Something important about their great-grandfather

One of the things I truly enjoy about sending out my updates by email is the large numbers of people who write back to me each time. It's fun dialoguing with people, answering their questions, carrying on a long-distance conversation of sorts. An awful lot of people wrote to me after my email earlier this week, and some of those letters were real treasures as people remembered aloud with me the impact of their own grandmothers on their lives.

Thoughts of my grandmother

Last night I stayed up rather late. Susan and the boys had gone to bed early, but I've had a project hanging over my head for way too long now and I thought I would try to pull an all-nighter and finish it. That didn't work -- I'm too old for that now -- but I did stay up until 2am!

My favorite pieces in the puzzle

Jonathan was up before the crack of dawn again this morning, and out the door quite frankly even before I was awake. This is the fourth morning he has left with Emmanueli to go out to the college to work all day.

Growing up fast

Mzee mimi ninaandika msg Joshua anendesha gari vizuri sana
huwezi kuamini kabisa na macho yako boy amekuwa mtu mzima kabisa.

Godfrey and I had been exchanging a bunch of important work-related messages on our phones about the building of our schools in the Rukwa region when I got the above message -- Mzee I'm writing messages Joshua is driving the car very wonderfully you can't believe your eyes the boy has truly become a grown man.

How beautifully said

So much has been crammed into the last seven days that the memories of last week's Saturday night already seem to be fading. But I do remember that Susan was wearing a beautiful dress that night, and I actually had a tie on for a change. We were in a wonderful dining room on the second floor of the elegant Kimpinski Hotel in Dar es Salaam, and there I was standing up and addressing a gathering that included the former President of Tanzania, Cardinal Pengo of the Catholic Church, and table after table of interesting people.

Inheritance from a grandfather to a grandson

For the past several months, ever since I heard Oscar Muiru's sermon at Urbana, my thoughts have repeatedly been drawn back to the things that he said and to the passage in Philippians that he spoke from. As I prepared myself mentally to head for Toronto for the launching of Village Schools Canada, I wanted to listen again to Oscar's sermon, to take in again all of his words, and the Sunday before I left the village to begin my long journey, I just had to listen to that sermon one more time, and I wanted to listen to it with my boys.

It wasn't their words

Abishye lay on his wooden bed frame. He could no longer walk and there was no use in torturing him by trying to transport his wasted body to Kibao. I asked him what he would like to eat. Could he eat rice? Would he like dried fish? Was there anything that might put life back into him? There was no reason I could think of why he couldn’t get better, but he just wasn’t getting better. He accepted the food his aunt had prepared. As I held his hand, he smiled up at me and with a twinkle in his eye asked if he could have an Orange Fanta too? He got three! That was the last time I saw him.

One last big long push

I just got a series of messages from Anyisile and my thoughts went right away to what Paul wrote in the eight chapter of Corinthians:

And now brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

Only in superlatives

Obviously teaching is important, but in Village Schools Tanzania what is really important to us often takes place outside of the classroom. Each of the 84 people who have come to serve with us over the past five years have brought their own unique contribution to the work we are doing, impacting their students and their students' families in unique ways. Becky has lived now for almost two years in the little village of Mpwapwa, and like so many of our missionary teachers, when I think of her and what she has done in the village where she has lived, I think only in superlatives.