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2011 Mission to Tanzania

Monday 1st AugustTeam(400)

We are having a great time in Dubai and in 44 degree heat. We went shopping then we swam in a roof top pool. We are off to the Wild Wadi swimming complex tomorrow then a dune safari and with a desert dinner. It is Ramadan here now so we can't eat or drink in public! We are having major problems opening our school website so this update has been texted through to a Hebron Christian College teacher to upload. From Geoff and mission team in Dubai.

Saturday 31st July 2011

This morning, after breakfast and a devotional time, most of the team zoomed off for a little more shopping for African mementos to bring back to NZ. At noon, we travelled with Pastor Glorious Shoo to the Ururo Lutheran Guest House/Hotel where we had a delightful BBQ lunch. We then drove to Machame, the area on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro where Glorious grew up as a boy and young man. Soon after arriving at his mother's home, we went on a walk through banana and avocado trees to a fertile valley with a bubbling creek fed directly from the melting snow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is hoped to develop this area as a retreat for pastors and missionaries and will be called the Fountain of Grace. We all held hands in a circle and prayed for God to see this dream realised. After playing some chirade games on the lawn next to the house, we were fed the most delicious meal prepared by Josephine Shoo and helpers, consisting of 12 different servings of food including tandoori chicken. Before leaving, we sang a worship song and prayed God's blessing on the Shoos and the work of the New Life Foundation. We are now back at the guest house, packed and ready to leave at 6am to travel to Nairobi Airport in Kenya, about an 8 hour drive, then a 5 hour flight to Dubai, arriving late at night. So don't expect and entry for Sunday...we'll be on the move!

The Africa part of the mission has been another astounding success in terms of:
  • Full completition of the planned programme and more
  • Many, many decisions made for Christ in crusades, churches and schools
  • Instant and gradual healings of those prayed for
  • Total connection and interaction with the children and staff at the FoH orphanage
  • Outstanding behaviour & co-operation by all the Hebron students
  • A deepening of each student's walk with the Lord with many testifying major break-throughsAwesome student & adult-led praise/worship and prayer times
  • Outstanding teacher and parent help and support throughout the trip
  • Great unity in the team..student/student, student/adult, adult/adult
  • Total safety of all team members
Isaiah 26:12 states, Lord, you established peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us. We give thanks to God for blessing our team and helping us to accomplish so much for His kingdom.

Friday 29th July 2011

Today was our last performance day in Tanzania and the students gave it their best shot. We arrived at Mailasita Secondary School at 11:30am but were held up as the teacher-in-charge informed us we would not be performing to the whole school but to the Pentecostal students. Rather than preaching to the "converted" we ended up performing to the Catholic students who were quite talkative and unsettled when we began but became quite attentive towards the middle of the programme. The drama appealed to them and the response for salvations led by Hebron dad Colin Marshall was awesome, almost most present raising their hand requesting prayer.

After lunch, it was off to another local secondary school, St.Theresia School. This was a smaller secondary school and they were very appreciative of the visit. Both the puppet team and the drama team performed well, as they did with the presentation of a number of song items. Again there was a great response to the drama and a simple direct message Colin preached about living the Christian life together.
foj-girls
While the team was at St.Theresia School, Cassie Hart and myself drove out to the Fountain of Joy, consisting of 16 teenage girls rescued off the streets of Moshi where they had been prostituting, etc. Cassie had bought 16 pairs of shoes for them, paid for by a New Zealand lady. There was much excitement among the girls, some with babies on their hips, as they tried on the shoes and expressed their gratitude to Cassie and myself. The shoes for one girl did not fit so Cassie took off her shoes and gave them to her and they fitted perfectly. What a saint! The girls, all born again believers now, sang two worship songs after which Cassie and I prayed for them all. God is good, all the time!

