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The Journey Home

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By Karl Kurz

Day 12 started with breakfast and on the road by 8:15 AM. Three hours of dusty bumpy dirt road gave way to pavement and a cheer from our vehicle. There is just no way around this day…10 to 12 hours of TZ driving. Everyone is anxious to get home. I tend to get reflective on this drive as the mountains and people of TZ pass by. Listening to David Crowder singing Jealous and considering the depths of His love for us. He is a jealous God. He wants us to seek Him and share Him with others. They have so little and we think we have so much. I think that is a great deception of the Deceiver. We both have very little but I have Jesus and was privileged to share Him with some people here

It is 6:00 PM and we think we have 2 hours to go. Looks like 12-13 hr drive this year. Sending this day’s email out now and I will let you know if anything exciting happens from here on into Dar tomorrow. Last night was a very long  night try to shake the dust of TZ from my throat and head.

Thanks for all your prayers. Please pray for God’s grace on the Safwa and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself even more in the Safwa of Tanzania!

Resting In His Strength,

Karl

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A Son’s Unconditional Love

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By Karl Kurz

Watched sunrise from my bed after a very good nights sleep. Breakfast and then a game drive. We saw many uniquely created animals and added cape buffalo and warthogs to our list. Ross and I witnessed a jackal jump into a bush and flush some grouse. He emerged with a grouse flapping futilely in his jaws. Our second predator kill was a kingfisher diving into the river and emerging with a small fish which he literally proceeded to relentlessly bash on a rock before flying off with his catch. A great morning game drive was followed by a great lunch and a couple of hour break for a nap. The nap never arrived. We sat on our bungalow porch and watched animals come to the river.  At one time, we had hippos, impala, warthogs, giraffe, kudu, and baboons at the same time!

Momma Monica and I were visiting and she reminded me of Amon’s testimony during our time with the Safwa. A powerful testimony of the son of a chief accepting Christ and then being rejected by his father. In this culture, it is a very big deal. Amon persevered and grew in his faith in spite of this setback in status, power, inheritance, and society.  Years late when his dad fell ill Amon brought him into his home and cared for him until his father died — in Amon’s arms. His father never accepted him back but Amon loved his father unconditionally just as Christ loves us.

Another good afternoon game drive highlighted by a herd of 200 cape buffalo crossing closely in front of our vehicles on their way to water (I spied 3 absolute trophies and am desiring one for the wall). We are continually reminded of God’s glory in creation. Too much diversity, beauty, and detail to deny a creator.

Tomorrow on to Dar. Trying not to think about the 12 hour drive in Tanzania!

God bless you all,
Karl

10 Hours to Ruaha

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By David Sinclair
10 July 2012

Greetings

We awoke the morning around 4:00 AM and were on the road by 5:30 AM. 10 hours later we arrived at Ruaha. Another hard day of travel. We appreciate your prayers as we travel.

Blessings all,
David

A Cool Breeze and God’s Creation

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By Karl Kurz

Up at 4.30 AM to have bags ready for loading at 5:00 AM. On the road at 5.30 AM. Road is not really an accurate term. Let’s say we started 4 wheeling at 5.30 AM for only an hour until we hit pavement.

Ten hours later, we arrived at Ruaha! Game drive into lodge revealed kudu, impala, elephant, hippo, crocs, baboons, and lions. Two lioness were within 7 yards of the road near a large male kudu kill. Very cool for those that like animal kingdom stuff.

Travis, Westin, Ross, and I are drinking Stony Tangawizi on the deck overlooking the river. Showered, shaved, and fresh clothes combined with a cool breeze and God’s creation makes for four very happy men.

Dinner consisted of rice, peas in curry sauce, baby carrots, turnips, roasted potatoes, green beans, bread, and lamb with a brown gravy. Oh yes, dessert is lemon meringue pie!  One fantastic meal!

Two nights and a full day at Ruaha is allows for recovery and reflection on the last few days of ministry. The local Safwa are very excited about the impact of the trip and the expansion of their fellowship. Many seeds were planted and some already sprouted in fertile soil for the kingdom.

In bed with flashlight handy when I hear a hippo grazing outside.

God bless you,
Karl

Our Last Full Day of Ministry

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By David Sinclair

Greetings

Today, Holloway (82) and Terry (66) celebrated birthdays. The KBC and Safwa sang to them this morning at breakfast and they were honored once again during the evening service.

It’s hard to believe this was our last full day of ministry. During the morning, we spent time in the surrounding villages storying in the local schools. The children and Head Master were thrilled to have visitors. The Head Master believes the children need to know about God. Imagine that!

The area we were in this morning was a few miles from the rim of an old volcano. The Head Master told us about a spring in a nearby ravine that we must see. On our way back to camp, we took a small detour to see it. As we descended into the ravine near the creek, we could hear the hissing of gas escaping through a vent in the ground. When we reached the creek, it looked like boiling water. Amazingly, it was cold. We also observed the carcasses of several small animals in a feeder creek near the vent and decided there was something not too good about this place, so we made our way back to camp.

We went back into the villages during the afternoon, targeting areas where we could reach larger groups of people. There were several decisions for Christ including a village leader.

