Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wake Up Call

It's not unusual for me to wake up around 5:00 in the morning. I usually get a cup of coffee and sit in the dark. Sometimes God will give me a scripture to read or a song will begin to run through my mind. Sometimes, I just sit.
Promptly at 5:00 a.m, the Muslim call to prayer begins, through loud speakers. We get a variety of "choruses" from smaller mosques in our immediate area. I would like to tell you it is melodious, but those of you who have visited Tanzania can attest, it is not "music to the ears".

The construction of the largest mosque in East Africa is near completion about a mile away "as the crow flies". I don't think their speaker system is up and running yet, but I'm sure it will be before long. ..........which is beside the point.

So, I joined the chanters this morning as the words from a song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean ran through my mind:
Like oil upon Your feet
Like wine for You to drink
Like water from my heart
I pour my love on you
If praise is like perfume
I lavish mine on you
Til every drop is gone
I pour my love on you

Psalm 48:10: "Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the end of the earth."
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Little Things---Big Problems

Ed says that the first question he's going to ask God when he gets to heaven is, "Why do kids feel compelled to put stuff into a hole?"
We have encountered many bore holes which were filled with a variety of things. The bore holes had no covers and offered an open invitation to children to see if the hole could be filled with ANYTHING: rocks, trash, pens, leaves, sand.....and the list goes on.

Upon return to Dodoma, we were asked to return to a village in which we had installed a pump several months ago. It was not working.
I will not go into the mechanics of the well casing, pipes, and rods. But I will tell you, it was a full day's work as we pulled about 120 feet of rods to get the pump out. Then the same length of pipe to see if there were leaks in the pipe. Ed and Lance re-worked the foot valve and pipes then re-installed it.
Not just once, but 3 times.
They finally made the decision to install all new pvc pipe.
The last time the pump was pulled, they noticed a brand new "o-ring" had been destroyed and the culprits which destroyed the "o-ring" were Baobab tree seeds, which kids had put into an opening at the top of the pump. As the water was pumped, the seeds were pulled into the pipe, destroying the "o-ring".
Since this pump was initially installed, a plate has been designed to prevent this from happening. However, it does not get the seeds out of this well.
So, with a little "Ed-gineering", the seeds cannot get into the pipe as the water is pumped.

There are some discussions with a "drilling" friend who has the capabilities of cleaning out some of these bore holes. We look forward to seeing how this all comes about. Rehabilitating these wells, would be more cost effective than drilling new ones.

As for Ed asking God his question......we have laughed knowing that when we are in the presence of the Father, we won't remember one of those questions on our list.
Won't that be a glorious day?
Those little things....will no longer be big problems.
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mbuzi to Mpunguzi

That is Nexan on the far right in the photo below. She is an amazing woman and wears many hats. She supports her husband and his work with the street children of Dodoma. Their home is now home to 6 street children in addition to their own 4. In her spare time, she has a ministry to widows, helping them find ways to generate income and encouraging them with ideas.
Several months ago, when we were being given goats in appreciation for working on water pumps, Ed suggested to Nexan that a goat project might be a good money making venture for some of her ladies and he just happened to have a goat to get them started.
Naturally, the women had concerns about feeding the goat and fears someone would steal it. Ed suggested they take the goat, keep it for a few months, and see how things worked out.
You can barely see Goat #1 in the lower portion of this picture.

Flash forward 6 months. The "seed" goat has not been stolen. She is being fed. Nexan receives word the women are ready for a male goat to start producing.
She locates one at a good price in Ihuma. We leave at 8:00 this morning and drive 15 kilometers to "collect" the goat.
Yes, that's the goat in the back of our Landrover.
This very special "mbuzi" is going to Mpunguzi, about an hour's drive from where we are. So, we headed out.

It was hot and the goat had a "nervous stomach"...........enough said. I declined taking photos of that.

The happy ending is that several ambitious widows in Mpunguzi are now in the "goat business".

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My Utmost for His Highest--March 4

This is Oswald Chambers classic devotional "My Utmost for His Highest". I gave a copy of this to Ed, before we married, in 1991. We have been reading it each year since....not each and every day, but most of it. Next to the Bible, many of the devotions have given insight to who Jesus is and who we are in Christ.

Many pages are underlined, highlighted, and often notes written in the margins as a reminder of what was happening in our lives at the time. I have come upon one of the grandkids pretending to read and carefully marking the page, just as they had seen me do.

Today, I turned to March 4 and found one devotion which spoke profoundly to me as I wrestled with joining Ed in Tanzania in 2007. I loved my job and everything about it.....especially the friends I had there.

You are needed here.
You love this job.
You would be giving up great benefits.
You love this job.
It's wonderful pay.
You love this job.
You can retire in 7 years.
You love this job.

But I found that God wanted to speak something else to me through this devotion on March 4, 2007.
"Practical work may be a competition against abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument---'Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.' That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His."

The following day, I let my supervisor know, I would be joining Ed in June.
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