After a long delay getting out, we arrived in Mpwapwa Diocese a day late which meant that our visit to the Compassion projects was delayed until tomorrow (Saturday), but we were quickly into Matongoro. We spent Sunday to Wednesday either in the villages we are already supporting or visiting the new villages we will be supporting, and have been staying in the house of the CCMP co-ordinator, Erasto Goima. Last Sunday we worshipped in Matongoro and Mark had the privilege of baptising five children in Swahili, and then six the next day under tarpaulins within an Iraqw community, who are similar to Massai.
The drought means that much of the maize and sunflower crops is very poor or non-existent, but where they have been able to dig wells or irrigate - especially in Matongoro as a result of the Church and Community Mobilisation Process – they are growing tomatoes, Chinese lettuce and other vegetables.
Sarah and Sylvie spent time yesterday visiting three schools and developing links for Bishop Chavasse School, STEPS, Toddlers and Bumps & Babes, whilst Stephen and Mark met up with a group from St James’ Tunbridge Wells who are looking to partner with a CCMP project in the next Diocese.
We have been well looked after each day by Martin (who works for the Christian Council of Tanzania) and Amani (who is employed by the Diocese), but yesterday afternoon drove down to Mpwapwa to meet with Archbishop Jacob and have a rest day. Today we are going to a retreat centre up in the mountains called Kiboriani.
Tomorrow we will be back in Matongoro where we will stay another night, going to church in Zoissa – one of the new villages - and visiting the three new villages we have not yet been to. Everywhere we go we are followed by people and hordes of children who are most intrigued to see Mzungi (white people).
Please keep praying for safety in all our travelling, especially on the roads; for health,; and for a better return journey.
Our continued prayers for our church family and thank you for all your support.
Stephen, Sylvie, Sarah and Mark