We ended the evening with a celebration service. Our time here was very well spent as we and the Safwa grew spiritually over the past week. We will miss each other, but know the friends we’ve made will be praying for us and we will be praying for them.

We will break camp at 4:00 AM to begin the journey back. It’s time to call it a day as the snores rise from the camp site. I need to join the symphony.

Blessings all,
David

White Men in Green Trucks

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By Karl Kurz

Last night after I sent the last update about 13 of us on the team gathered under a small lantern and shared. A few had already given their testimony to everyone here but we had 10 more share how they came to the body of Christ. A precious time under the stars of Tanzania sharing how we each were called to the family. We also shared and discussed the work of the Holy Spirit and how He is moving in fresh and exciting ways.  The testimony of the saints is a powerful piece of the gospel! One of the high points of the trip was this time of sharing — and we can do this in the States if we just slow down and fellowship with each other.

Here is a quick review of everyone’s nicknames:

Bill C.  Is. 1.5 times
Holloway S. is Colonel
Karl K is Bucee
Dave S. is Big Dave
Ross S. is Last Rites Ross
Bryan S. is Birdman
Travis S. is Sukuma
Carol S. is Cannibal
Amy I. is Better Out than In
Phil Z. is Currently Guilty
Brianna C. is Pigtails
Curtis C. is Twinkle Toes
Gil G. is No Hablo
Mike K. is Iron Mike
Tammy B. is Mom
Weston B. is Ridgeback
Terry W. is Inspector Gadget
Lauren Z. is Tigger

Not an easy task to complete this year!

Back to the pig. I forgot to share and make clear a few things. This was a whole pig so I was able to introduce hog jowls to several team members. It is an absolutely delicious piece of meat in the cheeks of a pig. We also bonded by sharing some pig tongue together. We skipped the liver and gave it to Zamoni who led us through the market.   On the 1-10 man scale this whole adventure with pig was an 11! Next year we are looking to try a cape buffalo!

With deep regrets to Ross, he endured me taking a baby wipe bath in the tent. We are bonded for life. My odor has been checked for the time being and I am not alone and part of a true man’s club that hasn’t showered since we left Durbin Inn and won’t until Ruaha.

This morning we went to different schools to share. Last Rites, Iron Mike, Twinkle Toes and I shared Bible stories and the gospel with 96 children. There were 360 at this school and when I asked Ross to take a pic of them with me, he was almost stampeded as everyone jockeyed for position in the front. Thankfully the headmaster restored order to prevent having to perform Last Rites on Last Rites Ross! It was a joy to share with these children.

Tonight was our last service together with song, testimony, teaching, and reports from our outreach. The pastor says the area has been changed by a bunch of white men in green trucks! The Holy Spirit deserves all the praise! Tonight it was shared how the first chapter of 1st Thessalonians could be easily changed into a letter from us to the Safwa. Please read it and change Paul, Timothy, and Silas to friends from America and change Macedonia and Achia to Tanzania. This is what is going on here!

Up early tomorrow with another long TZ drive but a hot shower and good meal awaits.  I, for one, dearly miss my 5 girls!

Enjoying the promised power of the Holy Spirit,
Karl

The Choir Olympics

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By David Sinclair

Greetings

Sunday morning service was overflowing. There was a roll call for choirs. We responded “present” and performed to the best of our ability. While we did well, if this was the choir olympics, we would not have earned a medal. The Safwa choir presentation was very unique. I attempted to send a video earlier, but the size of the video exceeded the email limit, so this will need to wait until we return. Their basic message was “Blessed are the pure in heart”. An advanced aerobics class does not compare. The background music was electronic and the power was supplied by a generator that a young lady carried on her head up the hill this morning. The attached photo is the team and some of the Safwa immediately after this morning’s service.

The afternoon was free for those of us not teaching. My group (@11) were led by the local pastor to a high vista. We descended @300 ft to the creek to the south and below camp. We then ascended @1,000 ft (conservative estimate by others) to a ridge above the camp. The view was spectacular. The most amazing thing was that we came upon a home near the top. Corn, sugar cane, avocados, coffee, and beans were on the steep slopes near the home. We allowed Carol to remove her slip and tie it to her walking stick, so we could signal to the camp below (photo of camp attached). Aren’t we resourceful?

Weston and Travis played soccer with the locals. They were really impressed with the skill of the villagers. Travis managed to score a goal (a header). He’s the first team member to ever do this. Our record of being shut out has finally ended.

Oh yes, the pig! A pit was dug for our pig last night and Karl, Bill and others started a fire. The pig was wrapped in foil and banana leaves and placed in the pit. 19 hours later the pig (@55 kilos) was ready. A crowd gathered as we began to remove the dirt and banana leaves. The locals have never seen anything like this. Our cook and several others were careful to examine the process as I’m certain they’ll try to repeat it. Let just say there were some very happy people in Tanzania this evening at dinner.

As I write this, we are showing the Jesus film in a neighboring village. There are approximately 100 people watching the film. We should make it back to our village around midnight. It’s been a full day.

Blessings all
David

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