Alan Watson writes to us of how he can see God working mightily among the poor of Tanzania. A full version is available from our office.
“Dear family and friends,
We are enjoying a picturesque Katoke which is very green with regular seasonal rains and brilliant orange-red sunrises in the eastern sky over Lake Victoria. But power failures have never been so frequent. Every day we have lost power at some time for a few hours. Sorry this note is delayed, the internet needs power. Just getting it to you is a trial. The most satisfying part of our visit to Katoke is establishing or renewing relationships with people of this school and district. Here are some we encountered in the past week.
Ev. Margaret Kyabona. Margaret is a brave woman. She is an evangelist whose husband, a pastor, was poisoned by an enemy and died in 2006 leaving Margaret to raise their six children on her own. She has continued the ministry work as an evangelist and is in charge of a small congregation of about 40 that is building its own church, St Andrews Mahalala, which we visited yesterday. Her children are good students and four of Margaret’s have won entry and been sponsored at KLSS. The eldest, Vestina, has now completed her nurse training. How wonderfully productive is our sponsorship scheme! Margaret walks or rides a bicycle the 5 km from her home to the church. Evangelists such as Margaret are the spearhead of dramatic church growth in East Africa. Our Diocese – Lweru – since its formation ten years ago has grown from 12 parishes to 27 – soon to become 34 with 7 more becoming parishes in July this year. From 36 congregations 10 years ago it has grown to 143 now. It is the dedication of the Margaret Kyabonas that is driving it.
Idda Raulin. In the KLSS Year 8 National Exams Idda was placed among the very best students in Tanzania. Her father and mother are subsistence farmers living in a small house with earthen floor covered with soft grass. Her staple diet as a child has been matoke (boiled banana) and beans. What does she like about the school? The teachers, the availability of books, the running water – which does not have to be carried up from the creek as at home, the electric light, the time for reading. Idda wants to go on to Form 6 then study at university to become an engineer.
Mama Halelujah. The widow of Pastor Samuel Habimana is a long term and much loved friend. Although she does not speak English Elizabeth felt an immediate warmth and rapport when they first met in 2014. She needs a monthly check up and this and medicines will be expensive in local terms but we pray she will be respond to treatment. This kind of illness is very common and newspaper reports that non-communicable disease is overtaking communicable disease as a cause of death in Africa. Yet there is much that is encouraging for which to be thankful although a long way to go in the work of the Trust at Katoke.” Alan and Elizabeth.
Please keep on praying for the Watsons, the team at Katoke and the people of Tanzania. Remember too Alf and Wilma Norman back in PNG ministering further after 50 years service. And pray that the Lord would raise up from among us a new generation of who will serve the Lord around the world.
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew.