Monday, April 7, 2014

Dust and Pits

(October) For about the last two weeks, there has been an unusually large amount of traffic on the little village road that passes through the mission.  The government is having work done on the main road.  They sent a track-hoe (big backhoe) and at least 7 dump trucks to start moving rock and dirt from the area down by the river up to the main road.  After they finished all the "good rock and dirt" there, they asked to take some off the mission property.  They received a very firm "NO."  The area they wanted to dig up is right over the hydro-electric intake pipes.  It would have been a disaster for the mission's electrical system.  So they found the dirt on the other side of the river to be very good, and they moved their digging just up the mountain on the other side of the river from the hydro-intake.  We hope that nothing washes down and damages the system.
From early morning to late in the night the trucks would move up and down the road.  The dust became unbearable.  We tried to keep at least part of the road watered to reduce the dust here, but many others were suffering from the constant thick clouds of dust.  It was several inches deep along the road.  It was so bad that Janet was standing on one side of the road talking to Yona who was on the other.  The truck came through and she could not see him at ALL!  Janet worked diligently to try to get the trucks, the construction crew and government to work together to reduce the dust.  Some of us were starting to get sick from it.  They started watering the road some with their big water truck (a few times.)  We were so thankful!  Then, thankfully the rains have started, also.
In their digging by the river (the first pit) they dug very deep and all the way up to the road!

This of course was setting up the village to loose their road when the rains begin.  After MUCH communication with the village executive, district commissioner and the construction people some work began to move the remaining dirt to try to fill the big hole by the road.  The night we heard the backhoe leaving from on the mountain, Janet went to see if the hole by the river had been filled.  It had not been filled.  She spent almost two hours there with the workers and the village executive.  The hole did indeed get filled mostly because of her insistence. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Closing the pre-school in Lupalilo

The school year ends for the public school on the 29th of November.  The hard decision was made to close out the preschool class that has been being operated by Eden Valley Foster Care Mission for the last 10 years.  The teachers and head teacher at Lupalilo Primary School are very sad to see this end, but they are very thankful for the service that has been provided to children, the community and the school.  The teachers mentioned that the children who attended the classes provided by EVFCM (Eden Valley Foster Care Mission) have prepared the children well for entering Kindergarten classes.  The head teacher asked if they could continue to use the many teaching aids from the class and also the furniture.  Janet agreed happily if they would make sure that they would stay at the school and be used for the benefit of the children.  They agreed and were so happy to get such nice things to help them with teaching the children.
There was a bit of serious concern at first because the head teacher thought that Janet was saying she was closing both that class and the school in Mago.  He asked about the orphans.  What will they do for help.  Janet quieted his fears and said that we will continue to have the school in Mago and will continue to help the orphans just as we had the previous week.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

School Progress, New Teachers and New Subjects!

The students have worked hard this year and have made many nice pieces of furniture.  Recently Janet and I (Tamara) went to the vocational school Don Bosco in Iringa.  It is a Catholic school that has a lot of nice tools.  From what we can see, they make everything with electric tools.  They make some very nice things there.  We talked with the staff and students.   We visited the mechanics, sewing and carpentry areas.  I think we were both a bit surprised at what we heard and saw.  The staff was remarkable open with us about their challenges with teachers and students (dedication and reliability) and also their financial challenges.  Janet was amazed at the quality (and lack thereof) of the projects completed by the third-year students in the sewing department.  She inspected many articles closely and pointed out areas where improvements could be make.  The students and principle were happy to get her input.  They gathered around her as she inspected various articles and pointed out issues.  It was fun to watch.
The staff was surprised to hear that our students are learning to make furniture using only hand tools.  Janet explained that we are not an industry, but truly a training school.  Our goal is to teach these young people to be able to work wherever they go.  They will not be dependent on electricity and expensive tools to make a living.  They will be able to work anywhere and any village with just a few tools and the education they receive at the school. 

 The students have been learning a lot in the two years that they have been here.  Janet keeps a close eye on the work they turn out and offers suggestions for them to improve their skills and designs so they are not just "okay" but excellent.

One of the boys using hand tools here at EVFCM.

Expidito (to the right), our teacher, Justin in the middle and other students in the carpentry classroom.

