Msalato Matters

January 2010 - Update from Iri and Kate

3 February 2010

Dear friends in Christ,

Greetings to you all in the name of our amazing Lord who has brought us back safely to this special place of Msalato. It's a place that needs your prayers as we who work here do as we return from holidaying in the UK to face new challenges.

We were sooooooo cold in the UK but had a lovely time with our daughter and the family. It was great to have the opportunity to get to know our little grand daughter Keita better and we had lots of fun with her. Keeping up with a 16 month old required quite a bit of energy but a different type of energy from that we put into our work here. Those of you with little grandchildren will recall the jumping on the bed at 6.30 am sort of energy requirement but, it was luvlee! Although we found the weather extremely cold, we did enjoy the beauty of the snow but being inside so much because of the snow, resulted in us both putting on weight but now back in the heat of Dodoma, it will soon melt off!

We heard of heavy rain here while we were away and were so happy to see the countryside had changed from brown when we left before Christmas to leaf-green on our return. Unfortunately some places had devasting rain resulting in 40% of the houses in some villages being damaged. The people had coped well with the food they grew last year but now many are running short and we are answering calls from Pastors to help with food supplies in some villages. We are not yet aware of the full extent of the need but will do what we can to alleviate real suffering. We thank God that no lives were lost. For us, the heavy rain meant the ceiling had to be taken out of Kate's office and that a wall collapsed in Iri's henhouse, killing one of the hens and forcing the others to have a short holiday elsewhere. 

Msalato looks lovely and green, the grass needs cutting - no lawnmowers here, the tomatoes are growing, there are interesting coloured frogs and beautiful birds everywhere but we pray now for sustained rains that will bring a harvest for the local people who have worked hard to cultivate their farms and plant their crops. As we returned on the bus from Dar es Salaam (that horrible 7 hour bus ride that follows a night on the plane and makes you feel completely yuck), we saw many ponds of water roadside but only one flowing stream. At least the underground water supplies will have built up for those able to use wells in their villages.

So now we are busy getting college houses ready for new teachers who are arriving from the States, from Australia, from the UK and later from Korea. We praise Him for He has heard our cry for new teachers and it seems that in 2010, we will be fully staffed. We look forward to the return of our students and the commencement of the new semester on February 15th. No doubt some students will come back with sadness at leaving their families in stressful situations, some will return with great joy knowing that they will complete their studies in June and go out to serve Him. We'll leave you to imagine the workload of renovating and organising houses, getting classrooms and programmes ready for the students and welcoming and intergrating new staff.
Please remember us all in your prayers.

With our love 
And many blessings
In His name,
Iri and Kate