trusting . resting . following

Karibuni kwangu!

August 5, 2013
"Welcome to my house."  Hospitality is a big part of life here.  I have accepted many invitations to many people's homes over the years, and it is high time I returned the favor!  Last Saturday I hosted a "Sunday school teacher fellowship."  Twenty-one Sunday school teachers came from 7 different churches.  It was a bit of a hassle getting them all here since they all came at different times, and very few had been here before.

Jakrine preparing morning chai.
Jakrine, my house girl and friend was my life saver this weekend.  Most Tanzanian food I don't know how to cook, and cooking for 20-30 people is an overwhelming thought to me.  But to Jakrine it was no big deal.  I could never have done it without her!!!

2 kg of tomatoes and 5 bundles of mchicha getting washed and ready to go.
Jakrine works for me twice a week.  For those of you who have never been to Africa, having house help is a normal part of life here.  Most Tanzanians themselves have house girls to help with the cooking and cleaning.  Usually it's every day all day and they live with the family.  I couldn't really handle that.  I'm still an American and need my privacy, but it's important in this culture that I hire someone.  Jakrine has been with me for over 4 years.  She is an amazingly hard worker and such a blessing!!

On Tuesday she cleaned 7 kilos of rice. (sifting through one batch at a time to pick out all the rocks, and then toss it up in the air with an "ungo": little flat, winnowing basket, to blow the chaff away.)  On Friday she bought 7 live chickens in the market, had them killed and plucked.  Then came home and cut and cleaned them all up.  Early Sat morning she arrived with the chapati and maandazi (greasy breakfast breads that we had ordered the day before from a local cook.)  She started preparing the tea and chicken.  She cut up 5 bundles of mchicha (a spinach like plant).  And I could go on and on.  Because I wanted the meal to be Tanzanian and not American, there was not a lot I could do.  Except... pay for everything, and drive Jakrine to and from the market, and collect and clean serving dishes, etc.

Dishing up the food in my backyard
The menu for the day: chicken in a red/yellowish sauce, rice pilau, mchicha, and bananas.  We cooked enough for 30, but only 21 came.  Still, ALL the chicken was gone! :-)

I asked everyone to come at 10am.  Most didn't show up till 11.  We ate chai (sweet hot tea and greasy bread) :-) at 11:30.  Lunch was served at 2pm and everyone left between 4 and 5pm. Five of the teen gals did all the dishes and even swept and mopped my kitchen before they left!

These are the women and teen guys and gals that I'm so privileged to know.  They've given of themselves to teach the children in their churches.  In between meals we spent some time in the Word and sharing testimonies and praying.

One teacher, Magdelena (18 or 19 yrs old), shared that an older girl (12 or 13 yrs old) who had been coming faithfully to Sunday school showed up one night at her house.  An owl had appeared near the girl's home and she was scared.  (Owls are connected to witchcraft and many believe that if one appears that someone has put a curse on you.)  Magdelena got to share verses with her that we who are in Christ have nothing to fear.  Magdelena said the girl really seemed to take it to heart and left thanking her for the verses.  Praise God!!!

Another young teacher, Odetta (15 or 16 yrs old), attended our seminar last year and just started teaching kids this April.  She said at first she was so scared and didn't really know how, but now she said God is helping her not to be so scared and she's getting used to teaching.  Woo-hoo!!

Another young man, Isaka, shared that for various reasons their Sunday school class has stopped for awhile, but that this month they are planning to get it started again.  Thank you, Lord!

May the Lord continue to strengthen and enable each one of these teachers to introduce our precious Savior to the kids in their churches.

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