|Barazani, with dried up Lake Eyasi behind|
|The Florida guesthouse!|
Well, the conference did go very well and the pastors seemed keen to tackle the subject: “Show me a leader with integrity.” In fact it was a hot topic that grabbed their attention and the questions and head-nodding (in agreement, not sleep!) revealed that this was definitely a timely subject that needed expounding. On the final afternoon we were also able to encourage the local AIC pastor by visiting his small unfinished church building and praying for him and his family. Their story, accompanied by tears, revealed that they were going through some very tough times and I left the church astounded, wondering how this guy has been able to cope in this isolated northern outpost. His house made the Florida Guesthouse seem like the Ritz – or at least like a Travelodge! As I lay in bed that night listening to the call of a distant hyena, and trying not to itch my 120+ bed-bug bites, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was I had to be grumpy about!
|The house where trees live, Lindi|
Our most recent conference (July) was actually on home turf, as we decided to hold the Pwani event at Sanga Sanga, instead of Dar. Thankfully, with Sanga only being 12 miles up the road from our house, there’s little to report on the travails of travel! The only drawbacks in trying to hold people’s attention at this venue were the nesting sparrows overhead and the stunning views of the Uluguru mountains! We had to position the seating so that the pastors wouldn’t be mesmerised all of the time! We met in the main upper room of the new conference centre, which as yet doesn’t have windows fitted, but the sparrows, the views and the breeze certainly made it memorable. There was also some great singing during the three days, and it thrilled the soul to hear those African voices, especially as there wasn’t a keyboard or an amplifier in sight!!
|The seminar room with a view!|
|Mum & Dad Lancs 'gift-wrapped' - literally!|
Life in Ruth’s Lane! Every year AIM’s female missionaries in Tanzania get together for a time of retreat. This year’s retreat was held in May on the coast south of Dar es Salaam. Kathy Larkman, our pastor’s wife from Corsham Baptist, came to speak on ‘Christ’s Love Compels Us’. It was a special time of relaxation, catching up with friends, praying with each other and having a few laughs too. Unfortunately I had again been suffering from a few boils, and a large abscess on my side distracted me somewhat from the retreat. I was able to have a small surgical procedure at a clinic in Dar before we headed home to Morogoro. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me during this time – it has healed up nicely now and added to my collection of scars!
We’ve had lots of visitors at Sanga Sanga over the last few months, including two large AICT children’s camps. We converted the pump house into a temporary dorm to add to our capacity! It was lovely seeing the children enjoying the fresh air, space and their Sunday School lessons.
I had a few days of holiday at the end of May when my friend Rachel from Tearfund/Oak Hall days came to visit. We had 3 nights on Zanzibar and a day on safari. It was her first time to Tanzania so it was lovely to show her our ministry and home life here.
|Cookery course students|
Diary Dates & Prayer Requests:
1-5 Aug: Ifakara IBM pastors’ conference (Steve)
16-30 Aug: Hosting, speaking and leading on Oak Hall’s first Tanzania trip!
20 Aug: Ruth’s birthday!
5-9 Sept: Magambua IBM pastors’ conference
18-22 Sept: Ruth teaching an English course at Sanga Sanga
25-30 Sept: Mbeya IBM pastors’ conference
12-17 Oct: AIM Tanzania conference in Dar es Salaam
|There's always room for one more bag!|
We’re also thankful for our home church and band of faithful supporters who have enabled us to be here for four years now! Yes, it really is that long! On 11th July we celebrated our four year anniversary here in Tanzania. Thank you to those who support us through prayer and finance. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without your support.
Please pray for Steve as he continues to teach at the IBM conferences on the subject of Biblical leadership and moral integrity. The next one starts on 2nd August.
Please pray for Ruth as she handles bookings at Sanga and manages the Retreat House staff. Pray that we would be able to move forward into completing the conference centre build. Things are certainly happening but on a slower basis, although we’re now in a position where we can use some of the rooms.
Please pray for us both as we host and lead the first ever Oak Hall Tanzania trip in August! Obviously, we’d love for this trip to be a success and for the guests to go away having had a real taste of Africa and a taste of mission.
Please pray for us both (and our team mate Cath Swanson) as we continue to plan for the AIM Tanzania Conference in October. We’re looking forward to welcoming a certain Bob Hunt as our speaker, and we’ve now got a children’s team all lined up!
|As always, Dad needs help with his phone!|
Steve & Ruth