Every last little bit of that reddish dust

This is the time of year when everything is covered with a thick layer of reddish dust -- I think the last time it rained was in May. The plants -- the cows -- my hair! -- everything lives with the reality that the world has turned to red dust. It is even more so with my vehicle -- on most days you can only barely perceive that it is blue. It has become an accepted part of life – dust in the dry season – no problem. Best to just ignore it and not even try to fight a losing battle against the reddish dust that cakes everything this time of year. Most of the time anyway.

Turning words into metal roofing

I can see myself one day much more of "an old man" than I am now, walking a bit slower than I do now, with Grace walking on my left and Little G on my right. Those two little kids will be grown up then, they'll have gone to kindergarten and primary school and secondary school, they'll be at the age when they'll be thinking about what they want to do with their lives, and I'm planning out how I'm going to call the two of them to go on a walk with me.

Back to sending me messages again

It has been nearly 72 hours without any word from Godfrey and Emmanueli. It was three days ago that I got their last rushed text message to let me know that they were beginning to descend the mountains, Yatima (our car) in the lead, Tunda (one of our dump trucks) following slowly behind. We all knew we would probably be without any contact for a long time. But then the hours dragged into a full day, then into two full days.

April Highlights from Tanzania

April 1-2: Village Schools Canada was among the mission agencies invited to participate in MissionFest, a 2-day gathering in Toronto of Christians interested in missions. Andrew Hutchinson, after serving with VSI for a year in the little village of Kising'a, returned home to Canada and founded VSC, opening the door for people in Canada to make donations for the work in Tanzania and for churches in Canada to be able to send out missionary teachers to serve in Tanzania.

She took my hand in hers

"Mama come quickly, there's a sick person here!" I was a bit surprised, given there are always people who are sick at my door, so much so that no one seems to take much notice of that fact anymore these days. But my fellow teacher Tekla insisted that I leave the classroom right then and come to the motorcycle upon which sat a tiny woman wedged in between two men.

I am so privileged

My Sunday afternoon in Iyegea turned out to be a Sunday afternoon at the Iyegea bars! I can't think of a better place to talk about HIV and the love of Christ! I have to laugh about it because spending an afternoon at the bars certainly wasn't anything that my little group would have thought of and planned. But a medical emergency on the way in the village just before Iyegea made us late.

More than just medicine

He is mean, unpleasant, swollen and probably dying. His name is Kari. I first met him while I was passing through his village. One look at him and I knew that he was one of my friends. But unlike the vast majority of my friends here, he was far from likeable. I learned that he had refused to allow his young wife and his child to get tested, and that he had let them both just die at home in December. Now he was alone and he was angry and bitter, suffering from AIDS, TB and Kaposi Sarcoma in his mouth.

March Highlights from Tanzania

March came and went with lightning speed it seemed, and yet so many good things got crammed into those 31 days.  We invite you to rejoice with us as you read through some of these highlights!

March 1:     Work began today on the foundations for our kindergarten building at Madisi.  Our goal will be to give the little kids in our village a "head start" before they start primary school -- as well as to give our Madisi students opportunities to serve in another meaningful way in their community. 

March 3:     We met

February Highlights from Tanzania

We want those of you who are interested in this work to share in a bit of the joy that we have in getting to be here! Thanks for being a part of this work with us ....

The miracle that surrounds us here

It was like Christmas yesterday -- huge crowds, joy, hugs, handshakes, everyone all excited. Someone looking in would have never guessed that we were at an AIDS clinic! Nor would anyone imagine that we'd be there celebrating! But celebrating we were. Just six years ago, HIV was death sentence for my friends and neighbors, and now, here we were all together not only surviving, but living!