopping and the washing of one's underwear.

Tonight was the last night for the crusade at Kindi. The puppets and the drama items were performed and Delphina and Claire gave their testimonies. Mr Strickett preached a short message and about 30-40 people came forward for prayer. The team, once again, gathered around the sick and prayed the prayer of faith. Many people went up onto the stage and testified to the healing power of God.

After the crusade, we went to the FOH where we had dinner then watched some videos taken during the 2005 mission and the current mission. The children thoroughly enjoyed seeing themselves on the big screen and seeing other activities during the two missions in which they weren't a part. Tomorrow we arise at 5am to head up to Arusha for the day then onto the two national parks on Monday and Tuesday. We may not be able to access an internet connection so don't fret if we disappear into cyberspace for 3 days!
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FRIDAY 6th JULY
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This morning the team divided into 3 groups and visited 3 very poor Tanzanian families, taking them gifts of food. One family visited was headed by a widow trying to bring up three children with virtually no income. She lived in a stick and mud hut approx 4m x 3m. The floor was dirt, there was no electricity or running water, no glass windows and a rusty tin roof full of holes. The mother said she was not a believer and had no joy or satisfaction in her life. She was thankful her daughter had been accepted into the Fountain of Hope orphanage. Another family visited by another group was headed by a widowed grandmother who was helping look after 24 grandchildren. Their total diet was bananas and maize. They were basically living hand-to-mouth. The Hebron students came away with a better understanding of how many people live in the world today and a much greater appreciation of their own homes and New Zealand lifestyle.

During lunchtime, Mrs Matthews, a registered nurse, took four students to treat the children in the nursery, many of them infected with scalp infections and ringworm. They did an amazing job and had everyone treated by the time their lift arrived. Further treatment will be carried out with the children at the Fountain of Hope next week.

The crowd was smaller at the crusade this afternoon but numbers increased as the items got underway. Our Polynesian dancers, Debbie, Marguerite, Damarice and Delphina performed their Cook Island dance and this really excited the crowd. William Hartanto, Una Tanginoa and Damarice Toi all gave powerful testimonies of God's saving power in their lives. Sisters Damarice and Marguerite sang a beautiful self-composed song without accompaniment and this was well applauded by the crowd. Mr Burrows preached a powerful sermon on the cross of Christ and a large number, again, responded to the alter call. Prayer for the sick then started and this proved to be an amazing time. People who were lame started jumping and running after students and staff prayed for them, a lady with a permanently injured back started running around the stage and praising God. A deaf and blind lady who Mrs Matthews prayed for yesterday approached her tonight, hugged and kissed her on both cheeks and told her she could see and hear! Praise God. Needless to say, there was much partying at the crusade this evening and it was very hard to get the students on the bus as darkness fell...they wanted to keep praying for the sick and see more miracles.

The evening finished with 4 Fountain of Hope children giving testimonies back at the guest house. They all had harrowing backgrounds (deceased parents, insane mother, parental abandonment, starvation, etc) but all testified of God's grace and mercy in bringing them to the orphanage where they have found security, love and a wonderful hope for the future.

The students are all in good health, high spirits, happy and feeling so blessed to be in Africa. Claire's suitcase has been returned to her and everyone is happy with that outcome. There is great unity among the team and a sense that God is using us mightily and stretching our faith in many areas. Praise God!
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THURSDAY
5th JULY

Yesterday's tabloid sports programme was so successful that that Mrs Kimambo, head teacher, asked the team to run the same programme with the nursery children. The team responded in predictable fashion and launched into another hour-long session of various active sporting activities that had these younger (mostly 5 and 6 year olds) children running, jumping, skipping and throwing. After a short break the team started teaching the older students the Maori songs and haka to them. They did a splendid job and within the hour the FOH children performed a very good haka. The team then taught them a Maori stick game which some of them mastered very quickly. Truly a great morning's work and a very happy bunch of FOH students. At 3pm we headed off to the crusade at Kindi, the area in the interior of Moshi. The local market was in operation in the town square when we arrived so it was intriguing to see various wares being sold including ground coffee, live chooks, huge avocados (we had some for dinner later), tomatoes, clothes, etc. This time we started our performance with the puppets and they soon drew a crowd of 500-600 people. Jintana and Stephanie gave their testimonies and this was followed by the team dancing performing to our National Anthem using sign language. The girls then performed their Amazing God dance and this was much appreciated by the crowd. Mr Matthews gave the message at the end of the evening about 200+ people came forward for salvation and/or prayer. Needless to say the large number of respondents overwhelmed us and it took some time to pray with everyone. Healing prayers were uttered over many people, some mute, some blind, some crippled and some got on the stage later and testified to God's healing in their lives.

The team arrived back in the guest house for a late dinner and the debrief was full of positive feedback and lots of laughs over the items, etc. Another great day was had in Africa!stickgamescrusade



WEDNESDAY
4th JULY

We were told about power cuts in Africa before leaving NZ but no-one told us about water cuts! Yes the guest house had no water for almost a day so the students had to learn about having a flannel shower and flushing the toilet with a bucket of water. The problem was finally traced to a local contractor illegally tapping into the guest house water pipe and stealing our water. Thankfully we now have the water on and some nice smelling students and staff!

