from our very own missionaries to Tanzania
Ed and Nancy Giddens
   Click here to send Nancy and Ed a greeting.

April 14, 2005

Hello all,

   I returned home on Tuesday after two days of driving from Tukuyu.  I had a good trip although I was alone for the whole trip.  I did have a puncture on the second day about two hours from home, but three nice men on bicycles stopped to help me, so it was changed with little effort on my part.

   The pastor's wives' teaching went all right, although we were disappointed at their lack of progress.  This group of women is usually the top of the 5 branches, but not this time.  It is very hard for Neema, as she is used to a different caliber of student.  I am used to all kinds since I teach all over the country! 

   We had a very good teacher's meeting on the week-end following the branch teaching.  Only 15 of the 19 came, so we finished a bit early, by meeting at night and shortening lunches.  I was anxious to get home, so they helped me out! 

   I have not heard a report from the convention, but it did occur.   There were some very important issues which I had been told would be discussed, but I don't know if they were or not.  I have not seen anyone who attended to get a clear report.      In any case, I thank you for your prayers for these issues.  God is at work and we trust Him to work things out for his purposes.

   Ed has been having a great time teaching his students at the seminary.  His being so busy at this helped the time to pass, but we are both VERY happy to be back together.  These separations are not any fun at all.  They seem to be getting harder.  You would think we would be used to them by now, but not so!

   I am attaching some additional thought for the brave.  These are thoughts I had when I woke up on Wednesday morning after my two-day drive wondering to myself, "Why on earth do I do this?"  Feel free to read or not. 
   I am home for three weeks from now, when I will go to Dar es Salaam to teach again.  I will get spoiled!!

Thanks for your faithful support.  It gives me great confidence to do what I do, in God's strength and with His protection.

Nancy and Ed Giddens

March 31, 2005

Hello all,

    Nancy is leaving tomorrow morning on the first leg of her long trip to Tukuyu.  After about 6 hours of driving, she will meet up with two women who will go the rest of the way with her.  They will stop for the night about 3 hours later and complete the trip on Saturday, driving 7-8 hours to where she will be for the next 10 days. 


    On Sunday, she will go about an hour south to the church of Dixson Mwankanda, who was Ed's right hand man for many years.  She will be with his church in worship on Sunday and then return to the seminary branch for the women's term.

    Please pray for her as she teaches these women the poetry and prophets of the Old Testament.  Obviously, they will just be getting an overview and "keys" to these books.  The women are often afraid of the Old Testament books, not having read or studied them, so it is fun to show them great passages and how to use these books for their own spiritual growth and understanding.  She will be with Neema, who was recently with us on our Mwanza/Kigoma trek. Neema will be teaching Health (women's issues, childbirth and infant care) and will give the women an introduction to teaching children in Sunday School.  She and Nancy will continue to help the women as they are learning to speak before a group and prepare a "talk."  (Dare I say "sermon?")  They often have to sub for their husbands when they are away- that's the way it's done here! So we want them to be ready and able to do this without fear.


    After the Pastor's wives' course, she will meet with the teachers of women's ministries in the church for a 3 day workshop.  These are women who teach women in their associations in this part of the country.  She will begin her trip home on the 12th and arrive back in Arusha on the 13th.


    Ed will be staying in Arusha this trip as he is teaching Music in Worship to Diploma and BMin students at the Arusha Seminary (now called Mount Meru University).  He will teach about 5 hours a day from the 4-18 of April.  He will be teaching in English, which is different for him!  He has been having lots of fun preparing these lessons.  Pray for him as he teaches these men and women.


    Please also remember that April 6th is Sarah's court date.  We do not have much hope that her marriage to John will survive because he doesn't want it to.  But we do ask you to pray that whatever the outcome, justice is done for Sarah and her boys.  Please pray that she will retain custody, they she will get everything that is her due according to Tanzanian law and that whatever is written about this divorce will show her clearly without fault. 


    Please pray for Ed on April 4th, his birthday.  (I am so sorry that I will be in Tukuyu on that day!  He was going to come with me, but the dates for his teaching had to be changed.) 


    Please pray for the meeting of the Baptist Convention of Tanzania.  This will take place April 6-9.  Please pray that the men who attend will have the courage to speak the truth and act in righteousness.  The future of the Convention is at stake if the proper action is not taken. 


    Please pray for safe travel for Nancy- no flats and no trouble with the vehicle at all! 
Thanks for your prayers.


