Dear Family and Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and family there in the States! Hoping you all enjoyed some yummy turkey yesterday……..reminds me of the massive turkey leg I once ate at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair…….OK now my mouth is watering. But seriously, we are grateful for so many things, for the chance to serve the Lord here in Africa, for our family, and our wonderful support team. We’re thankful for how God works in our lives for our good and for His glory!
Thanks for praying for the local church here, we’ve been through some quite amazing and difficult times, but the Lord is working and refining us. One of the elders in the church died suddenly, and it shook us and the whole community up quite a bit actually. Seeing the results of this recent loss, and the way people have reacted, has brought opportunities to share Christ and be a light as we support Eliji’s widow (Mama Soja) and encourage unity and God-fearing worship among the churches. Pastor Dotto has moved on to a new assignment, and Pastor Mashauri is stepping in to his new role as head pastor.
Thanks for praying for the health center, just recently we have taken on a new lab technician and a Clinical Officer. We’re excited as they’ve entered a probation period for the next number of months to see how they work out. Pray for Fransisca and Christiana as we get them settled in here in Magambua. We had a chance to visit Otto yesterday in Dodoma at the school he’s attending, DECOHAS. He’s doing great, enjoying the classes, and has an exam at the end of this week. He’s about six weeks in to his three year course!
We had a wonderful Unit Prayer Day recently, where most all the AIM missionaries in the central TZ area got together for a day of prayer. This was led by the French’s, our unit leaders. Little did we know that they had also ‘planned’ a ‘team building exercise’ ………… as we were driving to the location of the prayer day, we all (our car, French’s car, and Margaret’s car) got stuck in the mud after a freak downpour on a particularly thick dusty section. What fun we had getting helped out of the mud by eager villagers who dug and scraped and pushed with us to get us unstuck!
We had another visit with the kids in Kenya earlier this month while we waited for multi-entry visas to be processed. I (Jon) got to take Drew away for a father/son weekend to work through the Passport2Purity material put out by Family Life. What a great weekend we had together talking about ALL KINDS of stuff. During that visit Melissa and I also got to make Saturday breakfast for Drew’s dorm, gotta love Swedish pancakes! We also enjoyed seeing the Hoods and watching Rachel enjoy Titchie skating party where she got to use her pink roller blades and her very pink ripstick!
Dr. Savage and his team were out again to Magambua at the end of October, and a number of blind cataract patients were seeing again after their visit, so neat to hear them describe what they see. One gentleman pointed out some of the workers high up on the water tank working behind the clinic and the color of each of their shirts.
Speaking of water tanks, work is moving along great on the Dispensary Water Borehole Project! The lab testing came back that the water is safe for use, great news. Then the Davis&Shirtliff company came out and installed solar panels and a pump, and now the water flows at about 2000 liters an hour when the sun is overhead! As I type, the water tank team is constructing the apple shaped cement water tank that sits about 30 feet up on top of its tower.
Coming up –
A big transition, our long time SIL neighbors and friends, the Hunzikers, are packing up and moving to Switzerland. In a couple weekends there will be a big farewell party for them with the churches and also some dedication of the Bible translation work they’ve done in the Sandawe language. We’re going to miss them greatly. Pray for them as they transition to a new home and a new routine of traveling and supporting SIL recording work in different parts of Tanzania and perhaps beyond. Melissa will be taking over the ministry of showing the Luke film, that has been dubbed in to Kisandawe, and has been learning the ropes from the Hunzikers on how to show the film and work the equipment.
Pray for another eye doctor, an optometrist from Mvumi, who will arrive by MAF plane here in Magambua December 6th to examine people for glasses.
Guess who’ll be coming home soon……… the kids! Their December vacation from school will start this weekend, and guess who else will be coming, Melissa’s mom – Shosho! So we are looking forward to having the kids home and having Shosho with us for an extended visit. Pray for safety for Melissa as she drives up to Arusha this weekend to collect them from the shuttle. We can’t wait!
Love in Christ,
Jon for all of us