By the time we returned to the FoH, the secondary students had arrived for a sports afternoon with the Hebron team. Our netball girls were coaching them in the finer skills of netball, the boys were underway with the Tanzania v New Zealand soccer game and there was a volleyball game in full swing too. Others were content to just walk around the property, arm in arm, talking and laughing.
Simultaneously another medical clinic was held and some time was spent with a doctor who comes to check on health in the New Life Foundation. A number of children we identified with pressing needs had them addressed and the doctor agreed to arrange an oral systemic antibiotic for one child who had issues all over his body. We also spent some time demonstrating to the dispensary assistant the way to clean a wound. The New Life Foundation is very appreciative of the medical supplies they have recieved. Obtaining medicines is also a problem so those we had purchased in Tanzania for them were much appreciated.

Mrs Douglas treats Joshua's school sores.

We all came together at 6pm to say our goodbyes. We decided to gift our puppet theatre to them as they had puppets but no theatre. Some of the dance girls gave away their dance skirts and ribbons to the girls they had taught the dance to. After some student prayers the Hebron team reluctantly got on the bus, many crying, and we trundled down the FoH driveway with many fond memories of our times together, united by the love of God in our hearts to one another.

Click here for today's PhotoLog

Thursday 28th July

The team was scheduled to visit a boys' detention centre at 9:00am this morning but a double booking by the centre delayed our entry by 2 hours so we decided to do a little African shopping at the local curio shops to fill in time. At 11am we entered The Moshi Retention Home where boys (approx 12 - 17 years old) that have been convicted of crimes are held before being sentenced. This facility keeps them away from adult criminals, protects them from vengeful complainants and allows the state to provide health and educational care to them in a semi-home environment. We were met by about 20 boys, none looking like criminals, just ordinary looking, smiling boys. Our students mixed with them for a while before performing some songs and the haka then the drama. Mr Burrows shared a short message about two people who were imprisoned on serious charges but whose lives were turned around by the power of God and who now share their testimony with people all over the world. After asking the boys to stand up, he encouraged them to say the sinner's prayer and it seemed like most responded. Praise God for the power that is in the name of Jesus! Unlike our visit 2 years ago, we were not permitted to take photos/videos of the boys but allowed photos of the handing over of the Hebron framed certificate of appreciation.
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After lunch, we attended the FoH Farewell & End-of-term Prizegiving. All the nursery, primary and secondary students were in attendance along with teachers and support staff. I thanked Glorious & Josephine Shoo and all the staff and children for welcoming us with open arms and great love. I reminded them that God had drawn us together, not man, and His purposes were being worked out in amazing ways, both in Tanzania and New Zealand. Other Hebron adults and students offered words of thanks and encouragement before we gave a Hebron framed certificate of appreciation and gifts to 9 NLF staff who were instrumental in arranging and managing our visit. Prizes and certificates were then handed out to the NLF with Mr & Mrs Breetvelt and myself shaking hands with every recipient. The afternoon ended with a crowd photo, further informal conversations and then off to dinner.

Mrs Violet Kamambo (head of the secondary Dept & the first NLF teacher to receive the Hebron-NLF Teacher Scholarship), along with her husband Godson, invited us to her house for dinner. After looking around their small farmlet (4 cows, 8 pigs, hens and dogs) we enjoyed a lovely meal. After a few songs and speeches, the team left for the guest house saddened to hear the news of the road collision mentioned above.
Click here for today's PhotoLog

Wednesday 27th July

Another primary school was on the schedule this morning...Njoro Primary School, a school we performed at in 2009 and a very close neighbour of the Fountain of Hope school just across the valley. The team got underway with some Swahili worship songs led by Miss Hart then performed their Maori, Swahili and English songs interspersed by puppet songs and scripts. Emilee Gillies shared her "Paintbrush" object lesson again and that was well received by the children. The drama team took over presenting their Tale of two Kingdoms mime. Mr Breetvelt gave the follow-up salvation message and once again, most of the children responded by raising their hand and repeating the sinners prayer. Praise the Lord. After the presentation of a Hebron Christian college placard, we were onto the bus and heading home for lunch.
njoro-3 chidlren-praying

