On Tuesday 5th July, 37 students, 7 teachers and 7 parents from Hebron Christian College will travel to Tanzania on a 3 week mission. The group will work as two teams, one at the New Life Foundation orphanage and school in Moshi and the other team at the Joshua Foundation Bible College in Arusha.
The students will perform dramas, songs, maori cultural items and puppet shows in schools, churches, villages and public meetings, sharing the good news of Jesus and providing comfort and joy to the poor and needy people in the country.
5-6th July 2005
Tuesday evening saw the complete team assemble at Auckland airport for a joyous sendoff to serve the Lord. We were greatly encouraged by the numbers that attended to support us on our way. The enthusiasm of the haka, performed by the students, reflected this. The air travel to Dubai was uneventful but long; a first three hour flight to Brisbane, an hour and a half layover, then seven hours to Singapore, a forty-five minute layover and a final seven hour flight to Dubai. At Dubai we were met at the airport and taken to the Dubai Evangelical Church Centre, who have been our gracious hosts. Today has been a 'rest-day' mid-stream of travel. After depositing our gear at DECC we travelled by bus to the Jumirah Park Beach, a lovely man-made, white sand, palm tree covered grove and surf beach. The water was decidedly warm and the breakers gentle (due to the man-made reefing system). Most of the team enjoyed a swim and fun in the water. The fresh water showers provided to rinse off were hot! From there we travelled to Yacht Club for lunch and a cold swim in their fresh water pool. That was followed by an experience of 'malling' Dubai style.
Dubai has the largest theme Mall in the world - and it is only two months old! It features five complete, large malls, all linked together. A few hours 'malling' and dinner there, and the team was ready to turn in. After a pep talk by Geoff and a prayer time it was off to an early night's bed. Team B leaves at 4am to fly through to Nairobi. Team A leaves a few hours later. Dubai is literally a city in the desert. The temperature at 6am was 30 degrees and it has climbed all day. The humidity is very high and there is a firm breeze that carries a lot of sand dust making a constant haze. The locals tell us this is good because it keeps the temperature down - praise the Lord for that! The presence of the team in uniform is already making an impact. From fellow travellors to flight attendants, to shop keepers and shoppers, people are fascinated Hebron has gone to so much effort to assist the needy in Africa. The story itself is a witness to the Lord's call to service. Please pray this continues. Now on to the mission field ...
Click here to play video 06 July 05
TEAM A THURSDAY 7th JULY
We got up early on Thursday morning after a broken night's sleep with Team B leaving about 4:30am. Two young Dutch men at the church decided to put on a cooked breakfast for us in their father's house about 20mins away from the church. The meal was absolutely delicious and the relaxing time was very much appreciated by all. We then went to the airport to board our plane to Nairobi.
Unfortnuately, 4 of the students were listed on a flight for the previous day and were told they would be waitlisted. I insisted they wouldn't happen and they would travel with the team. They repeated the waitlist requirement two more times then relented and let them on...Praise God!
We arrived in Nairobi at 7pm and met Glorious, Josephine's husband..a lovely and gracious Man of God. Nelson's suitcase has gone missing on the flight so Emerites are currently looking for that!
We had a good night's sleep in the International Bible Society Guest House and we are now about to make the 6 hour crossing into Tanzania so hence this brief report but no photos. Will give a fuller report tonight. All well, healthy, happy and in great spirits. God bless
Team B - Thursday 7th July - TANZANIA!
Today our valiant team were up before dawn (4am) to travel to Dubai airport. After checking in and a quick breakfast we were off on our first leg - a plane flight of some five hours into Kenya. On arriving we were surprised at how cool it was, a very mild 27 degrees! After Dubai's intense heat Africa seemed almost cold! Some of the team spent the afternoon in sweatshirts. From the airport we travelled by small bus/coach for about seven hours to the Joshua Foundation in Tanzania. Along the way we were delighted to see a variety of wildlife. Zebra, camels, donkeys, monkeys, multi-coloured birds, vultures, ostridges and gazelle. The vast dun and red coloured plains of Africa rolled beneath the coaches wheels. For kilmetre after kilometre we passed sparse shrubs and bare trees. Enormous termite hills, some higher than a standing adult, sat squat and fat emulating small alien cities. When we stopped at the border between Kenya and Tanzania the coach was mobbed by people wanting to sell things. One learnt a lot about our team in those minutes. Some of the men at the customs stop sang us a song. The team replied in kind ... which was really appropriate and appreciated. The girls have been fascinated by the various diverse, and very clever, hairstyles worn by the women. I'd give you more detail if I could understand ... Well everyone's in bed already - exhausted. That's all for now. Tomorrow is an orientation and rest day.
TEAM A NEWS FROM SATURDAY
Today was a most eventful and unforgetable day for the members of Team A. Glorious and Josephine Shoo invited the team to a Tanzanian wedding...and what a wedding it was. The attendees sang and danced and sang and danced. There was a great deal of jubilant cheers and hoots and even whistles being blown. Our students were asked to perform so they put on their two dances which were both well received by the bride and groom and congregation. I was asked to lay hands on the couple along with the brides father as Pastor Glorious prayed for them. We then followed the wedding party to the reception hall where we were again entertained with much singing, dancing and humour. Instead of a traditional NZ wedding cake, a roasted goat was wheeled in and this was called the wedding cake. After a meal and a impromtu haka/hymn, we returned to our hostel for another meal and a good night's sleep after a rather long day.
Team A is accomodated in two separate guest houses, 15 in one and 15 (including 4 TV crew) in the other. They are both very comfortable, clean and enjoyable to live in. The food has been fantastic - omelettes, frankfurters and fried tomatoes every morning - better than home! The staff are very keen to please.
