Sunday, June 19, 2016

Our last Sunday in Shadi. Our group does special music in the church service, in Swahili, but with a more Western harmony pattern than they use here (and I notice that Jojo isn’t using his bucket). The members of the church enjoy it, even clapping and ululating when the singers finish. The moderator takes some time to commend our group for their participation, in choir as well as in the special music, and the children tell us that he mildly rebukes those from the church itself who aren’t participating in the choir.

It’s the usual slow, restful Sunday. Chai is uji and the boiled egg, and lunch is rice & beans. I spend a good chunk of the afternoon getting the blog up to date; I feel like I can’t have an entry on the Serengeti without uploading some photos, and the bandwidth here makes that a pretty time-consuming project.

When I get back to the house, all the girls are asleep in their room, and Jonathan’s asleep on the couch in the front room. I suspect Jojo’s at his place studying his eyelids as well.

So. What’s an old man to do in the company of such robust, energetic young people? Well, read some G.K. Chesterton until he makes him sleepy, and then slump into the arms of Morpheus himself.

On waking up I drop by the kibanda, and it’s empty. Sound coming from the Big House. A bunch of the children are watching a video, but no wazungu among them. All’s quiet at HQ, until I call, “Anybody here?” Sarah’s in the back. “Where is everybody?” “Oh, Jojo’s got a football game, and they’re all over there watching it.”

News to me. Turns out the Tumaini children are playing against a team organized from Shadi, and they’ve asked Jojo to act as their official Ringer. That should be interesting.

I drop by Beth’s porch at suppertime, and the rest of the crew shows up pretty much on time—except for Jojo. The game’s still going, apparently. We have drip beef sandwiches and salad, and the Gasses join us. About half way through Jojo shows up. They won, so everybody’s pretty excited. And after the win, the boys say, “This was for Gershon!” Well, that’s nice. The only male on last year’s team (other than me, and I don’t count, because I’m old and not cool), and they claim the win in his honor. Not sure why, frankly, but it’s a nice gesture.

Jojo’s in charge of boys’ house devotions for the week. He may be tired from the game, but he’s ready to go. Challenges the boys about dealing with conflict in a biblical way. It’ll be interesting to see where he takes this throughout the week.

Like last Sunday, we all gather at the Dan’s house (except the Gasses, since their kids are up against bedtime) for a time of singing. Jonathan plays the keyboard, Rachelle the violin, and we sing for about an hour. It’s a good time of fellowship. I ask Dan how we can pray for him after we leave, and he mentions a Bible study in conjunction with SAUT (St. Augustine University of Tanzania) in Sweya, which didn’t exist when they started here and is now the second largest university in the country. They hope to influence key leaders for the future of Tanzania. And the Bible institute here is completely revamping its curriculum to embody the pedagogical style most effective here, which is highly interactive and application- rather than lecture-based. That’s a very large project, but it will also increase the institute’s effectiveness and the likelihood that they can indigenize at least much of the teaching relatively soon.

Those are good requests. Perhaps you’d care to join us in supporting this good ministry in long-term prayer.

By 9:30 two of the girls are half asleep, so we all call it a night.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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