Still In Arusha Town
Trip Start Aug 23, 2005
21Trip End Sep 09, 2005
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ˇ I type as I eat in the dark. I am eating a salad with interesting tastes, but because the power went out, I have no idea what is in it.
ˇ Today I awoke to very cool air & very little hot water. I am doing my best to not catch cold or get sick, but there are many challenges!
ˇ I did not wear my new konga - the honey jar they packed with it leaked, so the material is sticky
ˇ I sang very briefly for a village congregation at a pentacostal church.
ˇ I had WONDERFUL conversation with a very wise mentor, Simon, who is a man I wish we all could learn from & get to know.
ˇ I visited the very site where Christianity was born in Tanzania by German Lutherans. Very interesting. I hope someone publishes the fascinating story very soon.
ˇ I went to see a group of young people who invited me yesterday to hear them sing tonight, but we were too late as we did not know the timing of their program. So I went over to do a short time on the internet & am now eating in the dark!
ˇ Today I saw Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time just before sunset. Mount Meru was never more beautiful either.
ˇ More pictures! - hard to find them, you must scroll down & find the camera icon...
Today I learned:
ˇ The best way to help the needy is to change their minds, not their circumstance.
Today I met:
ˇ Simon (guide & teacher - world traveler & director of many ministries)
ˇ Vicki (Simon's wife who works with Christian literature publishing & very good cook!)
ˇ Elisha Wilson (student & ministry partner with S.T.E.M.)
ˇ Lillian (Elisha's wife, works with Compassion International)
ˇ Linda (Elisha's daughter)
ˇ Simon's mother & brothers (could not keep track of the names!)
ˇ Neama (helper in Simon's youth ministries)
ˇ Miriam (member of historical Lutheran church)
ˇ Sifuni Mungu DOES mean "praise the Lord"
ˇ Neenakupenda DOES mean "I love you"
ˇ no new words today, though I started using more of the ones I have been taught
First, Simon took us to a pentacostal church on Mt. Meru where his brother is pastor. Really they are quite tame - I believe they were not as lively as my non-denominational church in Orlando, where we are very "mainstream." Simon spoke, & he brought his prodigy, Elisha, to be my translator. Elisha introduced me as a guest, & asked me to say something. They handed me a mic, so I said I use mics to sing. I sang the first line from my song which has "I love you" in every language, so they understood me when it began with Swahili: Abba Father, neenakupenda
I read along in Elisha's Swahili Bible the very familiar story of the Prodigal Son, only Simon was talking about the brother who did not stray, yet remained home. It was a VERY good message about how we Christians are often like that brother who sit judgmental & jealous of the prodigals, when we should be rejoicing with our Father when they return home. I later read aloud a Swahili Bible passage in the car, & it is a very phonetic language, so I was awkward & slow, but they told me it was comprehensible.
I was later brought further up the mountain to the site of a grave which stands in a courtyard of a multi-building Lutheran church in a small village. This site signifies where Christianity was first introduced to all of Tanzania in 1893. The German missionaries were attacked by fearful Tanzanians in 1896 (they assumed the missionaries were here to suppress). Some Germans ran, while two leaders climbed a tree. They were speared to death in the tree. In remorse, the Tanzanians buried them there near the tree as martyrs. The Germans who had escaped left & then returned in numbers to spread the Gospel throughout the Mount Mesa region, eventually spreading to much of Tanzania. In 1996, there was a grand centennial celebration where many German Christian leaders were invited so that the local Tanzanians could make a formal apology for total reconciliation.
The best parts of my day were when we all sat around talking. Simon is very wise & very warm. His father had 21 children by 3 wives (polygamy is not uncommon). He lives in the village where he grew up, though he has traveled all over the world & works in Arusha Town by day. He is surrounded by his vast family in the village. He introduces many many ministries where they are needed, & I am anxious to see some of them tomorrow.
I went to the internet café again - I do not like crossing the street to go there. I will be killed doing this alone too often. I look the wrong direction (left) to see if cars are coming. They are coming from the right!!! Dumb American.
Still no electricity. I was going to do a lot of computer work tonight. Oh well. Guess I'll go to sleep very very early & pray there is electricity in the morning. My batteries are all about spent.
So long & thanks for all the...is this fish I'm eating?
(These references are only coherent if you read or rent "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" by Gary Adams)
(We just got power late in the evening. Now I can see my breath. It's COLD! This is Africa?)