The Team A reports contain no photographs or videos to date as the internet connection is still being adapted to our laptop which has the photo processing and download software. Keep in touch and we'll update you soon with some pics. Good news...Nelson's suitcase has been found and will be couriered down to Moshi tomorrow.
Friday 8th July - Team B - ORIENTATION & VILLAGE VISIT
Friday morning finds us having an orientation of the Joshua Foundation premises. Set on some 17 acres the grounds contain residential housing for the staff, the accomodation complex we are staying in, training and teaching rooms (a new complex is currently being built). In addition there are a number of 'workshops' including an outside kitchen, a carpenter's work area, and a working 'farm'. Chickens, pigs and goats are the primary animals kept. There are also a sizable number of areas being cultivated. At the lower end of the property there is an old ram drive pump that pumps good volumes of water up to the property.
The afternoon visit to the local village has been one of the highlights so far. We walked for about half an hour and then split into three smaller groups to visit different people's homes; one at the stopping point, and two others about ten minutes further walk away. We walked through kilometers of maize almost two metres tall. Each of the homes was of adobe construction - varieties of mud brick, sticks and mud/cow dung plaster with iron rooves. One of the families was slowly building a replacement of brick behind their traditional house as their home was being continually damaged by termites. The families all welcomed us and shared about their lives ... so very different from ours. Our small group visited Frankie's family. Their home was warm and simple. The floor was of pressed mud that had to be redone every two weeks. In the yard was a cow, kept permanently in a stockade. Cooking is done outside ina cooking hut that also houses a number of goats. Frankie's father (91) and mother (70) live in another hut a few metres away. They love listening to music. Their family raises a large crop of maize - the ground is worked, seed sown and harvested all by hand. The area is extensive. As Cameron, noted the pace of life is slow, you can't but help relax. Coming back it got dark quite quickly. When it is dark here it is totally dark. At present heavy rain clouds block all light from the stars. There is no artificial light in the country and you cannot see more than a few metres.
The following video is smaller than the last one and should take 15mins to download on a 33.6 dialup modem. The quality is not as good but the connection lines here are slow.
Click here to play.
Team B - PHOTO DIARY
TEAM A VISIT TO THE FOUNTAIN OF ZOE
The visit to the Fountaion of Zoe, the New Life Foundation baby orphanage, was high on the list of priorities when we arrived in Moshi. So on Saturday morning, we drove to the special home that has been set up for these babies. Aprons were doned and small numbers were taken into the various baby rooms. The babies were placed in the arms by the three Tanzanian ladies who look after the babies 24 hours a day. There were many "coos" and "ahs" as the babies were cuddled and stared at by adoring team members, particularly the female team members. The boys, mind you, were not reluctant to have a hold and they succumbed to grins and coos as they held the babies too.
The babies have been placed in the orphanage for various reasons, some were abandoned at birth, some were handed over by parents too poor to look after them satisfactorily, some are the offspring of unwed teenagers with one baby's mother bearing 3 babies in her teens to 3 separate fathers. IT was difficult leaving the premises but every team member thoroughly enjoyed the visit and was keen to return. We all honoured Glorious and Josephine Shoo for taking on this new project, saving the lives of Tanzanian babies.
Saturday 9th July - Team B - CHURCH VISITS & MAIZE DISTRIBUTION
Today was a real learning experience in the best possible way. We travelled by two mini-buses to a local church to share our performance items and to distribute maize to the local community. The roads are something to be seen! Mud roads on all degrees of elevation and angle. Included was a small river crossing. We were welcomed with enthusiastic singing by the children. We taught the children a couple of simple songs which they really enjoyed. Our young people performed a number of items - a puppet song, a couple of Maori items and a dance. Mrs Scott did a great job of introducing the haka which we had been warned may be too aggressive. She explained it in context of the spiritual warfare we are involved in and the congregation responded to the haka tremendously with cries and cheers, whistles and hoots. All in all fantastic! After that the young people distributed maize. Some 88 families received enough maize to feed them for seven to ten days. This is vital for them as they are waiting for the harvest to be harvested and dried before they can use it and some are at the end of last year's stored supply. The maize is taken and ground down to make flour. When the young people distributed gifts they were all but mobbed by enthusiastic mothers and children. As Jesse put it: "It's not that they are greedy, it's just that they know it is probably their only chance to get something. For them it's Christmas." Further grain was set aside for distribution after tomorrows church service. After the distribution we were invited to visit another local church and to pray for it. We travelled another ten minutes or so by mini-bus to an amzing church made of poles and timber. Great air-conditioning! The pastor asked us to pray for his church and to plan to make his church a station next time the College comes to Tanzania. A good lesson in the importance of prayer.
TEAM A'S PARTICIPATION IN A TANZANIAN WEDDING
Team A were invited by Glorious Shoo to attend a traditional Tanzanian wedding on Saturday afternoon. We later were to learn that our presence was much esteemed by the young couple and there families. Upon arriving at the church, the brides was surrounded by women dancing and making a whistling (Glorious said there is no English word for this practice but told us the Swahili word) noise with their tongue and mouth. The groom was heralded into the church by 4 young girls from the New Life Orphanage who danced slowly before him. The girls then went back and brought the bride in as the church sang a most energetic song and danced among the pews and aisles. It was an amazing time of celebration and our team members were delightfully astounded at the jubilation and ceremony - it certainly made NZ weddings look rather subdued and formal! The service followed a similar prcedure to NZ weddings but was punctuated with songs, dance and much hollering and whistles. The Hebron students were invited to participate so we sang and danced to the two songs "I Believe" and "THe Lord Is My Light". After the marriage vows the couple left the church for the reception with much accompanying song, dance and jubilant noise. Hebron members were offered seated positions in the reception hall and were again called upon to perform to the guests. This time we did the haka and a Maori hymn and this was much appreciated by the couple and wedding attendees. The traditional "cutting of the cake" was actually "the cutting of a roasted goat" and various family members include Geoff and Sue Matthews were invited up before everyone to be given a small piece to be eaten - a sign of approval for the union of the two. After a meal the team travelled back to the guest house to find their was another meal awaiting them!
TEAM A AT EL SHADDAI CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNING
Sunday morning dawned as a rather cloudy, cool day. Church was on the programme for the day and both groups set off for the El Shaddai church for a 10:30am start. Half of the team were taken to the wrong church, a Roman Catholic Church and were mobbed by children when they got out of the van. While a team leader sought directions from the priest, the students sang some songs to the waiting throng before heading off to the center church. The church service finally got under way and what a service it was!!! Talk about noise, dancing, hollering, whistling and joyful worship....they had it all. It made NZ churches look like a meeting of geriatrics in a cemetery! The Hebron students and staff couldn't help but grin from ear to ear and be caught up in this joyful espression of praise and worship.
Then it was Hebron's turn! We sang our Swahili song and that was very well received...they even told us they even understood what we said! The dances, cultural items, testimonies from Aroha and Melinda, the drama and finally a sermon from John Buchan, rounded off a most memorable church service, one which won't be forgotten for a long time.
Sunday 10th July - Team B - SERVICES & PROGRAMME
Sunday saw us up bcenter and early for a very full day. We started by attending and taking part in the local morning Oikerian church service. The singing was inspiring. These African people really know how to get into their worship! The presentation of our Maori items, songs and drama was very well received. The service took about three hours after which Maize was given to another 110 families that had not been there the previous day. After a shared lunch the young people ran a variety of Youth Programme activities. The first hour comprised puppets, singing and object lessons. A large number of children came forward for prayer 100+? About half indicated they were giving their hearts to the Lord for the first time. On both occassions, after the service and during the Youth Programme, our team had the opportunity to pray for the large numbers that came forward at the end of the service. After the first stage of the Youth programme a Children's Training was run by Mrs Scott for the local Sunday School teachers. The young people took the local Youth (from 6 yrs to 20ish) to a large nearby field for a variety of games. This was tremendous fun. Finishing about six thirty we came back to base for a Worship Service and Communion with the members of the Joshua Foundation. Following dinner some very tired, but happy campers, were very quickly into bed and sound asleep. Praise the Lord for a truly blessed Sunday!
The following video is quite large (12mins running) and will take approx 30mins to download on a 33.6kps dialup modem. Apologies for the quality but we have to trade quality for duration and we'd rather show you more! Sunday was awesome. We'll keep experimenting to get the best fit...
Click here to play.
Monday 11th July - Team A - VISIT TO THE NEW LIFE FOUNDATION ORPHANAGE
Monday was the day we were to visit the New Life Foundation orphanage and the students' excitement was most evient as they boarded the vans to drive to the site. The van taking half the team (most of the girls) from one of the guest houses was delayed in leaving until the men filled in a huge hole in the guest house driveway that had become too big to negotiate. Both vans finally met at the start of the orphanage driveway where we alighted and began walking towards the most enjoyable welcome one could imagine. Almost 200 children and staff lined the driveway leading to the school singing a welcoming song along with some young boys and girls presenting a yellow rose to each Hebron student and adult. They were all dressed in their school uniforms, some oversized and looking a little worn, shoes covered in the red dust from the dirt driveway and playing fields. Each wore a huge smile as they sang their hearts out.
The team then stood and watched a group dancing and singing a welcome song after which we approached the main administration building where some more children sang two songs, one of which was entitled "God Has Not Forsaken Africa". We then went on a tour of the facilties. It was with great joy that we stood before two classromms with a sign above the door frame..."HEBRON AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND" - the two classrooms that were built from funds raised by the Hebron community. Glorious and Josephine spoke of the great admiration they and the staff and children had for Hebron Christian College in providing the funds to not only build the two classrooms but to equip the classrooms (and others) with desks and chairs. There were also posters and wall charts intermittently stuck to the bare walls - posters donated by Hebron and West City Christian College in Glendene. The classrooms were VERY basic by Hebron standards but on Tanzanian standards, very clean, tidy and acceptable. We then visited the dormitories where the children have a bunk to sleep in - a large room for the girls and a large room for the boys. Each bed had a mosquito net hanging over it and a shelf to store personal items. Our Hebron students must have been thinking how well off they are after seeing how these orphans have so little in the way of privacy and possessions. Yet each one was content and congenial and perhaps re-inforces the teaching of Jesus that life soes not consist in the abundance of material possessions as many NZers believe.
We then proceeded to the formal greeting and presentation of gifts, sitting in the shade of a large tree. Each New Life staff member was introduced to the Hebron team and a drama was staged on the benefit of listening to the advice of one's elders and not associating with gangs and bad people. I (Geoff Matthews) then spoke about our visit to Africa and the calling of God to support the poor and visit the fatherless. We then presented gifts brought from NZ - boxes of brand new clothing, sports equipment, school supplies, and a cheque for $5,000 from the Fashion Show profits (the Hebron finanacial gift of approx $7,000 had already been placed in the New Life account). There was much rejoicing and speeches of thanks and praise from Glorious and Josephine as the gifts were displayed in front of the children. The Hebron team then sang the NZ National Anthem with actions as all the New Life children stood to attention. The students were then able to mix with the children, holding hands, showing their photo albums of life in NZ, visiting their rooms and generally getting to know them more. It was again, very difficult to part the Hebron team from the New Life children and leave the orphanage to travel back to the guest house for our lunch. The Hebron staff and students were so grateful for the opportunity to help the orphanage and seeing the result of a lot of fundraising and generous giving brought great blessing and satisfaction to us all.
Monday 11th July - Team B - HOME DUTIES & SCHOOL VISIT
After a hectic Sunday, Monday had a slower start. After breakfast the team headed for various housekeeping and maintenance tasks around the Joshua Foundation site. Once everyone had done their clothes washing - by hand! - it was off to various taks included gardening, painting, sanding, lawns and various other activities. After lunch we went out to a local school. In fact two schools came together for the first of three afternoon programs we are running. Each program comprises a mixture of games, songs, items and skits concluded with a Biblical teaching component. The children get really involved and the team members have been superb leaders and role models. At the conclusion of the programme we had a quiet walk home - some three or more kilometres down dirt roads. There wasn't even a hint of complaint. What a great team! The evening has been devoted to further practices of items. The team is in good heart and really enjoying what we are doing together.
Tuesday 12th July - A Team
We spent another morning at the New Life Foundation orphanage today. The children were really glad to see us back again and friendships are already developing between the Hebron students and the orphans. Time was spent teaching the children NZ games and songs and they enjoyed that immensely. The songs and games that appeal to NZ children are just as much enjoyed by these African children! A game of bullrush was even organised although a little chaotic at times with 200+ children running in all directions on a stony dirt surface (very little soft green grass in this part of the world). Mr Allen then taught them some Maori childrens songs and they loved that, especially the "Whale" song when he wobbled his bottom! The boys then put on the haka which brought a raptuous response. They then taught all the children how to do a haka.
While this was going on, Mrs Matthews, put her nursing skills to good use treating a number of children with head infections and school sores. She was ably assisted by Matthew C, Aroha A, Christina H and Nelson B. Using medical hand gloves, they cleaned the infected sores and placed antiseptic creme and bandaids or bandages over the infected areas. By the end of the morning, there were about 30 or 40 children walking proudly around with white bandaids or bandages around their heads, legs and arms.
Mr matthews then set up a computer/datashow presentation showing powerpoints & DVDs of life in NZ, especially Auckland. The "2004 Hebron Highlights" was watched with great intensity by 200 children and staff also. Trying to get the students AND the staff back into the vans to return to the guest house for lunch was again, extremely difficult, as they were very much attached, literally, to their newfound friends.
The afternoon was spent handing out bags of food (bread, sunflower oil, maize) to poor families in the area and inviting them to our afternoon crusade. The living condition of many of these families was an eye-opener for the children and staff. The houses were usually made of mud with a cow dung outer surface. They were small and dingy with little window area and usually had dirt floors. Cooking was done in the corner with a small fire which filled the room with smoke. The roof was rusty corrugated iron. One family had 16 people living in a house the size of a large NZ bedroom! We prayed for each family and encouraged them to attend the crusade. Mr Matthews prayed for an unmarried 20 year old girl who had had 3 children. She wept during the prayer so he asked her to give her life to Christ and she did, confessing and repenting her sins out loud. Praise God! The crusade was attended by about 300+ people and the students performed the National Anthem and the two dances. Mr Burrows preached after which about 50 men, women and children came foward for salvation and prayer. The students prayed for each person before returning to the guest house for dinner and an early bedtime. Another great day in Africa! The students are all well, happy and buzzing in the Lord. Parents...they may not want to return to NZ yet...they just love the African people.
Tuesday 12th July - Team B - ARUSHA SECONDARY SCHOOL VISIT AND MT MERU PRIMARY AFTERNOON PROGRAMME
This morning saw us up before 7am so that we could get to Arusha Secondary School to be part of their morning progamme. Travelling by mini-bus, again, we arrived to a school of 900 pupils of whom it is estimated only 20% are Christians. A feature of the school is that there is higher percentage of girls here than normal. Boys have priority for education so often girls miss out. Their responses to the drama and Maori items indicated a lack of knowledge of Christian things so this was cutting edge material. The principal Mrs Christine Koala is keen for Team A to visit next week so this was a wonderful door the Lord is opening for us. We returned to the Joshua Foundation for lunch and afterward returned to Mt Meru School for the second day Afternoon School Programme. Children in Tanzania go to school from 8am to 5pm and sometimes 6pm. Long days. A nice treat was the school children wanting to perform for us. They sang a number of songs in English (this is an English language school). Again we presented song and dance items, puppets, object lessons and teaching on Gospel Truths. A highlight was Karl's excellent rendition of Kiplings African animals story Gospel Message. Not only did the children enjoy it but he was enthusiasticlly cheered by his peers. Today the team walked to 4km there and back quite happily - gear and all. We were grateful there was no rain.
Wednesday 13th July - Team A in Moshi
Today was work day at the orphanage. The students dressed in work clothes and arrived at the New Life Foundation to give a helping hand in a variety of tasks. About 6 students continued treating head rashes and skin sores and noted a good improvement in the ones treated the previous day. Others weeded various flower, herb and vegetable gardens. Another large group of students were assigned the task of painting the newly finished boys dormitory. When work finished, the Hebron team mixed with the orphans, playing soccer, plaiting hair, teaching songs and generally getting to know one another. Some adults and students visited the Fountain of Zoe babies home while Mrs Matthews ran a workshop with the woman teachers and older girls on "inner beauty" teaching them to have confidence and self assurance in the context of Christian living.
