Classes are officially over for this first semester!! It is truly amazing how the time passes. Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf. The students were very anxious to get home so they worked very hard to finish up the planting in the fields, cutting the grass and other projects that had to be done before Christmas break. Finals were administered this past Wednesday and Thursday. Then, on Friday morning, we had a closing service and everyone headed for home. Before I forget, I should also say that many students send their love and greetings to you all and wish you all God’s richest blessings during this Christmas season.
Once all the students left, all the staff of the school had a meeting to discuss the past semester and the semesters yet to come. It was very tiring meeting but Ben and I were determined to make it to Arusha that day. As a result, when the meeting was over at 3pm, we had a quick lunch, packed up our bikes and were in Arusha by 7:15pm.
Continue also pray for the school as we make progress towards getting electricity. There is still a ways to go but the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting closer all the time. God blessed the school recently with lots of rain in preparation for our planting. The unfortunate thing was that the electrical company only dug about a meter deep when they put in all these new telephone poles. As you can imagine, this meant that most of them fell over when the ground was softened with all this rain. What can is say? This is Africa. Poor management combined with workers trying to get by with doing as little work as possible is pretty much the norm.
By way of a prayer request, please pray for a neighbor of the school who lost a daughter just a couple weeks ago when she fell in a well while drawing water for the family. It is especially at times like this that the support of the community and the “bearing one another’s burdens” mindset is so apparent in this area. Some of the students and staff of Waama took the opportunity to visit them and share the hope that is found in Jesus. We look forward to what God will do in that tragic situation – especially in the heart of the grandfather who is a practicing witchdoctor.
By way of praise, for the first time since Ben and I have been here in Tanzania, we have decided before the beginning of a semester which classes each teacher will be responsible for. This was decided at a teachers’ meeting over a week ago, so we are excited to start preparing class outlines already now during Christmas break. In addition to both of us continuing with our respective English classes, Ben will be teaching Isaiah 1 (chapters 1-39) to the second-year students, and Biblical History as well as 1 Thessalonians to the first-year students. My only class with the first-year students this semester will be 1 John. Then, in addition to continuing with my Evangelism class for the third-year students, I will also be teaching them the Isaiah 2 course (chapters 40-66). It is not exactly what we anticipated but we look forward to the second semester being a blessing to us as well as the students. You may have noticed that our computer class was dropped. This is due to the reduction of teaching staff we have experienced which has required us to drop any classes that aren’t an essential part of the core curriculum.
So, the year is coming to an end. As you can see from the subject of this email, Ben and I decided to again spend this holiday season here in Uganda with Nate and Rhoda Jore and their kids. We made the bus trip up here through the night on Sunday and arrived a little before 8 on Monday morning. The plan is to stay here until the 2nd of January, arrive back in Arusha on the 3rd, purchase supplies and make other preparations for the coming semester until the 6th, and then go directly from Arusha to Babati on the 7th where we need to get our new residency permits stamped in our passports.
Thank you all for your support and prayers over this past year. It is still a bit strange to be in such a warm climate for the holidays but I’m pretty sure I don’t mind. J I wish you all a merry Christmas and a blessed 2009!! You all are in my thoughts and prayers!!
In Christian love,