At 3pm we headed off to the Amani Home for Street Boys where about 70 boys gathered from the streets of Arusha and Moshi (mainly) are cared for, medically treated, counselled, educated and ultimately, where possible, re-united with their families or relatives. In some cases, none can be found (or found to be safe and suitable) and are cared for in the home long term. The home was opened in 2007, mainly built and funded by donations from Americans. After being shown around the building, the Hebron team performed some songs and the haka which delighted these boys greatly. Mr Chauhan shared a gospel message and the majority of boys responded to the call of Christ, standing up and repeating the sinners prayer. Praise the Lord again!

We were then invited to the home of Mathias and Esther Msangi for a soda (soft drink), peanuts, popcorn, bananas and chapatti bread. The Msangis are well-known to previous mission teams - the family is very musical with Mathias leading worship at the El Shaddai Church and crusades, their son Victor playing guitars, bass, drums, etc., their daughter El Shaddai leading singing, etc. Mathias and Esther spent 4 months in Auckland at the start of 2010 attending the Children's Bible Ministry's Child Evangelism workshops along with visits to Hebron, meals with Hebron families, etc. Ruth Turner gave a speech of thanks and appreciation at the end of our time with them and various ones prayed blessings on their families. After dinner, the girls spent more time teaching the FoH secondary girls their dance before crashing into bed after another long but extremely fruitful and enjoyable day.
Click here for today's PhotoLog
Click here to see video of NLF Tabloid Sports
Click here to see video of Ebenezer song

Tuesday 26th July

Today it was our turn to run the secondary school devotions. This meant another 6:15am rise (in the dark...still no electricity), cold showers, quick breakfast and onto the bus. We led in 4 worship songs, our girls' quartet sang a lovely song, Jordan and Rithwik gave their object lessons and Elise shared a testimony. We then had a time of prayer, Hebron students praying for NLF students and vice versa. Lots of encouraging words and prophecies over people. We then travelled up into the mountains to perform at Njoro Primary School - a school we had performed at 4 years ago. Another nearby school joined the audience of approx 300 children and we performed most of our items concluding with the drama. Mr Burrows gave a stirring message about the life of Christ and his death on the cross and when he asked for children to raise their hands if they wanted to live for Jesus, about 150 put their hand up and came forward for prayer. Bwana esifewe...praise the Lord!
sec-devotions first-aid
ruth--rachel piggyback

We arrived back at the guest house at 2pm and had our usual cooked lunch and cold drinks. We then planned for our tabloid Sports programme at the FOH primary school. The children were most excited to see us coming and we soon had them organised into 14 teams working their way around 14 activities planned and run by Hebron students and adults. Activities include: Cat and Mouse, Circle Tag, Pyramids, Go Home and Stay Home, Balloon Basketball, Musical Chairs, Goal Shooting, Relays, Over and Under, etc. While this was all happening, Mr Marshall was tutoring the FoH teachers on basic First Aid using the medical equipment we supplied to them. Hebron families who had sponsored children also had an opportunity to meet their sponsored child and hand over cards and gifts to them. There were many beaming faces among those receiving these gifts from afar! After dinner, the Hebron girls continued to teach the dance to the FoH girls which by the end of the session, had learnt it extremely well. We plan to give their skirts and ribbons to the NLF girlsat the end of the tour to perform the dance at their own churches and outreaches.
nlf-students
During our evening devotion time, we had 2 NLF secondary boys and 2 NLF secondary girls give their testimonies. Each child had some harrowing experiences to share from their early childhood including the early death of parents, living in poverty and deprivation , being taken into care by close and distant relatives and eventually brought to the New Life Foundation orphanage and given " a new lease of life", exposed to the gospel and led to salvation, given unconditional love and provide with great prospects for a great future. The Hebron students and staff were moved by their testimonies and impressed with their boldness in their dreams and aspirations for the future. One girl desires to be a lawyer. After a photo shoot (see above), it was off to bed for an early night to prepare for a new and exciting day tomorrow.
Click here for today's PhotoLog

