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Jessie has given you a lovely description of Moses’ time in Pinehurst.  A good time was had by all ~ it was a productive time and a profound time.  In many ways this entire endeavor, this now long-time relationship with Msalato Theological College is a miracle.  When I saw Moses’ face at the car window I cried.  There he was from so far away, a kinsman whom I did not know 7 years ago, now a person who has enlarged my life and my faith in a living, loving Creator.  He is our brother.

After all of our busyness of the weekend and all of the friendships renewed and forged at St. Mary Magdalene’s, The O’Neil School, the Pinehurst folks who support Karimu, and St. Luke’s in Salisbury, we slowed down Sunday night, sat down to relax, to look at a little TV, to ask Moses about our former students and the staff at Msalato, to hear the “real” story of life in Tanzania.  Rains came but too late for the crops ~ most are lost, but there is always a silver-lining; the animals will benefit from the rain as will the lakes and water holes.  Moses never complains  or wonders about the goodness and faithfulness of God.  There is always good reason to be grateful.  Gordon Cosby, a great leader in the church said that to fail to be grateful blocks the gift of grace.

As we prepared to turn in Moses asked if we could pray.  Oh, if all of you could have heard him.  It was all about thankfulness.  All that many of us, including me take for granted was evident in his heart and soul.  Jessie and I wondered later why the prayer moved us so deeply.  There are no words to explain it, but we knew it was different from our daily prayers.  Moses lives a totally God-centered life; there are no doubts, no questions, no “why me” or why us.  God is working his purpose out.  In some ways it seems a simple faith.  It is not ~ this man will soon complete his PhD, and he has traveled all over the world.  And yet his mother still lives in his home village of Ikowa which is still waiting for electricity although the government has begun to put poles in.  Again, thankfulness and joy.

There will be more to reflect upon as the days go by.  Can people and books change lives?  Yes, indeed.  Love begets love.  We love Moses and his family and he loves us.

This past Friday, April 17th, Moses Matonya arrived in Pinehurst.  Tally and I picked him up from the airport, then Rev. Bob Brown of St. Mary Mag’s took him to lunch.  In the afternoon, we went to The O’Neal School for Moses to meet, John Elmore, Head of School, Dave Williamson, Head of the Middle School, and Lyn Cagle, Head Teacher who I met at a school function which began the collaboration.  Dave and Lyn took us on a tour of the school, then we had a meeting to discuss the plans for O’Neal working with the two schools in Tanzania.  We will begin with the younger children in Middle School and work up to the High School children.  Karimu bought a laptop for the Primary School in Tanzania which Moses will take back to them so that the children and Head Masters will be able to Skype each other.  Isn’t technology grand!

 

That evening, we had a party at my house to welcome Moses and to thank the faithful donors who have been contributing to KARIMU for the past 8 years.

On Saturday, the good people of St. Mary Magdalene’s church in Seven Lakes, had a beautiful luncheon for Moses.  Since Moses was going to be preaching at St. Luke’s on Sunday, this was their chance to strengthen their relationship and catch up on each other’s news.  We ate so much, I did not have to cook any dinner!

Sunday was an early start – we left at 7:00 and drove to Salisbury, NC.  Beautiful drive through green fields with a gentle rain falling.  (my favorite kind of weather).  for Moses, who lives in a draught prone area of Tanzania, the rain was a beautiful thing to see.  We arrived at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church where Moses preached and thanked the congregation for their continued support (five years now) providing food for the students of Msalato Theological College.  Moses told them that they have fed 300 students who have now graduated and become priests serving in many villages.

We discussed the on-going piglet projects which now involves 740 women.  New groups are waiting to be formed as the last groups repay their loans.  Because there is even more demand, we are sending an additional $1,200 to them to add to the existing pool so that more woman may participate this year.  At this rate, it won’t be long before we reach 1,000 women!  One group has had trouble.  They are in a small village, and the women who were not selected to form groups to raise pigs, cast a Witch spell on those who had piglets.  Those woman became frightened and were convinced their piglets would die.  The Pastor in that village is a woman, and she said Christians do not believe in witches or spells, and to prove that, she said she would take care of the piglets.  Naturally, they all survived and are doing well now.  Hopefully, those other women will eventually have pigs of their own to raise and not be jealous.  People are people no matter where…

Karimu is sponsoring two Theological Students at the college, two children in primary school (one family here is doing that).  St Luke’s is providing food, then there are the pig projects as well as other entrepreneurial projects for Pastor’s wives.  A motor bike to be bought for the college to run errands in Dodoma which is cheaper than using a car.  An emergency medical fund, funds for the gardens (vegetables) and other MDG projects.  Am sure I have forgotten some things, so Tally will follow up and add more of her thoughts.

The photos below are of Moses at St. Luke’s, then at St. Mary Mag’s luncheon, and last at The O’Neal School with Dave Williamson, Moses Matonya, John Elmore, and Lyn Cagle.

Tally and I are so happy to be returning to Tanzania come September!!!  Jessie

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Pig Project Report send to Jessie 12 Jan 2015 –  Well, tried to download the report, but it didn’t work.  It is seven pages long, so will try to give the highlights for you all.  The projects now encompass Ikowa, Makoja, Ndebwe, Handali and Zanka parishes.  Let me begin by quoting from the last page of the report written by Rev. Hilda Kabia (who translated all the reports from Kiswahili to English, as well as gathering all the information and heading up the projects for us):  “I am very grateful to God for the total number of pig project beneficiaries since 2012 – 2014.  The total number is good and very encouraging.

