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OCMC News - 16 Months in Tanzania

by Felice Stewart (Posted 2/19/2012)

Glory to God for All Things!

Thank you for your prayers. Things seem to be moving toward the reopening of the hospital/health center. A young man from Greece has been here working on this. Most of the things about the situation that have puzzled me have been answered. He was here for three months in 2010 just before we came to Tanzania, so he had a lot of background information that he explained to us. We have met with him and the bishop a couple of times since he arrived, and are getting an understanding of what our roles will be. God willing he will go to Dar es Salaam with both of our doctors and the paperwork for registration of the health center and for our work permits on Wednesday or Thursday to see the appropriate government officials. When he leaves we will begin spending some time at the hospital getting things prepared for reopening. Continued prayers are welcome. Another aspect of this is that there is a monastery in Greece working to help provide screening and treatment for breast and cervical cancer, and they are interested in doing that here in the hospital/health center. At present the only place in the country where these sevices are available is in Dar es Salaam.

I was walking down the street by the market the other day when a kitenge caught my eye. A kitenge is used simalarly to a khanga. They are lengths of material that are worn for many purposes. I most often see them wrapped around the waist and tucked very securely almost like a skirt. Other frequently seen uses include tying a baby on your back; worn like a shawl or stole for warmth on the upper part of your body; and over your head and shoulders for protection from the fierce African sun or the rain. I have a book entitled 100 Uses for a Khanga. I have not seen all of them but I have seen many of them. When I went to check the kitenge out I noticed it was from Nigeria. It was less bold and bright than many and I thought I might feel more comfortable wearing it. My friend, Mama Christina's 15 year old daughter Olibia has been in sewing school for months now, and I have seen a couple of things she has made. Many of the clothes I brought are wearing out, and I will need to be properly dressed to go to work. I decided to get a two piece dress made. Olibia came and took my measurements and took my kitenge with her. The results far exceeded my expectations and even my hopes. Her father took a picture of the two of us together with me in the dress she made. She and her father both gave me permission to share the picture with you. Then her mother told me that a neighbor who saw this liked the blouse so much she ordered one for herself from Olibia. Olibia will be graduating from sewing school next month, and I think she will do well.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.