Monday 25th July

We rose at 6:15am today in order to take the FoH primary outdoor school devotions at 7:30am. Miss Hart led in praise and worship singing songs that she knew the children knew and enjoyed. Emilee Gillies gave a lovely object lesson on "the paintbrush"...how in itself can do nothing but in the hands of a painter can produce wonderful masterpieces. And God produces something from our lives when we let him take control of our lives. I followed on teaching the Bible verse from Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us, which I challenged the children to memorise.

Then it was off on our social visits...visiting the homes of some of the poorest people on earth. My team visited the grandmother of a FoH secondary student, the person who cares for her when school holidays come around because her mother is not capable of caring for her. We drove about 45mins to get to her house, or should I say "shed" ... a 2m x 2m lounge/bedroom next to a lean-to kitchen where meals are cooked on an open fire on the earth floor. This lady has no income and relies on neighbours to give her food. When asked what her most pleasant childhood memory was, she stated none of her childhood memories were pleasant as her growing up was tainted by poverty, hunger and deprivation. The Hebron children were quite over-awed by the lack of amenities and future for this lady in comparison with their "affluent" and comfortable lifestyle back in NZ. We all gathered around her and prayed for her. The other groups may add their reports to this one if time permits.

After dinner we travelled to the FoH and showed them the DVD of the 2009 mission tour. They remembered all the students and adults from the trip and had a good laugh when they saw the faces of their friends appearing on the screen. When the movies had finished, we joined in on a birthday celebration for a Grade 4 boy. Then it was back to the guest house for bed ready for another earl start tomorrow morning. PS This repoort typed in total darkness with the help of torchlight...another blackout and no generator backup tonight for some unknown reason!
Click here for today's PhotoLog - also produced in the dark on battery powered gear!

Sunday 24th July

Three church services were scheduled at 2 churches this morning but because the bus driver slept in and arrived 40mins late, the whole team stayed at the first church for the 7am service, El Shaddai Assemblies of God, instead of dividing into two teams performing at two churches. This is the church originally pastored by Glorious Shoo which we first visited in 2005 but is now pastored by Elisha Mahene, husband of Mary (Ooo La la) Mahene. We performed, by request, the haka and two other songs followed by the drama group performing the "Tale of Two Kingdoms" drama. I preached a message based on the drama: The relationship-breaking power of sin and God's all-time, once-for-all solution, the cross of Christ which provided "abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness". Emily-Anne, by request again, sang her song "Come" after which people came forward for prayer and ministry. The drama group and associated adults then left for the church service at the Boma Assemblies of God church.

The church was full to overflowing for the second service at El Shaddai and many members remembered visits by previous teams. This time the team, led by Miss Hart, sang three Swahili songs which were enthusiastically joined in by the congregation. The puppet team them performed some songs and scripts which was followed on by a wonderful sermon by Colin Marshall preaching on the visit to Jesus by Nicodemus. The service ended with a lovely announcement...the engagement of Pastor Willy (2009 trip interpreter) to Apaukundi Swai, the NLF teacher that came to Hebron for 6 weeks in 2009. There was much celebration and dancing at the announcement of this news ending in the giving of gifts, mainly shawls, wrapped around Apuakundi.
singers crusade-praying-1
crusade-praying-2 crusade-praying-3

