It’s been awhile since I have updated our blog.  I am so proud of Jessie for learning how to add music to our offerings with her new Mac.   And I am glad that you have had an opportunity to see and HEAR the fiddler who came to our door selling his wares.  Emmanuel’s choir will be offering the Rutter Requiem as an Evensong this coming Sunday.  It will be quite different from the music that you heard from the African choir.  That particular village church had several choirs ~ a womens’ choir, a children’s choir and the one on the video.  Life is unbelievably hard there but they continue to sing, dance and trust God.

Jessie and I have our airliine tickets for our return to Tanzania in July.  This will be my 4th trip to Africa since 2007.  I am reminded by Barbara Crafton that God has given me a new life, one away from the walls of a church.  News from Msalato Theological College is troubling and sad and we go knowing that we cannot do great things but small things with great love to quote Mother Teresa.  There is a possibility that the college will no longer provide food service for the students ~ they will be responsible for their own food and they have no money.  Sandy says many came back this semester f rom their villages thin as rails.  How can they learn on empty stomachs?  We are working on a grant request to help out with the food situation or should I say the lack of food?  My heart breaks every day for Africa.

The bishop of Central Tanganyika will visit us from April 6-9 enroute to Canada.  His name is Mdimi Mhogolo, such a musical name, and we were guests in his home this past summer.  I asked my bishop in Virginia, David Jones what to do with a visiting African bishop.  “You may do his laundry” said David.  It is amazing that Bishop Mhogolo has stayed in David’s home in Virginia and now he will be in mine.  It can’t just be coincidence. 

I had the pleasure of going to a writing workshop last weekend in Valle Crucis.  I felt a bit out of place as many were published writers including the facilitator, Katerina Whitley.  She is a very compelling person ~ a writer of note, has written for the Christian Science Monitor and has been a church journalist for 20 years.  I bought one of her books:  “Walking the Way of Sorrows.”  I’ve read many books on the Stations and never thought any would touch me as much as Michel Quoist ‘s “Prayers” but Katerina’s are  deeply moving monologues from those along the way of the Cross ~ Jesus’ mother, Simon of  Cyrene, Veronica and all the others who witnessed and followed behind that horrible scene.  If any of you are seeking something special for Holy Week I highly recommend this little but heart-cracking book.  It is published by Morehouse.  I’ve actually walked the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem but even that did not reach me as much as these writings and meditations. 

Please keep our African friends in your hearts and in your prayers.

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