Some very nice furniture the boys have made (and the boys.)
 The hard work and persistence is making a difference in many a young person's life.
The mechanic's bay has been sitting idle since being built since the person we had hoped would teach ended up going elsewhere.  But that all will change VERY SOON.  A teacher for mechanics has been hired along with a teacher for agriculture.  Soon the school will be teaching four different courses to help the young people to have a future.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lots of Baptisms

A lot has happened in the last months here at Eden Valley Mission.

Many of our students have chosen to follow the Lord and been baptized.  We rejoice over each one that gives his or her life to Him.

There have been three sets of baptisms this year.  Just last week the most recent baptisms took place.  One of the second year students, Expidito, has been studying and has been here but had not decided to be baptized in any of the sessions.  At this last session, he came, and asked to be included in the baptism.  He told our staff that he had been feeling the Lord calling to his heart for a long time, and knew that he should take his stand for Jesus and be baptized if possible.  The pastor agreed and added him to the group that were making their stand for Jesus.  This young man has been a very good student in the L.I.G.H.T. course also.  We were all very happy to see him and many others making this decision!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Old and Very Old News

Hello friends, Sorry it has been so long since there was an update. With so much to do, some things fall through the cracks, and unfortunately this blog has been one of those things. Tomorrow will make two YEARS since the last post, so we think it is time for an update. What do you think?
So much has happened in the last two years including the following:

The container that Deniece mentioned in the last post did arrive and the garage construction was completed.

With the help of many friends a new hydro-electric system was installed to provide electricity to the classrooms, staff houses and the church.  It has been a huge blessing. The students even have the ability to have a hot shower because it.
Quote from Janet, "I always hated working with electrical power issues. This power plant didn't come without its challenges in the beginning." There have been headaches and heartaches, including blowing up a $2000 inverter in one of the first lightening storms. This caused us to realize that we needed MORE protection on the system against electrical surges caused by such storms.

There were other challenges, and still having a little challenge with the 110 at Janet's house (okay it is more than a little issue - it doesn't work correctly at all.)  The system requires the intake to be cleaned three times a day in the river.  "We started by cleaning once a day. There were still issues. Then we tried cleaning it twice a day. There were still issues. Three times a day has cleared up the issues."
"We are thankful to Doug Schoch who has helped us tremendously with the electric system several times."

The electricity has allowed for additional teaching opportunities without the use of generators, such as last year doing evening health meetings in the church for staff and community using the projector. It is very helpful for our evening classes. It has allowed the L.I.G.H.T. program to be taught here at the school two times now using projectors and computers, also.  A picture is worth a thousand words. We praise the Lord for the electricity He has given us.   A big "THANK YOU" to all that helped to make the electricity a reality here.  Thank you to those who supported, those who prayed and those who worked so hard to make it work!

Last year we invited Doug, Tamara and Joshua Schoch to come and do the one month L.I.G.H.T. health training for the staff and students.  We were able to do one Health Expo in the village of Mago.  The Village Executive, the local elementary teachers including the Head teacher and many others attended.  It was a big success.

Deniece has run off and gotten married last year. "And left me all to my lonesome." We wish her the very best, but she is missed very much.   Before leaving she did get the new pews installed in the church.  They look VERY nice. 

Another project that got completed before Deniece left was getting the old student's kitchen removed which helped them to appreciate the new kitchen even more. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Well, today is November 20 and we are at Kibidula for a spiritual week with Frank Fournier. It has been great messages and we have also been helping with a workbee taking down the old boy's dorm here. Back in Mago, well, the container comes tomorrow and so we won't get the pews out until next year. The fundis did as much as they could this year but was in the middle of building the new garage waiting for the container. Little to say, it won't get finished until next year. They did build side walks at 4 staff houses, between the new kitchen and preparation room and steps at the new kitchen and also the newest staff house. Looks great. Been slow towards the end of the year, which is good because that gave us time to get some kitchen cupboards started at Janet's house and also we had 3 girls from DayStar Academy here for a few months and Jerry Harris came for a week to pick them up to meet with other DayStar people in Zambia to do one-day-churches. While he was here that week he got us plumbing inside the house. This is great! Flush toilet, water to shower stall, water in kitchen. We even did a few loads of laundry in the washing machine with the help of a generator. Work is going good otherwise. Going to post this now, sorry for the late posting. The internet did not last long in August and I couldn't post anything until coming to Kibidula. Will be leaving mid December to come home. Not sure of another post until arriving home. May the Lord bless as He directs each one of us. The rest of the blog was done in August.

Well, we did have internet. It seems it comes and goes. I don't quite understand it, but really, who does.

We have been keeping busy since Janet has been gone; which she will arrive in Africa on the 6th of September. We have the roof on two of the three buildings and the septic tank hole dug and is almost finished. Jason has called Joel (one of our fundis) home for about a week so that he can help build 2 one-day-churches with the Czech people visiting there. He had to take the two drill guns that we use for the one-day-church so we can't continue on that part, but have plenty to do with out that. We need to finish the brick laying, install windows and then plaster the inside walls of the two buildings with roofs.

We are digging up the ground by our two existing containers making room for one more and also two garages between the three. We will also have a cement floor under these containers; now that will be fun to accomplish. Yeah, right! We will have to empty all containers, use a come along that hopefully Janet will not forget, and logs under the containers to roll them back on the cement floor, then load containers back up. We may have to unload, load, unload and then load again, depending on time it takes to get the floor done. Want to help?

We have started breaking ground for a garden in one of our long shambas (fields) and giving the campus a face lift. We have done some slashing (can't wait for lawn mowers on container), raking and picking up trash, papers, etc. all over campus. We have, also, thinned one of our forest of evergreens and cut the low branches off of them, and chopped down some of our bamboo on the property. It is really looking nice. Still have some other stuff to do, but in time this will come.

I don't know when this will get posted, the date today is August 28, Sunday, and I have tried to get on the net but didn't succeed. I had 2 towers (which isn't a lot) but is better than what I have been getting and still couldn't get on. Maybe tomorrow.

Janet said that she will be bringing a lady her for a few weeks and then next month 3 girls from Day Star Academy will be here for 3 months. I hope they will be blessed, truly blessed by being here.

Sorry to all of you who read this blog; it has been slow coming. Maybe will be better as time goes on. We will have to see.

Just a spiritual note I want to share with you that I read this morning our of 3T p237: “Some are easily stirred and frequently become irritated; and, if abused, they retaliate. This is just what Satan exults to have them do. The enemies of truth triumph over this weakness in a minister of Christ, for it is a reproach to the cause of present truth. Those who show this weakness of character do not rightly represent the truth or the ministers of our faith.” This spoke to me and I am not a “minister” but I do frequently become irritated. I know you are praying for me, and I appreciate it very much, but I ask that you will pray for me in this specific area, also. And if this quote is speaking to you, my prayer is that we may all overcome as Christ overcame, for He did not become irritated or retaliated when He was abused.

This is all for now....
Signing off from Mago, TZ


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We have been in Mago, Tanzania for about 3 months and just yesterday (Wednesday) was able to get on the internet. We have tried a number of times but did not get any service. It is so nice to talk with my family and friends back home.

So, what have we been doing during these three months. Well, we had 2 of Janet's grandchildren here which kept her busy in a lot of respect. But finally, we got three buildings started and the fundis are more that half way done with them. We have another staff house (possibly for Mechanic teacher), we have a kitchen for our cook to cook for the students, and a storage building to store lumber for our carpentry class. At the end of the building is a 12x20 room that we are building a mechanic's pit to work under the vehicles. We had a visit from a potential mechanic teacher which appears to be interested and will be back when Janet comes back. Oh, by the way, Janet is in America at Eden Valley. She went home for ASI convention in early August and will return the first part of September. We have also thinned out part of our forest behind our house, fixed our driveway and slashed (cut weeds) along our road to make it look neater.

We have near 50 students, 27 in carpentry, 7 in advanced sewing, and 15 in beginner's sewing. We have room for 32 students in each dorm and right now we have about 12 students in each dorm. The rest are village students. Our Bible Worker just told me yesterday that 40 of the students are interested in bible study. He has a bible class every weekday morning and this morning passed out the studies to the students. Earlier this year we had 18 people get baptized and out of the 18 was about 12 – 14 students. The Lord is working on the hearts of these young people, but sad to say, the enemy is too. We have some troubled students that are rebelling against authority and we need prayers for these young people.

Baraza and I have been working with a lady in her 60's who has a big sore on the bottom of her foot. It looks like it has been burnt, but her and her family says that she didn't get burnt. Anyway, we have been doing wound care on her and she is improving. She wanted to pay us after the 3rd visit, but I told her my Boss (pointing upwards) pays me and she started crying. She is a dear lady and she wants to come and visit here when she can walk again.

I am going to sign off now, until another time...

Goodbye from Mago....