Thursday, November 14, 2013

Finished!

Eric and I decided to conclude the Pastors' Seminar a day early. Why? Two reasons. First, some of the pastors were facing a two-day bus ride to get home. So they wanted to be able to travel on Thursday and Friday, and have Saturday to rest and prepare for church on Sunday. Second, we had planned to bring in Joseph to do an entire day on Church and Community Mobilization Project. But it turned out that he was only able to teach for one hour. SO, after Joseph's presentation we asked the pastors to help us evaluate the seminar. They were overwhelmingly positive. Incredibly grateful. Except for one thing: They wanted more meat in the meals. Here's what they ate pretty much everyday for 10 days. But before you read this, let me say that this menu may have been better than what they got at home, and it was very much appreciated (they just wanted more meat). BREAKFAST: Hot tea and white loaf bread (dry, no butter or jelly). Once in a while they had sweet bread instead of white. LUNCH: Ugali and vegetables (see my last post). About every third day we also got chunks of (very tough) beef stewed with a small amount of tomato sauce. DINNER: Beans and rice. On Sunday they got the special treat of a dried fish that is sold in the town of Tarime--sort of like sardines. For the final celebration yesterday we had rice pilaf (yum!), skuma, the stewed beef, bananas, watermelon, AND soda! The celebration was at Eric's house, and this time I insisted on a spoon. Eating ugali with your hand is one thing, but this was rice! Eric called me some name in Swahili and went inside and brought me a spoon. I sat down and ate on the porch, behind the railing, trying to hide my shame. Anyway, about the request for more meat--the pastors had a suggestion for the next time they do a seminar like this. Go to the Serengeti National Park and kill a giraffe. Then they could have plenty of meat for two solid weeks. They were not kidding. Eric laughed so hard that he immediately got out his iPad and posted it on Facebook (you may have seen where I shared it). After the evaluation, we had closing worship. Oh, my goodness. I wish you could have heard these pastors sing. I wish you could have experienced the joy of their worship. I preached the sermon on Joshua 1:6-9, exhorting them to "Be strong and courageous" because God has called them. After the sermon, we handed out certificates. Interesting fact: Eric had planned to do the certificates in Swahili. He asked one of the pastors who speaks good English to look over his translation. The pastor was very adamant: "No! Do it in English. English is the professional language!" So we gave out certificates in English that we then had to translate for them! No matter. They were very proud and very grateful. With the certificates we also handed out the third and final letter from their Covenant Community sponsors. They tore into them immediately, and those who could not read English grabbed the first person they could find who could translate for them. The seminar is over, but my trip is not. I'm doing some meetings today (Thursday) in Tarime. And then tomorrow I've got the long drive to Mwanza. And then Saturday, I've got an early flight to Dar Es Salaam, and then I'm in that city for 12 hours before my next flight leaves. So that will be my one and only "tourist" day. I've got more to say and more pictures to post, so please stay tuned...

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