The students spent a little time shopping in Moshi after lunch then joined the crusade team in the afternoon, performing puppet shows and dance items. After Magdalene boldly gave her testimony, Mr Te Rangi Allen preached a powerful sermon and about 50 people responded to the altar call and came forward for prayer. The El Shaddai mmembers took down their names and will follow each one up in a day or two. Praise God! After having dinner at the guest house, Josephine Shoo joined us for praise & worship and taught us all the beautiful song "God Has Not Forgotten Africa". After experiencing the vibrant spiritual life of Africa, one could not help agreeing with the statements of the song!
MT.KILIMANJARO AS SEEN FROM MOSHI
Wednesday 13th July - Team B - JOSHUA WORK MORNING & ARUSHA PARK OUTREACH
After breakfast and devotions
this morning was spent continuing work on projects started at the Joshua Foundation - painting, varnishing, sanding, gardens, lawns etc. The staff were invited to meet for morning tea with the staff of the Joshua Foundation to reflect on what has been learnt and experienced here and to discuss future options. We had been praying that a permit would be granted to allow us to carry out an open air ministry at a central park near the main shopping area on on the main road. And, praise the Lord, first thing this morning the permit was granted. That meant we were able to spend a very rewarding afternoon at the park. First the students and team leaders spread out down the surrounding streets handing out flyers and telling people we would be putting on a concert 30 minutes later.
We left some good Kiwi Christian music running (The Lads and the like) from our sound system as we did this. Slowly a crowd gathered and built. Maori items, puppets and the drama were performed with a message and altar call following. Approx fourteen people came forward for prayer, most to commit their lives to the Lord. Some had never heard the gospel and wanted to know more. One man in such a situation gave his life to the Lord then and there and wanted to start learning more immediately. The drama was performed a second time approx half an hour later. Following a message and altar call another sixteen or so people came forward. Praise the Lord for this harvest. The team members prayed for the people who came forward and Mrs Scott went through a basic gospel tract with all the people in a group (interpreted). We are blessed that through the services of the Joshua Foundation all of the people are being followed up for association with a church local to them.
TEAM A NEWS Thursday 14th July
Our last day in Moshi had arrived and it was with sadness that we drove to the New Life Foundation orphanage to see the children for the last time. We first visited a newly erected but unfinished building about 20mins drive from the orphanage â€“ the new home for the Fountain of Zoe babies. The land was completely donated by the Tanzanian Government and the first stage of the building was paid for by the generous donation of one man. Glorious and Josephine are now waiting on God to provide the rest of the money to complete the building which will eventually hold up to 60 babies. The faith and vision of this couple complete amaze us all â€“ they believe God for big projects and God comes through all the time. We then travelled to 20 acres of land near the orphanage, currently growing large sunflowers. Glorious and Josephine have plans to build a university on this land! Again, what faith!
We finally arrived at the orphanage mid-morning and set up to perform the drama outdoors under the shade of a large tree. The students not performing in the drama travelled with Mrs Matthews to the kindergarten where they continues dressing skin sores and rashes. The drama got underway and was attentively watched by the orphans who had been well taught on the main Biblical stories â€“ they understood it well and greatly appreciated it. After the drama, a young boy, Benson by name, preached a sermon from the Book of Joshua, a young girl led the assembly in prayer, praise and worship after which the orphanage staff farewelled the team,giving each member a traditional Tanzanian painting. After many hugs and goodbyes, we drove away from the beautiful children and staff of the New Life Foundation â€“ an oasis of love, joy and peace in a rather unbelieving and uncaring world.
At 5pm, it was off to the crusade for the last meeting.
We arise at 5am tomorrow to head off to Arusha to meet up with Team B for 2 days touring two safari parks. Then its back to work with Team A staying at the Joshua Foundation in Arusha and Team B travelling on to Moshi and continuing to work with the New Life Foundation.
Thursday 14th July - Team B - MARKET & SNAKE PARK VISIT AND FINAL SCHOOL PROGRAMME
Today dawned bcenter and clear. We set off early to visit a number of different markets in Arusha central. This was a rewarding experience as a number of students leant a lot about negotiating for the first time. Some were very surprised to see how much prices could drop with a bit of haggling. We travelled out of town to visit a snake (well, reptile, really) park. The vivid colours of the snakes, the unexpected, attempted attack of a vulture on Miss Catherine Marshall and unsuccessful attempts to wake a crocodile were fun (well maybe not exactly for Miss Marshall - saved by a sturdy fence!). The snake park also had a cultural display attached (see Photo Journal) with some interesting displays and a camel ride park. We travelled back quickly for our final afternoon with the children. At the end of the programme Mrs Scott invited the children that wanted to do so to come forward for prayer. 80 - 100 did so. It was a special time working with these children who are so full of life but so needy in so many areas. Please pray for them and their teachers. Tomorrow morning early Team A should join us for breakfast and then we will head for the Safari Park.
Friday 15th July - Combined Teams - RE-UNION & SAFARI
The day started with a lot of
excitement as Team A arrived at the Joshua Foundation. They were greeted with a Haka that woke the staff up the road! After a warm breakfast together the two teams loaded into dalahdalahs (min-buses) and headed for the Safari reserve. The day was essentially spent looking at the multitudinous variety of God's creation - monkeys, elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, wilderbeast, wart-hogs, hippopotami, mongeese, vultures, various birds, more elephants, and so on. The vastness of the African landscape and the sheer size of the rift valley that comprises the significant aspect of the Tanzanian landscape is truly awesome. It was a tired but enthralled team that has made its way to two well appointed guest houses for the night. Tomorrow promises an early start as we head for the second game reserve. Photos are difficult to download from here but we have added a few for your enjoyment.
TEAM A & B VISIT TO NGORONGORO CRATER
After a comfortable nights sleep at two separate guest houses near the Manyara National Park, the students, staff and TV crew climbed back into the 8 4-wheel drive 8-seater vans and proceeded along the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater before descending down the side into the largest area of flat land anyone of us had ever seen in our lives - the remains of the volcani crater, about twice the size of lake Taupo! We soon started seeing all manner of African wildlife, both animal and birdlife. This included: jackals, hyenas, elephants, wildebeest, water buffulo, hippopotumuses, ostriches, zebras in their thousands, gazelles, lions, storks, etc. After having lunch and a further drive around, we headed back to the rim and off to Arusha, shopping for some curios at the Masai handcraft shops on the way back.
After a combined meal at the Joshua Foundation, Team B packed their bags into 4 vans and were given a raptuous send off for their trip to Moshi by Team A students who performed a haka and formed a guard of honour at the exit. Team B were then assigned their cabins and tootled off with the luggage and an early night after a rather full and exciting day among the wildlife of Africa.
All students and staff are in good spirits, completely healthy and eager to get into the second phase of the mission in their new environments. And now a bundle of photos for you to enjoy ...
TEAM A - Sunday 17th July
Today was the first full day at the Joshua Foundation. After breakfast, we piled into two vans and drove into Arusha township to attend the Zion Temple Church. The first service at 9am was English speaking and the team performed the National Anthem, Maori cultural songs and the drama interspersed with faith-building testimonies by Katie Hogg and Naomi Sellar. The audienced loved the drama and cheered when Jesus rose from the dead and Satan was banished. About 20 people came forward for prayer and the students and staff gathered around them to encourage them in the Lord. The Swahili service started straight after the first service and this time, the team sang their Swahili song "Baba Tunakupenda" which was cheered on by the Tanzanian who informed us they understood every word we sang. Again the drama was greatly appreciated and the students were rewarded with cake and drinks at the end of the service. We return to this church on Saturday to run a Youth Seminar.
Upon returning to the Joshua Foundation, we had lunch then had an Orientation talk with Paul & Liz Scoullar, our Kiwi camp hosts (the same couple that spoke to the students in April at Hebron). After dinner the students completed their diaries while some of the adult team leaders attended the church service on the base led by the directors, Alan and Lynda Stephenson (Lynda was one of Hebron's first teachers). An early night was scheduled after some early morning rises and a fairly busy day today.
Sunday 17th July - Team B - CHURCH & CRUSADE
Sunday finds us at church in Moshi for the first time. We had the opportunity to share with the drama, object lessons, testimony and preaching. Daniel is getting very good at his illusions. The hand is now far quicker than the eye! I just don't know where that handkerchief goes... The appeal saw a large percentage of the church come forward for prayer and a smaller number for renewal of their commitment to the Lord, or for a first time commitment. All in all a time of great blessing. After lunch things went from good to even better. We took part in the first crusade for Team B. Team A has obviously done great ground work for us. A crowd of three hundred plus turned up not long after we arrived. The local churches had already started singing and gathering people. The drama team and items captured peoples' hearts and Peter Clark preached a powerful, straightforward, gospel message. There was a tremendous response with many, many people coming forward for prayer and salvation. A number of people testified to healings that had taken place for them during the service though we haven't got the full details on these yet. The local churches are well organised in terms of followup and encouragement. We have ample translators. The scenery, as you'll see from the photo diary, is awesome. The backdrop of Kilimanjaro is truly spectacular. One cannot help but be impressed with the glory of God's creative power.
TEAM A Monday 18th July
Our programme has been re-scheduled in a major way to open up opportunitites for ministry later in the week. As a result, we ended up travelling to the local markets for a little more shopping and bartering before heading off to the Snake Farm and Masai Heritage Village. We saw a wide variety of snakes from all over Africa, some very venomous snakes and others non-venomous but just as deadly eg. boa constrictors. We were then taken around a Masai display and village and all aspects of Masai culture was explained by a Masai man in traditional dress. The day finished with a number of students and staff opting for the camel rides...all very safe while you're in the air but the getting up and getting down was rather hair-raising. After dinner, we met for praise and worship, and then planning for our 3 day/2 night trip to a remote village 2 hours from Arusha called Magugu where the Joshua Foundation owns and runs a Christian school. We will be running a school programme, an after-school programme and a maize distribution programme to the poor in the area.
As there is no internet access in Magugu, a daily webpage report like the one you are reading now, will not be possible. We may, however, have Team B write up a brief report for us which we could phone through if there is cellphone coverage!!!). If there is no report for Tuesday and Wednesday, don't get anxious...we won't have got lost in deepest Africa!!!
18th July - Team B - Fountain of Hope, Joy and Evening Crusade
This morning we had our first visit, and formal welcome, at the Fountain of Hope school and orphanage. We were greeted by the melodic singing of children lining both sides of the driveway. A number of dances and songs were presented to, and enjoyed by, our team. After a tour of the school (see photos) we visited the Fountain of Zoe - a orphanage for abandoned and HIV/AIDS babies. It was a very moving time. We thought we might have to physically extract some of the team - and not just the girls. Back to the Mission House for lunch and a team meeting and then we were split and off to three separate areas. One part of the team went to continue the Crusade with puppets, Maori items, testimonies, object lessons and preaching. Another part of the team went to help with the Womans Conference. This had a very successful first day with approx 150 women in attendance and very moving testimonies and sharing. And a third group went, with Dr. Ross Henderson, to assist him give medicals to the children of the orphanage - this is a massive task that will consume all available time this week for Ross and his support team.
