Dear Family and Friends, 16 May, 2012
Tanzania Christian Clinic’s activities for the month of May are being reported a little early as we enjoy a break in the U.S. during which we hope to see our families. In July we will also assist in celebrating the Texas wedding of Tizo Joseph, a Tanzanian whom we call our “African son,” and Bethany Gould, a lovely American short-term missionary from Ft. Worth. These two sweethearts met several years ago at Chimala (Tizo’s home) in southern Tanzania during a mission trip for Beth. Thus began a long friendship that grew over the years. Returning to Africa for several weeks last year, Beth worked along with Tizo (and us) at TCC and he later visited her and the Gould family in the US. Please pray for God’s blessings on this couple as they begin their new life together in July and return to Tanzania to live in August.
In other happenings, we rejoice that fellow workers Rick and Cynthia Nobles have arrived for 2 months. All of us are happy that 16 year-old Andrew, with whom we have studied, has just given his life to Christ and been baptized. Some of you began supporting him and his brothers with food and the costs of schooling after their mother Mary died last year (their dad was already deceased). Regarding medical news, our first ever pellagra patient came to the clinic this past week and was treated with niacin. In addition, the patient in hypertensive crisis and pulmonary edema who was treated at the clinic last month has been attending church and plans to study the Bible with the TCC team next week. Also Amos, the man with the horribly fractured leg has scheduled a Bible study; he continues to be treated at TCC until he has (hopefully) a surgical reduction of the fracture at a large teaching hospital two hours distant.
But less happy news concerns the new Monduli Juu congregation. Although the church is continuing to grow (last week 63 were present for a special service and fellowship meal), it is still meeting at a local primary school. After purchasing an attractive piece of land in the village, which some of you helped to buy, the church began construction on a simple concrete block church house. Soon, however, passersby demanded that building stop, claiming that the land was a common area for the village and could not be built upon. Because no deeds are issued in Tanzania, people are often cheated when buying land, later discovering that there are title problems. Although the proper sale procedures were followed and a long-time resident of Monduli Juu, plus the village chairman and secretary sold the property and approved the sale, no building permit has been issued (possibly because of our refusal to pay bribes). Danny, Innocent, and others continue to meet with and ask the government officials for a building permit. Please pray for this situation to be resolved so the church can construct its own house.
In addition, another thief has cut the water pipes (again) to both TCC houses and clinic. Losing count of the number of times this has occurred, we think one of the greatest challenges in mission work is dealing with the destructive acts carried out by the very people the missionaries come to help. But didn’t Jesus face this? Yet, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In closing we’ll quote a Tanzanian proverb; “Haba na haba hujaza kibaba” (Little by little we fill the bucket). God, help us to keep filling that bucket, and give us the attitude of Jesus. Next report in August!
Much love to you,
Danny and Nancy Smelser