For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 As we begin this last month of year 2020, for most it has been a very different year in many ways. A lot of focus has been put on and around the coronavirus pandemic that has controlled the world in which we live. It is time for us to focus on the day when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, and as we look back over the past year at the difficulties and trials that have come our way, we can truly thank God for a Saviour. Let us remember the reason for this Christmas season. Christmas in Tanzania is very different in many ways to that of the western world. In the western world we can get caught up in the materialistic things that come with the Christmas season. It could be very easy to forget the real reason why we celebrate. For many in Tanzania Christmas is about going to church, wearing their new clothes and having a meal of something different than the usual Ugali/rice & beans.
Some months back the social welfare suggested that we have several of our staff trained in childcare. We contacted the local University to see what type of courses they offered. They had nothing in their syllabus but said that they could design a course to suit our training needs. We planned to send 4 of our staff, one of them being Margaret our head carer. We were pleased with the short course they offered. It comprised of evening classes over a four-week period. We paid the fees and when the day arrived for the course to commence, we were informed by the Principal that there were not enough students enrolled for the course and that they would have to cancel it! We then started the process to get a refund of the fees, which was going to be quite an effort. The college then came back to us offering the class but at a different campus commencing at the beginning of November. Two weeks have now been completed and Margaret has informed me that they will commence the 2nd two weeks on the 1st of December as some of their lecturers had deaths in their families. This is life in Tanzania. The photo above from left to right, Frola, Margaret, Sabina and Pendo. The children seem to be doing well, missing us as much as we miss them. It has been good to be able to chat with them from time to time. We have had to change our school run, from using our own vehicle to hiring a school bus. The children are enjoying going to school in the bus. Continue to pray for the children especially during the extra time that they are away from the home. Pick up time is now at 6:15am. Please pray for the logistics in preparation for the new school year starting in January. New uniforms, textbooks, exercise books will need to be purchased etc. We have heard reports that the rainy season has started. Please pray for a good rainy season that people well get good crops for their labours. Deputation meetings have been very few during our time here, but we have had very good times at the places where we have visited and have been really encouraged. Many have now been cancelled while others have been rescheduled, so we value your prayers for these remaining few before we leave for Tanzania in January. We take this moment to wish you a blessed Christmas. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the work in Tanzania. Love in Christ, John & Pauline