Ikowa Parish – 428

Zanka Parish – 40

Handali Parish – 100

Makoja Parish – 104

Ndebwe Parish – 48 totaling 720 beneficiaries!!! All with good stories about KARIMU!!!”

Ikowa Parish – They have repaid the seed money for the new groups, but were delayed for the following reasons:  In 2012 and 2013, there was good profit for white millet which was 40,000 Tanzanian Shillings per bag.  This price convinced many women groups to sell their pigs and buy bags of white millet so that they could sell to repay their loans and keep some profits.  Unfortunately this year, 2014, the market price dropped from 40,000 to 18,000 as did the price of pigs.  They had another challenge as well, some groups lost their pigs from diseases because medication was too expensive.  I remember being with ranchers in Wyoming who spent many hours on their computers studying the markets and adjusting their businesses accordingly.  Unfortunately, the women in Tanzania have no way to do that.

“There have been successes in Ikowa, the women have supported different church activities including new church constructions, vicarage renovations and hosting different church meetings like parish councils and other activities like  hospitality to various church visitors.  Many women continue to build good houses and take care of their families.  They pay school fees for their children…support each other through borrowing money for development activities and other family businesses.  It has succeeded to bring many women of Ikowa together and strengthened their relationship and friendship as one family of God.  A total number of 25 groups benefited from the seed money borrowed on 28 October 2013 and returned on 28 October 2014.”  Since 2010, Ikowa Parish has 428 women beneficiaries!

 

Zanka Parish –  Three groups of 4, 3 and 3 members benefited from borrowed seed money on 2 December 2013 and returned 2 December 2014. Two groups of 4 and 3 members borrowed 210,000 shillings. The third group of 3 members borrowed 440,000 totaling 650,000 shillings.  Two groups have repaid their entire loan of 210,000.  The third group has not yet repaid it loan of 440,000, but will very soon.  40 beneficiaries.  The challenges for these women are animal diseases, the source of water is far, an hour and for some groups even more than an hour’s walk.  With the draught there was not enough waste products from the harvest for food for the animals.

 

Handali Parish – Five women’s groups borrowed 600,000 shillings seed money on 11 November 2013 and returned the loan on 11 November 2014. “The economy of the women in the groups improved.  They have established other small entrepreneurship groups from where they support each through borrowing money and use for their development activities like farming and other family businesses.  They take care of their families and pay school fees for their children,  church development and other activities.”  Total beneficiaries 100

 

Makoja Parish – Sixteen groups equal to 84 benefited from the borrowed seed money of 600,000 shillings.  As in the other groups, the women were able to pay school fees, shoes for their children and supporting their church activities.  In addition, some were able to extend their farms and hire tractors for that.  Total beneficiaries in Makoja 104

 

Ndebwe Parish – Six groups of women benefited from 600,000 seed money borrowed on 4 November 2013 and repaid 4 November 2014.  Some of their pigs died from disease, food and medication were expensive resulting in a few women being unable to repay their loans on time, but expect to this January.

 

In summary, some of the groups are struggling to repay their loans due to disease, the dropping of prices on the millet from 40,000 to 18,000, the increase of the cost of medicine and feed for their animals.  The committee which is overseeing these projects – The Rev. Hilda Kabia, Rev. Can. Moses Matonya, and Ruth Matonya are working closely with Zanka, Makoja and Ndebwe Parishes to see that they repay all their loans.  Once that has happened, they will meet to discuss whether to give back the seed money for them to form new groups, or give the seed money to other new parishes within the diocese.

 

On behalf of Tally and I, we wish to thank the committee and especially Rev. Hilda Kabia for her report and managing the projects for KARIMU.  They are all doing this in addition to their normal jobs and we are very grateful to them.  We also want to thank all who have continued to support KARIMU and these women in Tanzania whose lives have been improved so much.

 

There is more to do, we need to address issues of medicine for the animals, analyzing the markets and diverse projects.  Rev. Can. Moses Matonya will be coming to the States to do some work at Virginia Theological Seminary towards his doctorate.  We will meet with him and discuss the Women’s Empowerment issues at that time.

 

Thanks and a Happy New Year to everyone!!!  Jessie

 

Advent Letter 2014*

Thank you to all you faithful givers to KARIMU! Year after year now, you have so kindly given to help those we love in Tanzania. Soon, we will post a report of all that has happened this year with the thoughtful gifts from all of you. A sample: A grant from St. Luke’s Church in Salisbury which will provide a year’s worth of food for the college, money to help establish gardens which will feed the students and community at Msalato as well as their neighbors who buy vegetables from the garden.

Scholarships for Msalato students and a scholarship for a child at Bishop Stanway. Solar lights, a motorcycle for the staff at the college to use which will save petrol costs, emergency funds for medical purposes. There is more which we will report after the holidays. But, I just wanted to let you know your gifts are so appreciated.

Tally will post some photos and news from the college next.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Jessie

Last week we kicked off the partnership with the O’Neal School and two schools in Tanzania, Middle and Upper Schools.  This week, we began with the art classes.  I did a demo of painting a scene of Africa in oils.  All the children had a go at adding stokes to the painting as it was the first time for them to work with oil paint.  We ended up with a painting done by all!!  Then the children each did a painting of their own in tempera paint of the same scene. It is our plan to have the children communicate through the various subjects they are all studying in their schools, beginning with the art classes.  When I have downloaded more photos, will add them to the blog.  Am on my way out the door now to set up an art show at the Timmel House which will be Saturday.  Check my website, or facebook to get the details.

 

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