It’s 9.00pm and I am sitting on my bed writing this before sleeping. It has been another long and hot day, but we have also got an early start as we have to be at church for 7.30am. The church doesn’t have a roof but we have got two services lasting 90 minutes plus each, the second starting at 9.30am. I am going to preach at the first, Stephen at the second. He gets to wear what he wants, I will be wearing clergy robes which I brought out with me in case. It is going to be a long hot morning, but interesting and I hope fun to be part of African worship. But first I need to plan what I am going to say, before 7.30 tomorrow!
Today we left at 9.00am and drove to Mpwapwa to the Archbishops house to meet two teachers from Dartford out working at Queen Esther School which is supported by Bennett School. We then went on to the Diocesan Offices for a meeting with the Bish and his staff, together with Tearfund rep, to talk about the way forward.
The Archbishop is very positive about the CCMP process, and our money initially is going to go toward training of facilitators from the churches in the community we are partnering with, who will work with the churches and communities to develop their plan for transforming their own community. Once trained these facilitators will then be able to facilitate elsewhere in the Diocese or country, and the Archbishop is hoping that his position will be able to bring influence to bear on CCMP being adapted across other dioceses as well.
Having seen the process and visited the community, Stephen and I feel very happy with what we have seen, and the Tearfund person is very enthusiastic, as is the Diocese, and it seems that all systems are go and that within a month, by the time we sign the memorandum of understanding with the Archbishop at St. Stephen’s on 30th March, the Bishop and his staff and local government and Church leaders will have had an envisioning day, facilitators will have been chosen, and training of them be planned if not happening.
Lunch with the Bishop was followed by using his laptop briefly sitting at his desk as I posted a quick blog – sorry not time to post full reports, but hope that these will be posted on Monday when we get back to Dar es Salaam. We then went to see the cathedral briefly, next to which is a stone supposedly signed by Stanley on his way to find Livingstone, but more poignantly next to a path along which slave traders took their human cargo.
We then went on to Queen Esther School for Girls, set way up in the hills. We nearly got stuck on the road there, as we crossed a couple of dry river beds with deep sand. Thank God for 4 wheel drive Toyota trucks! The school is set in a beautiful position and has amazing potential if they were able to develop their 210 acres of land next to a river with water in it throughout the year.
All the time we have been hosted by Rev William Msaki, who works for Christian Council for Tanzania, the agency which partners with Tearfund. A young man with a lot of energy and a great sense of humour, but also a passion for development and for the CCMP process. Two Diocesan staff, Agripa the Director of Mission and Link Partnerships, and Boniface, the Director of Development. It has been good getting to know them and they will be key relationships as we work in the Diocese.
Importantly we have kept well, apart from being thoroughly shaken up on the incredibly bumpy roads. If you worry about potholes on British roads, then you need to come to Tanzania for a few days. You don’t have potholes, just one crater after another!
From a well shaken, and well stirred, Mark.