Ed and Nancy Giddens

March 17, 2005

Hello all-
   We are so happy to be home again after our long teaching trek to the coast and then to the far west of Tanzania.
   We had a great time hosting Neema, our widow friend from southern Tanzania who accompanied Nancy on this trip.  She helped in Dar, Mwanza and Kigoma with teaching in the seminary branches and in Mwanza and Kigoma with teacher's meetings for the women who teach WMU in the associations in each region.  She willingly did anything I needed her to!  She took notes on everything she saw- crossing the Seringeti for the first time, seeing Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, the Baptist Hospital and the place where Stanley found Livingston, as well as lots of country she had never seen before.  She filled a whole notebook!
   Teaching went well in each branch.  In Mwanza and Kigoma, I had a lot of organizing to do of materials, grades, and other records.  Leadership has been weak in these two spots.  I will be taking over the Mwanza branch for the time being.  I began training a new Head Teacher in Kigoma, but will have to go there each term until this class graduates, I think. They are just half-way through.
   The teachers' meetings went well in each place.  The woman who misappropriated money in Mwanza, chose not to come to the meeting, although she is the one who asked for the meeting in the first place!  It was probably good that she did not come.  It was certainly a lot calmer!  I met with each teacher and went over each file, each request and each report.  Neema helped me by over-seeing practice teaching in another room while I did this.  It took a full two days to finish.  At the end, it was clear that a large amount of money had been taken- over $1000.00.  I will get the exact figure when I work on the report I have to write on it next week.  The women stood firm again and dismissed the co-teacher, who signed each withdrawal slip.  They did not accuse her of theft, but of weakness, pointing out that Sofia could not have gotten the money from the bank without her signature.  She was removed from an office in the region and association.  They also recommended that she be removed as a teacher until the money is returned.  She accepted their decision gracefully.
   I thank you for your prayers for all these tasks.  Things went well, although the days were long.  I left the house at 7:10 each morning and most days returned around 7 each night.  Ed worked steadily on his book and got it all typed into the computer the last day of our time in Kigoma!  He still has a lot of work to do on it, but at least it is in a form which is easy to work with and edit. 
   On the nearly 4000 kilometers we drove, we had just one flat tire and no other trouble at all.  We thank God for a great vehicle, even though it has over 200,000 kilometers on it!  It has a new engine, after our November trip, so should last another 200,000!
   We are home for a few weeks.  I go to Tukuyu on 1 April.  Ed will remain here as he is teaching at the Seminary during that time.  I will return on the 13th, as I will have another teachers' meeting after the seminary branch teaching.
   While we were gone, we got a call from a pastor here who told us that his wife, Rose, had died.  We taught this couple in the seminary branch some years back.  They are converted Muslims and such dear and committed people.  She developed a severe kidney ailment and died from it suddenly.  We went to visit Isak on Tuesday.  He is left with the sole care of 4 children, 3 daughters and one severely handicapped little boy, Hosea.  He is one of the twins Rose gave birth to after finishing up her Pastors' Wives course. His sister Debora is healthy and normal.  Hosea is about 4 years old now and getting very heavy.  While we were there, Isak's sister got him ready to go to the clinic to be examined.  She carried him on her back, as I am sure Rose did until she died.  He looked to weigh about 40 pounds-of dead weight.  I don't know how she did it.  We are going to look into the possibility of a wheel-chair for him.  I don't know if they are available in TZ or not.
   Sarah asks that you begin praying for her court date which is 6 April.  She is hoping things will be finalized then.  She is enjoying having her boys with her and they are doing much better in school.  She has successfully obtained a transfer to a school nearby for the younger boy, William.  Since the older boy, Elisha, is in his exam year, the old school suggested that he finish there.  John tried to stop the transfer, but the school supported Sarah.  We are praying that the outcome will be a good one for Sarah and that she will be totally vindicated of all John's false accusations.  We are also praying that John's lies and duplicity will be made clear and public.  He is still receiving support from some group in the U.S., we believe and we would love for that to stop.  It is a mis-use of money in the extreme! 
   Also, please remember a special meeting of the convention which will take place April 6-9.  (I had thought it was in February, but was wrong.)  Some very serious issues will be discussed which will effect the future of the Baptist Convention of Tanzania.  We are praying that the men will stand a firmly as the women did as they faced their tough decisions.  Issues of morality of leaders will be dealt with. Pray that they will be dealt with righteously. 
   Tomorrow I have a meeting with the directors of the Seminary Branches.  On Saturday I am going with a teacher in this association to a village church to teach.  I HOPE to be able to rest a bit next week!  At least to get my boxes from this last trip unpacked!
   Thanks again for your prayers for this trip.  Please continue to pray for Isak and the children and Sarah and her boys.  I will write again before I leave for Tukuyu.

In Christ,

Nancy Giddens

from our very own missionaries to Tanzania
                                            Ed and Nancy Giddens
                                                       Click here to send Nancy and Ed a greeting.