Tuesday 19th July - Team B - HOPE, JOY AND OUTREACH
An overcast day today saw the team load up our dalahdalah's and head out for various activities. Part of the team, with Dr Ross headed for the school admin area where a temporary medical clinic has been established. They worked (lunch excepted) through to five o'clock - a superb effort! Others went to revisit the Fountain of Joy - a mission for teenage women who have been in difficulties. These young women were delightful and are obviously being well cared for. They shared a song to welcome us and our young men, of the abbreviated team, responded with an enthusiastic haka and our young women taught the Joy young women a Maori action song. The Hope girls shared with us their embroidery and cloth making skills. They also maintain a vegetable garden. Still others went to the Fountain of Zoe again to visit the babies.
After lunch we again split - as will be the pattern for this week - Women's Conference and Evening Crusade then back together at approx 7:30pm for dinner. At every meeting we are seeing people come forward to commit their lives to the Lord. The Crusade this evening was blessed by a larger than normal number of men coming forward in response to the appeal - including a number who had joined us from the local pub! Please pray for these people that their decision to follow Jesus will be lived out and that those following up from the local churches are able to do so joyfully. Praise the Lord for His goodness to us. The women on our team were presented with traditional dresses from the hosts of the Conference. They have shared wonderfully and really impacted others lives with their teaching and testimonies. Morgan and Joselyn shared with the women tonight and their words were very moving.
TEAM A has not been heard from today though we did expect there might be communication issues for a day or two. We will let you know as soon as we hear from them.
Wednesday 20th July - Team A - UPDATE FROM MAGUGU
Team A is currently out of communication range except for occasional mobile phone calls. Mr Matthews has given us this update to pass on: The team arrived at Magugu after a long, bumpy, drive for some three hours. The team is presenting an afternoon school programme for two days and distributing maize to local families. The school and accommodations are very â€˜primitive'. There is no running water so all washing is out of a basin or bucket. There is no power and only squat toilets. The team spoke to the children about life in NZ schools. There is no grass â€“ everything is dry, barren, dirt. A real surprise was that every year an unnamed Kiwi arrives to build a new classroom for the school. There is an amazing school spirit but the community does not have any real Christian light. The team is looking forward to good showers and being able to wash out their clothes. The school raises both Tanzanian and NZ flags!
Wednesday 20th July - Team B - VILLAGE & MARKET VISIT, WOMEN'S CONFERENCE, CRUSADE
Team B is now hard at work on the variety of tasks eg. the medical unit, school and village visits, crusade and women's conference. In addition we also managed to squeeze in visits to the markets and a local internet cafe. Some of our students were experiencing "net-withdrawl" pangs. The latest village and market visits really showed up the contrast been conditions in housing in NZ and Tanzania. Many of the people who come to the Crusades in the evenings have to walk home through the maize fields in the dark. Internet access is unreliable in Moshi. We also did some work the local computer system which was virus ridden and dysfunctional - it now works. The contrasts, even witin Moshe are dynamic. Some of the churches are extensive. The local Catholic complex and Muslim mosque are extensive developments set in areas of real poverty. The internet cafes are good and well used by both locals and westerners. There are a large number of street vendors but they are not agressive or overly assertive. Most adults have some understanding of English, and some have very good English. The pace of life is a lot slower than NZ and everything is 'event-drivem'. As Glorious explained ... "when one event ends another starts ..." And so it is. I'm not sure what use a watch is over here??? It seems that most people are more used to the rise and set of the sun than any other significant factor.
Thursday 21st July - Team B - FOUNDATION WORK, WOMEN'S CONFERENCE & CRUSADE
This morning we awoke to drizzling rain that cleared by about 8:00am. As the ground was dry the water was soaked up quickly and while we had expected mud we didn't really get any of note. Clothes don't dry to quickly though due to the lack of wind. We set off for the Foundation school once again. This time for a mixture of things. Most of the young people got involved in cleaning and
painting the Administration Block. It now looks a new (or at least newer) building... and 'most' of the paint made it onto the building! The medical clinic continued with Mr Henderson and team - now approx 75% of the school children have been seen. A new baby child Eliza arrived at the Fountain of Zoe. Eliza is an orphan, only a few months old and having lost two fingers to gangreine. She was malnourished and spent a restless night but by mid-day was looking a lot better. The picture is of the Foundation founder and Pastor, Glorious with Jesse (a trainee at the Joshua Foundation who has come down with us) and baby Eliza. After lunch we split to our afternoon/evening shifts of Crusade and Women's Conference. Today we are pleased to bring a few photos of our members at the Women's Conference - shy lot these women - it's been hard to get their pictures! By all accounts the Conference was a roaring success. Likewise this evening's Crusade, focussed on healing, really went off! In particular one miracle was outstanding. A mother who had her poor eyesight restored in last night's crusade (such that she no longer needed glasses at all) today brought her crippled youngster for prayer. The child (approx) five years had never been able to walk. After prayer he stood up and ran over to the car and then to his mother, who was by that time hysterical with delight - as we her friends and a lot of the community that knew the family. Praise the Lord. Quite a celebration with many tears and hugs. The Lord is good. In addition we were blessed by people giving their hearts to the Lord and others coming for healing and prayer. We have an exhausted by very happy team.
TEAM A VISIT TO MAGUGU VILLAGE - 19th-21st July
Tuesday 19th July
Team A has just returned from a fantastic and highly successful outreach in the village of Magugu where the Joshua Foundation has built and maintained a primary school. The 4-hour trip there in a small bus was an adventure all on its own, travelling the last two hours on the bumpiest and dustiest road in the world! The bus driver actually drove OFF the road as much as he could because off-road was more comfortable than on-road!!! After arriving at the Magugu School, we were welcomed by the staff and 290 children and soon after started our after-school club finishing at 6pm, all topped off with a beautiful African sunset. The evening meal was very Africanâ€¦rice, beans, small clumps of tough meat and grissle! The cold bottle of soda (soft drink) was most refreshing. After a devotional time lead by Mr Matthews, we climbed into the bus and headed off to our accommodation for the nightâ€¦the Ngorongoro Guest House and the "Palace" Guest House. Living conditions were sparse to say the least â€“ bedroom consisting of concrete walls and floor, 1 window and 1 door. No running water meant showers consisted of a bucket of water and a scoop. The one and only toilet was a squat toilet that ponged rather badly! Like the Apostle Paul, we all "learnt to be content in whatever situation we found ourselves in."
Wednesday 20th July
On Wednesday we ran a school assembly in the morning. Mr Matthews showed a Powerpoint using the Hebron data projector (technology not seen in this part of the world) of life in New Zealand and activities at Hebron Christian College. Mr Allen taught the children the song "The Lord Loves Me" in English and Maori. The team then visited the 7 classrooms and spoke about family life in NZ or else assisted Nurse Matthews run a medical clinic, assessing the children's eyesight, ears, throats, heart & lungs and general skin rashes and sores. Infections were treated with antiseptic creams and antibiotics. In the afternoon, a downsized Hebron "Celebration Day Tabloid Sports Programme" was run by the team and this was thoroughly enjoyed by the staff and children. (All the activities had to be planned around minimal equipment and played on bare sandy, dusty dirt â€“ not a blade of grass in the whole school). The after-school programme started at 3:00pm and students presented memory verses, stories, puppets and finally the drama. Mr Matthews then challenged the children to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and the majority of the children (about 180) came forward to dedicate their lives to God and seek prayer. Praise God! After dinner, the Mrs Matthews and Mrs Subritzky led the cook to the Lord and upon hearing this, the students prayed with her for her husband who is a Muslim. We all returned to our guest house with the joy of the Lord.
Thursday 21st July
Our last day in Magugu saw us visiting the village's new secondary school, only 4 months old. Approx. 280 secondary students sat in the blazing sun and watched the team perform dances, songs, National Anthem and the drama. Mr Matthews then preached from Acts 2:22-24 & 36-39, challenging the students to open their hearts to God's Spirit and let Jesus rule their lives and bring His blessing. Over half the school (about 150) responded to the altar call and came forward, repeating the sinner's prayer in Swahili. Thankfully, the school has about 6 Christian teachers who will set up a Christian club in the school to support these students in their new-found faith. After fond farewells, we had to race back to the primary school where we distributed bucket-fulls of maize to the poorer families in the area. The students were blessed and edified to see these worthy recipients gain something tangible to help them get by in an area that had many failed crops due to the short-lived rainy season and the dry and barren ground. Our 4-hour bus trip back to Arusha was full of laughs and happy memories â€“ an outreach within an outreach to an extremely poor and needy community in rural Africa â€“ to a people made in God's image and with a desire to serve the living God.
TEAM A - Friday 22nd July
A midday performance at Mringa Secondary School allowed a sleep-in and some much needed R & R for all team members, including adults. The heat and the dust are very wearing and the long bumpy bus rides can be exhausting too. Despite all this, the team have been cheerful and uncomplaining, willing to put up with inconveniences and discomfort, being true soldiers for their heavenly commander!
Mringa Secondary School would be the poorest school we have ever seen. Buildings were dilapidated, the grounds were uneven and dirty, the resources were almost non-existent. Even the electrical wiring in different places looked positively dangerous. We set up in a large room with bare concrete walls and large holes for windows while approx 500 secondary students poured in. There was no electrical powerpoint in the room so the Joshua Foundation generator came in handy along with their portable public address system. We eventually got underway with our National Anthem, and dances. Because most of our CDs went missing between Moshi and Arusha, the students and Miss Woodfield sang the "I Believe" song as they performed and did an amazingly good job. There was lots of laughter during the haka which fired up our students even more. Sam Reynolds and Joseph Mita gave their testimonies. The drama had to be stopped partway through as our backup CD started skipping in both available CD players. We were running out of time so Mr Burrow's preached on the need to be accountable to God. About 20 students responded to the message and were prayed for.
The late afternoon was spent back at the Joshua Foundation with some students and staff visiting a local optician to buy very inexpensive glasses. After dinner, the whole of Arusha was plunged into darkness with a electrical blackout and a rush was made for the candles and torches. Liz and Paul Scouller, our Kiwi hosts told us blackouts (brownouts?) are common in this part of the world. When the power came on we watched a film about Africa then hit the beds for another well-earned rest.
Friday 22nd July - Team B - SCHOOL TABLOID SPORTS, CRAFTSVILLAGE & CRUSADE
Friday started with a return to the Fountain of Hope School and a time with the children. The children were divided into twenty teams and a couple of hours were spent playing tabloid sports. Our team split into pairs to teach various games. Most, if not all, the games were unknown to the children. Even the most basic skills and games, that in NZ are taken for granted, seem almost unknown here. The children eventually got the idea and a lot of fun was had by all. The dry heat is quite tiring and by a late lunchtime everyone was ready for a break and a good drink.
After lunch a group of the team went to visit the local market just down the road from where we are staying. A number of craftspeople work there turning out indigenous products. They are very skillful.
The late afternoon and evening saw the combined team assemble for the evening Crusade. Having the women back with the team meant a number of items that could not previously be performed were available. Some time was spent distributing pamphlets in the local area inviting people to come. Tonight the numbers continued to increase and many people came forward for healing and to commit their lives to the Lord. Further there were a number of healings including a mute woman with a large goiter on her neck. This disappeared and she was able to speak - no surprise - all she could do was priase God. Another woman, blind in one eye, was healed on the spot. In fact the number of people coming forward and the wonderful things the Lord is doing here is difficult to document. Tomorrow we hope to sit with the local church and get some overview of the results.