For the life of me I cannot get their pictures on the blog, but Jessie (the technocrat) will).  So this  is a joint effort.

Iri is a priest from New Zealand who gave up a large church in Christchurch to answer a call to Tanzania.  Kate, his wife is from Tasmania.  They have been our neighbors for 3 years at Msalato.  This is their seventh year, both teaching at Msalato Theological  College and preaching and teaching in far off villages.  To go to church for them does not mean an hour ~ it means from 6 or 7 in the morning until 6 in the evening.   Even driving for hours on rutted dirt roads it gives them great joy to visit the students they have taught.   When they visit the villages Iri is invited to preach and to baptize.  Because of the generosity of those in New Zealand who support them they take boxes of Bibles with them and give them to the churches for Bible Study by different groups within the church.  Iri is also the handy man around the campus.  He came to us many times to help with no water, or water we couldn’t stop.  Each year we take him duct tape ~ an unknown commodity in Dodoma.  One year, it was pinched at the airport in Dar Es Salaam.  Valuable stuff.  They will leave Dodoma in December.  Thank God, we will have them as neighbors one more time this year.

Kate’s message was both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  “Here all is well with us, although people are still starving, women are still walking for three hours to get water, mothers are still dying in childbirth and babies die of malaria.  Perhaps we have helped grow the church, perhaps we have helped to train more pastors but we will still leave in December with aching hearts for what we have not been able to do.”  Their faith and hard work has indeed been something to  celebrate.  They have done amazing work.  They are true vineyard workers.     

Tally and Jessie