January 2017 Newsletter
We started our year off running!
We so deeply appreciate all you who support Sunrise! We want you to know that God keeps up with everything that you give in His name and one day He will reward you for your generosity! In God’s way of thinking everything bit of fruit produced here in Tanzania is your fruit too. As the verse below says, those who stay with the supplies, those who are at home and do their part in advancing His kingdom, they will get the same reward as those who go! Thank you for your partnership!
“…The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 1 Samuel 30:24
Mama and Our Girls Working in the Bustani
Mama and our girls worked hard pulling weeds. We have planted vegetable in all of our 15 boxed gardens at our house. We planted some vegetables (mboga) from seed, only when the seeds can be planted reasonably deep. The reason for this is that when the rains start they will pour so hard that the seeds will be washed away. For the rest of the vegetables we planted them in plastic trays that we brought with us for this purpose. We had them in our inside window sills growing. We have now planted the seedlings. We planted: okra, cabbage, radishes, beets, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, peas, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, turnips (for the turnip and the greens). The kid’s thoroughly enjoy helping us! It gives us great discipleship time with them. We spend time teaching them about how amazing our God is – so much variety!
Festo Our Wonderful New Fundi
Festo, another new staff member began working on January 2nd, which was a seamless transition from Mekio, our previous fundi. Festo is a young man who recently graduated from Mfreke Technical School where he graduated top of his class in masonry. We interviewed him in December and on the same day brought him to spend the night at Sunrise. He really liked the kids and interacted better with them than anyone we have ever interviewed. He was also very eager to work. We told him that we were setting up a Taxi for him to take back to Njombe in the morning and he requested to stay and help work in the shamba (crops). Wow! We will take him into the family, demonstrate the reality of Jesus, and train to him to excel in many areas of maintenance.
Children Growing in Christ
Our Sunrise children are continuing to grow in their relationship with the Lord. We now have “Sunrise Church” every Sunday. The Lord is continuing to the do the things in their lives that only He can do. Emotional healing is often not a one-time thing, but an ongoing deliberate process. We know that our part in this is to provide a stable, loving, caring, and consistent environment in which the Lord can do the work in their lives. We are filling them with the Word of God that transforms and leading them to know and trust the Holy Spirit who sanctifies and comforts. The Word of God is true and what the Messiah did, He is still doing! The fact is, we are not doing what He did (see John 14:12-14).
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Finger Print Picture
We have put a lot of focus on teaching the children that God loves them and that He created them for a great purpose! In one lesson we focused on how each of them is special to God and that no two of us are just alike. We had them put their fingerprint on a piece of paper and we put it up on the wall by the door so that they have to see it every time they go in and out of the dining room. After we put it up, one of our staff, Kulwa, asked if she could put her fingerprint on the paper too. Vision is so powerful!!
Subira (Kiswahili for Patience)
We named one of our flowers Subira because her blooming process took over 2 months. What a great way to teach the children about patience and to focus on the amazing creations of our great God. “He made all the colors and gave us eyes to see them.” He is so amazing!
Farewell for Dris
We attended a farewell party for a lady named Dris who is from South Africa. We normally do not go to things like this because we are so busy, but she really wanted us there. She said we would make good “connections” too, if we went, so we did, and we had a wonderful time!
We have gotten to know Dris fairly well in our short time here. She works for “The Paraguay Foundation” in assisting in the establishment and operations of academic and technical schools. Her area of specialization is people! She is an incredible connector of people. Dris is the one who has helped us find almost all of our employees. She has found the prospects, set up the interviews, and helped during the interviews. In addition, she has helped us with finding accommodations, restaurants (safe for us), and businesses that can assist us.
At the farewell there were 10 nationalities represented: people from England, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Italy, India, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, and the U.S. We know some of the people, but it seems most of them have heard about us and specifically about how “deeply religious” we are. So the word is out, kind of. The fact of who we are led to a number of great opportunities to talk about the things of God. We did not have to approach anyone, they approached us!
Nelson, a teacher for 35 years, retired and we were invited to his retirement in our village.
This retirement was nothing like any retirement ceremony we have ever been to (and we have been to a number). When we arrived we were each given a small slip of paper and told to keep it. We would find out later what it was for. It was in no way what we would consider “formal”. There was lots of dancing! We had no idea what to do, we did not know what was being said, and we hoped nothing would be expected of us.
The ceremony included a number of processions of different groups from the back of the room to the front. There was an MC playing very loud music and we happened to be seated in places of honor which were right in front of the speakers.
We were, in all honesty, thinking maybe since we are in “priority seating” we will not have to take part in any of the processional “line dance” from the back to the front of the room. We were wrong. We, being the wazungu (white people) and rafiki (friends) were saved until last, we think this was an honor. There were three of us, so off to the back of the room, boom went the music, and down the aisle we danced. When Rich got to Nelson, Nelson decided he wanted to hold Rich’s hands for a while and together they danced. Of course, no one pays much attention to everyone dancing, but they watched us very closely.
Below you will see a picture of a plate with the food we ate.