The students spent the morning organising a tabloid sports programme with the Junior classes. Ten activities were run by the students and children rotated around each activity. Much fun was had by all and the Fountain of Hope teachers want us to run the programme again with the nursery children (4 & 5yr olds) and the older students. Once again, it was a great delight to see our 20 Hebron students greatly blessing these deprived children and seeing the FOH children so active and laughing and giggling so much. After completing the 10 activities both the Hebron and FOH children were worn out but very satisfied.

After lunch we prepared for the first night of our crusade in the Moshi interior among a banana growing plantation. A crowd of about 250-300 awaited us and the haka and Maori songs further swelled numbers. Matthew and Ben Strickett both gave their testimonies of God's love and grace in their lives being brought up in a Christian home. The drama team then performed "The Tale of Two Kingdoms" which was watched attentively and received applause and shouts of praise when Jesus was resurrected and Satan banished from the Kingdom. Parent helper, Warren Strickett preached after the drama and approx. 50-60 people came forward for salvation and prayer. The students, with FOH interpreters, prayed for the new believers then they prayed for people with ailments and health problems. As darkness fell, we headed off into the bus for our 30-min drive back to the guest house. So, another very fruitful and rewarding day was had by all in the nation of Tanzania.

TUESDAY 3rd JULY
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Today the team met some of the girls from the Fountain of Joy, the department of the New Life Foundation that reaches out to troubled and wayward girls, some who have turned to prostitution early in their teens. The girls testified to the transforming power of Christ in their lives and the bcenter future they now have surrounded by the unconditional love of Christians. The Hebron girls surrounded the girls, laid hands on them and prayed for each one. Before leaving Glorious told us that one of the girls, Grace, had come to Christ at the crusade the 2005 mission team ran. She was totally healed of a chronic bleeding problem at that crusade and has been a totally committed Christian since then. On the way back to the guest house the team undertook a little shopping therapy at an African craft market.

In the afternoon we traveled downtown to set up for our first street performance. The Maori haka and song, the puppets and finally the drama drew a crowd of over 100 people. Mr Burrows preached a powerful sermon and around 10 people responded to the altar call and received Christ as Saviour and Lord. A local church recorded the names of the respondents and plan to follow them up.

The team were keen to hear the results of the Americas Cup race when they arrived back in the guest house and were quite disappointed to hear we had lost by 1 second. Well, as the Africans would say..."Hakuna matata" (no worries!). We were also greeted with the news our water was not running so the long-awaited showers may have to wait until the morning...
 

MONDAY 2nd JULY
fountainofzoeThe Fountain of Zoe, the babies' orphanage, was on the programme today and the female members of the team were particularly excited about going there. The 2005 mission team saw the babies in a house, this team had the privilege of visiting the newly-built 50-bed building. The team arrived just after 10:30am, donned their aprons and met the 17 babies currently being cared for. Some of the "babies" were babies in 2005 so were now walking and beginning to talk. It was a great delight to see some of these babies who have been sponsored by Hebron staff and families, babies that were abandoned and orphaned early in their life but now have a much bcenterer future through the intervention of the New Life Foundation. And expectedly, it was extremely hard to gather the students up to get them on the bus and back to the guest house for lunch, but after about 25mins we were all on the bus travelling back for lunch but our hearts were back with the babies.

In the afternoon we traveled back to the Fountain of Hope (school) and each student spent time in an allocated classroom seeing how Tanzanian children are taught and the relationship they have with their teachers. They also noticed how spartan the classrooms are with few wall displays and interest corners apart from displays and scriptures set up by Lysette and Alayna Matthews during their 4-week s

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tay in January. At 3:30pm, school was over and time had come for the promised Tanzania v New Zealand soccer game. The 11 Hebron boys took on the mighty Fountain of Hope "Dream Team"...and were they good!!! The final score: Hebron 2, Hope Foundation 12! We were more than happy to be whipped by such skilled players and to see the joy of winning on their faces. The girls were playing netball and volleyball and as the boys joined them, more games started up including skipping, circle chase, Frisbees, hand relay, etc. It was an absolute delight to see our NZ teens freely and happily mixing with these 200+ orphans for over an hour - what a testimony to the Spirit of Jesus that was in the hearts of all those present and the way barriers and differences were broken down in the name of the God of Love. Once again, extracting these students from such meaningful and harmonious fun was difficult but the children were called for their showers and our dinner was ready at the guest house. Monday 2nd July was another very memorable day in the continent of Africa!
 

