Homestay is part of AIM’s orientation programme. Every mission partner is required to spend a short time living with a local family. The aim is to become familiar with culture, customs, food, habits etc and to establish relationships with them. We recently spent almost a week with Rev Falanta, his wife and family in their home in Morogoro and thought we would share with you a few of our observations.
|Rev Falanta and his family|
Meals were taken much later than we are used to – lunch was typically served around 2.30pm and dinner was sometimes eaten as late as 10pm! The whole family ate together, including the children. Frequently the children were still up after 11pm – in fact we usually went to bed before they did!
The family owns four cows, two calves and numerous chickens. Masika looks after the cows each day, taking them out to the family’s field. They are a useful source of income as the family sells the milk the cows produce. They are also a valuable asset – one cow could be sold for 1 million Tanzanian shillings (about £350). In fact, a neighbour’s cows were stolen recently, causing Rev Falanta to organise security guards to patrol the neighbourhood.
|Mama Falanta makes|
chapatis for dinner
Ruth was able to help prepare the evening meal each day. Meals are cooked outside on charcoal stoves. The family does have an electric stove in the kitchen but it’s only used for boiling water as electricity is expensive here.
|Mercy & Naomi watch as |
the cockerel is prepared for
Rev Falanta took our homestay very seriously and was keen to help us learn as much as we could. He is the chaplain of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and also leads the CCT church on campus (Christian Council of Tanzania). He took us around the campus to see his office, meet various heads of department and tour the veterinary facilities. He also arranged for us to visit Mama Falanta’s school. He was a good source of information on local tribal culture and customs. Steve was able to preach at his church on the Sunday after our homestay.
All in all it was a very interesting experience and one that has taught us a lot about Tanzanian culture.
|We feel exceedingly blessed to have|
found this house near to our
team-mates - and with a stunning view!
We’ve been able to hire a reliable night-guard – a Christian man called Immanuel. We’ve also acquired a guard dog. She, Socks, is playful, inquisitive and always on the lookout to get into the house! However, we have just discovered her ability to jump 6ft walls – on several occasions she has absconded at night, no doubt to meet her doggie friends. Not a talent that we are encouraging in her!
Our first Pastors Conference: From 10th-14th March there will be an intensive course here in Morogoro on cross cultural ministry and church planting for Tanzanian pastors and evangelists. The hope is that this conference, together with many others like it, will act as a catalyst for the planting of 20 new churches in Eastern Tanzania during the next three years. Please pray for the delegates, the teachers (Simon, Wayne, Tony, Steve) and those who will be helping out during the event. It feels as though this conference marks the start of our full involvement at the Institute of Bible & Ministry and we’re looking forward to getting involved. We’ll share more about the Institute and the Sanga Sanga project next month.
As ever, we are grateful for your interest, prayers, emails and letters. With every blessing.
Steve & Ruth
10th – 14th: Pastors' conference at Sanga Sanga
20th – 23rd: Team retreat at Lushoto
30th March: Steve preaching at AIC Morogoro x2
- Praise God for a good homestay experience and new relationships formed.
- Praise God for a reliable night-guard.
- Pray for continued language learning as we start studying at the local language school.
- Pray for Steve as he leads devotions during the pastors' conference.
Photos of the month: