Friday, March 13, 2009

Prayer notes

"Your prayers and gifts to the poor have not gone unnoticed by God"

 (Acts 10.4).

1. We are grateful that so many prayers about our new work in Tanzania are being answered. We have very pleasant working relationships with colleagues in administration, and more particularly in philosophy. Although students use Swahili almost all the time, except for lectures, we find we are managing to get around with what little we know, with gestures and other forms of communication, which work fine when there is goodwill.

2.  We are thankful for the opportunity we had to visit Jos and meet with our graduate students in January and to encourage them in their work. There was some unrest at the time, but reports we have received indicate that things are calming down. Please continue to pray with us for an end to the violence and for true peace for Jos. But last week IICS colleagues who live a few hours driving distance outside of Jos experienced armed robbery; please pray for the Lotzgesells as they cope with the trauma and loss. 

3. We are thankful for the safety in travel we have experienced these last weeks, both internationally and locally. Here in Tanzania we do not have a car, and get around in public mini-buses, which are great for getting us back and forth to the campus from Mwanza for visits, shopping, etc. Please pray for our safety on local transportation.

4. When we first arrived, we were warned that mail by regular post might not get through; but over the past two weeks we have received a number of pieces of mail! On campus we are able to use internet, although it is rather slow much of the time (that's why we are using only our gmail accounts at this time). And our cell phones work fine here. Thank God with us for good communications. 

5. One of our concerns on arrival was to find a worshiping community. During these first weeks we visited some local churches; the singing is almost invariably beautiful, but the services are best described as loud and louder. So we are thankful that we found a local Anglican church which holds a traditional service; the attendance is not large, and the English service is sandwiched in between two services in Swahili which are much better attended. As a result the priest tends to hurry the service somewhat, but we are very thankful that we can understand what is going on! 

The Anglican church in Mwanza, where we worship on Sundays

Thank you for praying with us! 

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