SUNDAY
1st JULY

After a breakfast and a devotional time, we headed for the El Shaddai Church where we were warmly welcomed by the congregation. We then experienced the wonderful worship time that is uniquely African. The choir danced and sang loudly but melodiously at the front of the church both in English and Swahili. Testimonies were given and the Word was preached with vigour and conviction. Then it was Hebron's turn starting with the haka, the Swahili song "Baba Tunakapenda", then the girls' "Amazing God" dance and finally the drama, The Tale of Two Kingdoms which was watched most attentively by the congregation. The three hour service concluded with a short messgae from Mr Matthews. After milling with the church members, the team headed back to the guest house for lunch.

After some lunch and freetime, the team headed back to the orphanage where the puppet team put on all their songs and dramas. They then asked to see the haka again but our team first asked to see their version of the haka which was staged and warmly applauded by the Hebron team. Games and tricks were played with the orphans until they had to report for their showers and we had to reluctantly head off home for our dinner and showers.

The team are in good health, high spirits and relating wonderfully with one another and staff. Their performances are getting by the day and they are relishing the applause and appreciation that their audiences are giving. Above all else, they feel blessed of God to be involved in such an amazing experience of a lifetime.

SATURDAY nlfwelcome30th JUNE
Our first full day in Tanzania started off with a lovely breakfast of omelettes and mango juice eaten outdoors in temperatures of around 23 degrees C. After a Bible study and prayer, we practised the NZ National Anthem as we had only rehearsed this once in NZ. We then boarded our bus to head off to the New Life Foundation Orphanage and School. Upon alighting, we were met by about 20 children who danced and sang a song singing "We love Hebron" after which 25 students brought a rose and Welcome certificate for each Hebron student and adult. We then proceeded to a seated area where Pastor Glorious Shoo and his wife Josephine officially welcomed us and told everyone of the amazing "God connection" the Foundation has with the Christian school in the "islands at the uttermost parts of the earth". He then introduced the staff of the foundation and spoke of the projects and building plans that have been made possible by generous and giving Christians. Mr Matthews then replied thanking the Foundation for their invitation to visit Tanzania and the blessing Hebron Christian College has received in giving to the poor and abandoned children of Africa. After the New Life children performed two dances and songs, it was time for the Hebron students to show them their latest haka which was loudly applauded by the children and staff. We then handed over our gifts of clothes, medical equipment, books and pens which was much appreciated by everyone. Our head boy and girl (Sam & Ella) then exchanged gifts with the NLF head boy and girl.

We then had to leave the orphanage to have lunch before heading off as guests at the wedding of a Tanzania couple. The service started 2 hour late (nothing happens on time in Africa) with the bride and groom heralded into the church by a 7-piece brass band. The service included the Hebron team singing their Maori Christian song "Te Ariki". We were then invited to the reception where the team performed their haka and our 4 Pacific Island girls (Damarice, Marguerite, Debbie and Delphina) performed a beautiful Cook Island dance to the song Te Kuau, based on the Genesis account of creation. The crowd went wild and cheered them thoughout their dance. We presented the married couple with a Hebron Mission plaque and a card signed by all the team. Then it was back to the guest house for supper and bed.
 

FRIDAY 29th JUNEnlfwelcomephotos

A good sleep-in was the order of the day after our strenuous first day in Africa. We had a good Bible study and spent time praying for Paul, our Kenyan host and pastor. Then it was off for Tanzania in our bus with most of our luggage on the roof. The sights and smells of Africa kept everyone looking out the window observing the different living standards to that enjoyed in New Zealand. The 1 hour border crossing into Tanzania allowed the locals to descend on our bus selling all their crafts and trinkets but also gave us the opportunity to pray for a blind beggar. Then it was onto Moshi where we arrived at our guest house around 6:30pm, about 8 hours after leaving Kenya. Our accommodation is comfortable and has had recent improvements including the installation of Western toilets, hot showers, etc. Unfortunately, it is very close to a local mosque so the electronically-amplified "calls to worship" created some conversation and a little irritation when it starts at 5am in the morning! Again, the students crashed when they hit their beds, after a rather long day on the road.

 

THURSDAY
28th JUNE

After a four hour wait in Dubai Airport, we took off for Africa. There was great delight when we sighted the coast of Africa and then landed at Nairobi Airport two hours later. After gaining our Kenyan transit visas, we started gathering our luggage which all arrived intact except for Claire's suitcase which we are still waiting for. While processing this mislaid luggage the team performed a haka to the waiting Kenyans outside the airport. The trip to our overnight accommodation (East African Theological College) took almost 2 hours in gridlock traffic. Upon arriving in our very tidy and clean accommodation, we headed over the road to the local hotel for our dinner. The wait for the dinner combined with jetlag had many of the students dozing at their tables. It didn't take long to get them all to bed in their first night in Africa!

WEDNESDAY 27th JULY
We have arrived in Dubai and are waiting for our next flight to Nairobi. Everything is going sweet and the flights have been all good. The students are a little tired after watching films and playing games but a sleeping pill knocked most of them out on the Singapore to Dubai flight so that they look quite fresh now. Thanks for your turnout at the airport and all your good wishes. Keep us in your prayers as we keep you in our prayers.


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