After lunch and some free time, the team headed off for the last afternoon/night of the crusade. This time, the girls performed their ribbon dance in front of the stage and this was very much enjoyed by all attending. Soon after, a Hebron quartet consisting of Elise van Polanen, Eleanor Calder, Julia Woo and Emily-Anne Muli sang a beautiful song "This is My Desire". Pastor Glorious Shoo preached and approx 25 people came forward for salvation. After they were processed, the sick were invited forward for prayer. The Hebron surrounded them, laid hands on them and prayed for healing with some of those being prayed for testifying of their healing. Praise God! As darkness fell, we headed back to the guest house, had dinner, a short time of P & W, looked at the PhotoLogs posted on the website then into bed for another early start tomorrow morning. Another awesome day in the continent of Africa. PS Sorry to hear about all that icy weather in NZ...it's dry, warm and windless up here...in fact, very pleasant! Click here for today's PhotoLog

Saturday 23rd Julywedding

After a very tiring two days travelling to and from the national safari parks, the team were given a chance to have a well-deserved sleep-in rising just after 9am for a late breakfast. After a short praise and worship time, the team went off shopping in Moshi city, largely looking in African curio shops. They became very good at haggling with the shopkeepers, often paying half the price of whjat was first suggested. Then it was back to the guest house, changed in to Sunday best to attend the wedding of a young American volunteer NLF worker/teacher to her American sweetheart. It was an outdoor ceremony complete with a procession of boys and girls from the NLF. Miss Hart and myself (Mr M) attended the reception at our guest house.

At around about 4pm 18 of the students and 6 adults attended the 3rd night of the crusade outreach. The team performed two songs and then performed the drama after which the Indian evangelist, Steve Moses preached on Jairus' daughter. His appeal for people to give their lives to Jesus resulted in about 40 people coming forward for prayer. The Hebron team mixed with them and welcomed them into the kingdom. As darkness fell, in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the team climbed onto the bus and headed home for a late dinner. Click here to view the photolog for the 23rd July 2011. PhotoLog 23 July 2011

Thursday/Friday Safari

The two Safari trips we went on were wonderful experiences. The trip showed us parts of regional Tanzania as well as the incredible range of terrain and the magnificence of God's creation in nature and the animal and bird kingdoms. View the photo-logs for each day to get a small taste of what we experienced.

Click here to view the photolog for the 21st July 2011. PhotoLog 21 July 2011
Click here to view the photolog for the 22nd July 2011. PhotoLog 22 July 2011

Friday 21st July
Click to see NLF children singing
Click to see Hebron girls' dance
Click to see He Baba song

Thursday 21st July

No report due to team visiting Tarangaire National Park and having no internet capability.

Wednesday 20th July

The students eagerly looked forward to visiting the Fountain of Zoe, the NLF baby hospital and the visit did not disappoint anyone. About 15-20 girls from the Fountain of Joy ( ex-street and/or pregnant teenage girls department) were there to greet the Hebron team too as the lease on their building had expired and they were being temporarily housed at the Fountain of Zoe. We waited in the courtyard and very soon the babies and toddlers were brought out to us. They were quickly picked up and cuddled by the Hebron team members. The children responded to the love poured on them and played with the balloons that they were given. The Fountain of Joy girls joined us and later in the morning, we showed them our photo books of life in New Zealand and then we performed 2 or 3 songs. They responded by singing back to us. Some of the babies started falling to sleep so they were put into their cots and the team were shown around the premises. After two hours, we reluctantly got on the bus and travelled back to the guest house, sharing many stories among ourselves about the beautifully babies rescued by the New Life Foundation and cared for in such a loving Christian environment.
foz foj2011
After lunch, the team travelled to the area of Moshi where a crusade will begin on Thursday night. The sound system was set up in front of some shops and the team performed some songs to the gathering crowd. Each team member was then paired with a NLF secondary student and walked around the streets handing out fliers and inviting the locals to attend the crusade. Four girls, Elise Van Polanen, Julia Woo, Emily-Anne Muli and Eleanor Calder remained behind and continued singing to the locals. Their beautiful harmonious singing delighted the people and passerbys. Then, spontaneously, they began preaching! Wow...girl preachers! A crowd of about 50 children gathered before them as each one of the girls shared the Gospel message from their hearts. Julia and Elise were contending for the microphone...they were so keen to preach the good news. Finally, Elise called for those willing to give their lives to God, to raise their hand...about 30 children raised their hand and the four girls and teachers laid hands on them and prayed for them. And that wasn't all...the girls then called for sick children to come forward and they laid hands on them for healing. By this stage, most of the team had arrived back and they gathered around the children and began fervently praying for them too. I (Mr M) felt so proud of my students...going full out for God and boldly preaching the Good News in the market places of the world.
quartet quartet-3a
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After this, the students and staff started sharing the amazing encounters they had with the locals. Rithwik Danthala shared the Gospel with 4 young men who asked very searching questions which he answered from God's word to the best of his ability. Like the story of Jesus' parents looking for him, we too had to go looking for Rithwik because he lost track of time in his enthusiasm to share the Gospel. Miss Hart and her NLF translator were invited into a house where they prayed for an elderly man sick in bed. He began crying as she prayed and eventually she led the whole house to the Lord. On the way back to meet the team, she prayed for a mute boy, unable to speak a sound from birth. Within moments, he was starting to sound out his name! Praise God! The miracles are happening! Please pray with us that the crusade will bring forth more fruits of salvation to the people in this area.

One lovely thing about this team is their desire to worship God. Our worship times in the morning and evening are annointed times where students, teachers and parents are being touched by God in amazing ways. This evening the team were invited to the home of an American couple who were undertaking missionary work in Moshi. Pastor Ryan has been working intermittently in the NLF and has an amazing gift of worship leading. We joined about 20 other people, mainly Americans, in a time of praise and worship. Towards the end of the worship, we were each encouraged to share a word of prophecy, a scripture, a picture, etc over someone in the group and there were many people, including the Hebron team members greatly encouraged and edified by these words. After praying for Pastor Ryan's daughter who had just turned two and praying over the American couple about to marry on Saturday, we climbed back onto the bus to get back to the guest house for an early night in preparation for an early start (4am) for our two-day trip to the national safari parks.Click here to view the photolog for the 20th July 2011

Tuesday 19th July

Today we had a quick breakfast then jumped on the bus and headed up to the Fountain of Hope (NLF primary school and orphanage)to take the morning devotions.Jono led us in praise and worship which included the Swahili song Alpha and Omega. Catherine Marshall gave an object lesson followed by Ruth Turner giving a testimony on the way God encouraged her to change soccer teams in order to reach out to a lonely girl in the new team. Eleanor Calder gave a short sermon which was well received by the children. We then headed back to the guest house expecting to perform items for the Pastors' Seminar being held on the same site but this was deferred because the pastors were late in attending. We then headed back to the Fountain of Hope and sang songs to the assembled children, performed puppet songs and scripts then put on the drama. Although many of the children remembered the drama from previous teams, they were still fixated by the latest "version". After having a fruit drink and morning tea, the team integrated with the children playing games, showing them their NZ photobooks and visiting their dormitories, classrooms and kitchen/dining room. Then it was time for the team to perform for the Pastors' Seminar and they all, with one accord, applauded the team from NZ. They also were thrilled to be ministered by Hebron father and team leader, Rev Colin Marshall who spoke to them about Christian leadership.
worship ruth
haka-for-pastors nursery
After lunch, we headed off to the Nursery School where children from the ages of 3yrs to 7yrs live and are schooled. Upon arriving about 50 children came running towards our bus and began hugging the students and accompanying staff. At one point, virtually every Hebron team member at one or even two children on their hips being carried around. About 15mins later we had the children sit on a grass area where Cassandra Hart led them in some Swahili songs. Then the team took over performing their Maori and Swahili songs, puppets and finally the drama. The call came to jump on the bus but the children would not let the Hebron students go! Eventually they escaped from the clutches of the nursery children and it was off to the guest house with everyone sharing about their experiences and the delight in interacting with these young orphans. For me, it was a great delight to see the children I first met at the baby hospital 6 years ago during the 2005 mission, now 6+ years old and attending school. For some of the Hebron team, it was the first time they had seen their sponsored child and for them, it was a very momentous occasion.

Click here to view the photolog for the 19th July 2011. PhotoLog 19 July 2011

Monday 18th July

Today was the day for the Hebron team to be officially welcomed to the New Life Foundation (NFL) and what a welcome it was! As we walked up the driveway to the orphanage and school, we were met by the same band that welcomed the 2009 team onto the site but this welcome included dancing teachers and orphanage staff waving handkerchiefs and ribbons.
foh-welcome foh-welcome-2
foh-welcome-4- kilimanjaro

Once we reached the orphanage grounds, each student and team leader was offered a rose by a secondary student. We then had the children perform traditional dances in front of us. Then it was over to the marquee for the praise and worship and official welcome speeches. Pastor Glorious Shoo paid tribute to the Hebron Christian College staff and families who had so generously given to NFL and went onto say that many buildings and projects could not have been finished were it not for the giving people in New Zealand, on the other side of the world. I (Geoff Matthews) spoke of God's sovereign decision to draw our two organisations together, reading from Solomon's prayer to encourage each of us "to turn our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commands..." I then call out the Hebron team to sing 2 songs and perform our Christian haka which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We then presented our gifts to NLF including library books, knitted baby hats, soft toys made by Hebron students, sports equipment and large amounts of medical equipment. It was then off to the guest house for lunch and lots of conversation and sharing about the morning's excitment. On the way back, we all were able to get a good look of Mt.Kilimanjaro (see photo above).

After lunch, we hopped on the bus again and drove to the almost completed secondary classrooms (of which Hebron dad, Pesa Wilson, installed an area of roofing during the 2009 mission). Our students mingled with students of their same age and had many in-depth conversations with them about their lives, suffering, heartaches, deprivation and abandonment. Eleanor Calder shared her experience of being taken to the dormitory kitchen which, in comparison to her own NZ kitchen, was extremely rudimentary - open fire on the ground, few utensils, etc. After 2 hours we returned to the guest house having met many beautiful people who, because of their tragic circumstances, could have been leading wasted and hurting lives but were now filled with hope and excitement. (Many of them stating to the Hebron students that they aspired to be pilots, managers, professors, doctors, lawyers, etc).

After a lovely meal with fruit salad and ice cream, we had a great time of praise and worship led by Jono Schnell. A friend of Cassandra Hart called Loren, shared how God had called her out of a life of comfort in the US to start a refuge in Tanzania for young girls, some as young as 7, who were involved in the sex trade and human trafficking. Her testimony was inspiring to all and we all gathered around her to pray God's blessing on this exciting venture. Another awesome day in Tanzania!

Click here to view the photolog for the 18th July 2011. PhotoLog 18 July 2011

Sunday 17th July

solari 1Today the team prepared for their first church performance at the International Christian Church pastored by Glorious Shoo. Jonathan, Emily-Anne, Elise and Julia lead the worship supported by some of the New Life Foundation boys on drums, keyboard and bass. The team then performed their Maori haka and songs brilliantly, the best ever and the church loved it. Then the team sang "Testify to Love" followed by the puppet team performing 3 songs and a script. Solari Chikkala gave a short talk and this was attentively listened to by all present. The drama team then performed "The Tale of two Kingdoms" mime and although some of the audience had seen it at the conference, they were impressed with the students' acting and of course, the amazing story of God sending his Son to the earth to die for our sins but come back to life as our Saviour and Lord.

