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Here are “our” students and friends ~ 3 year degree students taking their final exams, soon to be ordained Episcopal priests and soon to be posted to villages in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.

The pictures came today and I have spent an inordinate amount of time just looking at them: dedicated, hard-working, faithful, intelligent , handsome young men who will be leaders of their flocks and their villagers.  Not only will they preach and lead worship, they will encourage education for the children, attend to health needs of the people ~ they will baptize, bury, counsel and I know they will be kind and loving priests.  It raises my level of hope for the country we have come to feel is a second home for us.  Alex Mashoka is the young man in the yellow shirt.  Some of  you might remember that I once preached about him, putting his picture on the lecturn for all to see.  He is a proud young man and he had to beg money from Sandy in order to take his child to the hospital ~ less than $5.00 U.S. money.   Jessie and I personally sponsored Alex paying his school fees so we have a special feeling for him.  His wife Cecilia just graduated from the Pastor’s Wives English class.  These are huge accomplishments for them both.  Let’s give a cheer for them all.

I wish I knew how to download these photos in a more organised way, but…These are some of the photos of the graduation ceremony for the women’s first english class, shown with their teacher.  They began with a procession of the women, with their drums, singing.  They made speeches, did skits of things like shopping, going to the doctor, meeting visitors, ALL IN ENGLISH! Their husbands, children, teachers, all were there to celebrate their achievement.  Returning to school, after many years,  isn’t easy, but these women excelled, all of them.  Many will go on with their studies, some hope to train for a profession like nursing, and teaching.  This all started with an idea, and a grant of $3,000.  Let’s help to keep it going, thank you one and all!  Jessie

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These lovely women are carring new thatch on their heads to build new roofs on their homes.  It is hard to imagine such self sufficiency, but then it is a simpler process than the asphalt shingle roofs most of us have.  But women, being women, are doing this together.  I can just hear them,  “Hodi, shall we go and gather thatch to do our roofs”?  Chatting all through the process.  Women friends here sew together, shop, play cards, walk, walk their children, or dogs. There, they are building their roofs.

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