As you know we have been in the UK for the last few weeks. The final 10 days of our trip saw Phil, Emily and Jessica embark on an African adventure.
Our long-standing relationship with Living Waters in Mwanza, Tanzania drew us back again to minister and work with our good friend Carolyn Philpott.
Phil sent prayer updates while they were away so I thought it’d be good to summarize them and add some of their pictures.
Today has been a busy day. I started the day praying high on a hill, gazing across Lake Victoria, as fishermen returned from a night on their tiny boats. Small lights across the water that look like a city afloat. Mud huts litter the hill and the smell of charcoal cooked breakfasts linger in the air.
The faithful old Land Rover took us through dusty roads as we drove along the lakeshore. Lines of women carrying water, balanced beautifully, children holding hands walking to school, the dust lingering long.
We proceeded deeper into the bush in search of a small hidden mud hamlet and a green valley that we hope will become a garden to feed the school children and orphans.
Food and education are two beautiful gifts we can offer.
We stood on a rock hill and looked across this green land. The visit ended with chatting to the local chief. Jessica and Emily were surrounded by lots of children, who clearly had no school. They introduced them to digital photos and the wonder of the mini iPad.
There was no church in the area, we prayed and dreamed of bearing other fruit for eternity.
Driving back I noticed spots I had preached at over ten years ago, small country schools, shady trees and the odd church building with no windows.
We arrived back at the village to a packed hall of 100 youth and adults. I was expected to preach for an hour and a half. I completed my task with passion then answered biblical questions for another hour. Emily and Jess will never complain about my sermons at Willow again!
Friday was a day of the spoken word, We enjoyed a school assembly. Emily and Jessica answering questions about Canada, school and snow.
I preached for four hours throughout the day in four meetings. Scorching heat powered through the tin roof, I drove through the heat with the truth of God’s. I have to confess that the smallest faded into a blissful sleep.
Many responded to the teaching. The teaching went deeper as we followed the trail of thought. We welcomed a whisper of wind, a refreshing gift from Lake Victoria. The questions became sharper from the teachers. My final hour dealt with marriage, contraception and the attitude of the Tanzanian man towards their wives. A biblical view of same sex marriage, the western church, the second coming, judgmental churches and back sliders. I really felt we trekked into cultural attitudes and offered clear biblical reflection.
On Saturday morning, Emily and Jessica lead a morning of crafts, with children from the orphanage. Colorful beads, ribbons and cotton were in abundance as all the children proudly wore their new treasures around the village.
I will post the second half of their trip tomorrow.
The Africa, England and the Canada time zones have created confusion in our minds and bodies this week.
The Canada time zone is getting closer everyday…
Love, Michelle xo