After lunch, we had a quiet afternoon at the quest house with some preparing items and testimonies, others playing soccer, etc. After our evening meal, we watched some video of our day's performance, critiqued our various items and then had a lovely time of praise and worship followed by a talk by Hebron dad and team leader, Mr Arun Chauhan. A fairly quiet day but most welcomed after the last few busy days. Click here to view the photolog for the 17th July 2011PhotoLog 17th July

Saturday 16 Julyemily solo

A good night's sleep was had by all and everyone woke refreshed and ready for the new day. The 2nd day of the conference got underway about 45 mins late but this is known as "Africa time". The New Life Foundation secondary students performed about 3 songs/dances during the course of the day and they were very impressive. The Hebron team loved their items and gave them standing ovations. Emily-Anne Muli sang her song "Come" and the crowd absolutely loved her. The MC got up at the end and requested a second song of which Emily-Anne obliged. The team were prepared to sing some more songs but shortage of time knocked them off the programme...not to worry, they were happy to see the other items.

After the conference ended, about 12 of the team played a soccer game with the NLF boys but, as usual, Tanzania cleaned up NZ! We plan to play them at rugby next time! After dinner, we were hit by a blackout (quite common these days)but had lights on again after the hotel generated kicked into action. Our evening devotions centred on "Encouragement" with each student saying something encouraging about others. We all went away really chuffed to know we were all positively affecting peoples lives for good. Another awesome day in Africa! Click here to view the photolog for the 16th July 2011. PhotoLog 16 July 2011

Friday 15 July

The flight to Nairobi was uneventful but more excitement erupted when we landed on African soil. It took some time to get processed at the airport as form-filling seems to be a normal part of African life. After moving through immigration, the custom officers were very good to us by just waving the whole 30 of us through! We were met in the public area by Pastor Glorious' son...Princely (don't you love their names! )Only one of two buses arrived for us so we had to wait about 4 hours for the second bus to arrive after being stuck in rush hour traffic. We decided to have dinner at the start of the trip during the wait and consumed chicken and chips at the airport takeaway facility. We finally departed Nairobi at 7:30pm (instead of 3:30pm)and after buying bottled water and filling up with petrol, started the 7 hours trip across the border and into Tanzania, arriving at our guest house at 3am the next morning! Most slept on the bus on the way down but we decided to allow them to sleep in until 9am in order to catch up on lost sleep time.

Most of us woke up bright and reasonably cheery, had breakfast (hard boiled eggs and unbuttered sweet bread) and then joined the New Life Foundation Conference and 10 Year celebration which was taking place in the grounds of our guest house (actually a 3-storey hotel that has seen better days). The approx 300 delegates, pastors, teachers and secondary students were very happy to see us New Zealanders take our seats but were even more happy to see the haka performed and the singing of two Maori and Swahili songs. Towards the end of the day's proceedings, the girls were invited to perform their dance. The vibrant colours of their skirts and ribbons appealed to everyone and applause erupted when the ribbons began to twirl. This was the most exciting item for them today...even better than the haka which has always been an all-time favourite in the past. The conference finished at around 4:30pm and freetime was enjoyed by all. After dinner and a short team meeting, we all headed for our beds to catch up on lost sleep. Agreat day in Africa was had by all.
Click here to view the photolog for the 14-15th July 2011. PhotoLog 14-15 July 2011

Thursday 14 July

The team left Auckland in VERY high spirits and they only elise--emilyregained normality towards the end of the flight to Melbourne. They enjoyed watching all the movies, listening to the music and talking to each other on the inter-seat phones. After a short stop at Melbourne airport (6 degrees + rain), we boarded the plane again for the big haul up to Dubai. After another full meal after takeoff, we insisted that all screens be turned off and decreed sleeping time! Some slept better than others but excitement at landing at Dubai overtook any grumpiness! And this is where we are right now...waiting 5 hours for our next flight to Nairobi and then an 8 hour bus trip across the border to Moshi, Tanzania. Apart from a few colds and tummy upsets, we are well, happy and hearty. Remember us in your prayers.Will download photos and video once we are settled down in Tanzania. Kwaherini("Good-bye to many"in Swahili.)

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