Grace Bible College offered a course in Swahili for students this year. Not only that, but the students were given the opportunity to put what they learned into practice in Tanzania! A team of 8 from Grace Bible College want to Tanzania. Starting May 6, they worked alongside the Hodgson family in Mbeya. The following is Cory Hodgson’s account of the past week:
Friday: The team arrived at the airport at 7 am and I (Cory) had arranged transportation to their guesthouse with all of their luggage. After a brief rest for the team, their luggage had to be transported to the bus station office for transport to Mbeya (apart from the team). I was in constant communication with the driver and guesthouse making sure everything was alright and on schedule.
Saturday: The team left on the bus from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya at 6 am and the driver notified me at 6:20 that they were aboard the bus and on their way. I stayed in communication with the conductor (kind of like on a train, but without the snappy hat) so he could let me know when the bus was getting close to Mbeya. The team arrived around 6:30 pm, and we hauled them and their carry-on luggage back to our house. Some fellow missionaries, the Bentons, were here as well so we had 17 people at our house for dinner.
Sunday: Off to church. The team performed a drama, shared some testimonies (in Swahili) and preached. We had lunch after the service and introduced the team to delicious Tanzanian cuisine (rice, beans, meat, greens). Sunday afternoon we rested in preparation for a busy week.
Monday: I met a local pastor and told him that I wanted for the team and his congregation to be involved in a project together. We went to the main bus terminal in Mbeya and did cleanup work, passed out tracts, and shared the Gospel. Afterwards we had lunch at the church (possibly more delicious than the day before) and the team performed a different drama, shared testimonies, and preached again. After this we were back to our house and I had the guys dig a large stump from the ground.
Tuesday: We went back to the church in Nzovwe (same as Sunday) to break up an old foundation and haul the dirt to a new place. The team was also introduced to sugar cane.
Wednesday: We went to a waterfall called Kaporogwe Falls about 2 hours away. Kim packed a great lunch for everyone and we ate behind the falls. Some of the team members went for a “swim” at the base of the falls. It was beautiful with an interesting drive.
Thursday and Friday: Painting and varnishing at Grace College. Some of the team members scraped and filled the walls, while others sanded the doors and window frames and coated them with a fresh coat of varnish. One of our pastors helped the team, and he was able to finish what the team could not.
Saturday: Big pancake breakfast with everyone and then on the road. We stopped about 42 miles from Mbeya and had lunch with a pastor and his family. Twenty miles after that the pavement stopped and there was another 100 miles of lovely dirt road to contend with. We made it to the village of Kapenta where some of our other missionaries live. The team is with them right now and everyone will be back to our house Sunday night and will leave Monday morning.
We still seem to be recovering from the week, both mentally and physically. It was a real blessing having the team here and hope their week in the Rukwa Valley with our other missionaries will be as fruitful as their time here.
Please pray for effectiveness and that many lives were touched/will be touched by the GBC students and the missionaries in Tanzania. Lord willing, there will be many more wonderful opportunities like this for GBC students in the future.
In Christ – Rachel