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Maasai Bakery in Monduli Juu

We would like to introduce Maasai Bakery in Monduli Juu.

Not long ago, some of our friends here in Tanzania discovered that we like to cook. And we like to bake. We prefer our own home-made bread. Two of our friends, Paulo and Mama Naseko, asked if we would teach them how to make bread, so one Saturday we set aside a day for them to bake bread. We demonstrated several different options: loaves, rolls (also known to Canadians as buns and known here in Tanzania as scones), fry bread, cinnamon buns, etc.

They loved it. They said, “You should start making bread and selling it in the market!” And we said, “No, we aren’t here to be bakers. But you could start making bread and selling it in the market.” And so Maasai Bakery was born.

Paulo and Mama Naseko are using our kitchen for the moment, because they don’t have ovens and they haven’t enough capital yet to buy a stove with an oven. They make and sell bread, rolls (which they call scones), Pumpkin bread, Banana Bread and Cinnamon rolls and Ginger Rolls.

Ginger Rolls were what we call our “Happy Accident.” Our friend Happy was over at our place learning to make cinnamon buns, and Twyla pointed at the cinnamon bottle and said, “Take some of that cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the bread.” Happy grabbed the wrong bottle (Ginger) and sprinkled it all over. By the time we figured out the mistake, it was too late, so we made it up into rolls and baked it. It was great! So now we often make ginger rolls instead of cinnamon rolls.

Language Lesson: Ginger is “Tangawizi” in Swahili. So our favorite drink here is Stony Tangawizi (something like Jamaica Ginger Beer), and we make Tangawizi Chai (Ginger tea) and Ginger Rolls. 

The Maasai Bakery is on its way to making money. Like all new businesses, it is a little slow getting started, but now they are selling everything they make and they have people asking for more. Their bread is much better than the bread which is brought into the market from Arusha!

However, like all new businesses, they are short on capital. They really need to have their own oven in their shop, rather than carrying food from our kitchen down to the shop. They would sell even more if people could smell the bread baking! They also need some counters to kneed on, etc. The don’t need a lot. They can buy a new stove for about $1500, and they can build counters for about $1000.

If you would like to help them, you can donate to Maasai Bakery through Sustain Ability.

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Please Pray for Rain!

Normally, our region of Tanzania has a short rainy season during November/December. This year, most of the region didn’t have a short rainy season. Here in Monduli Juu, we had one or two rains, about 1/2 inch each. One day, we got an inch and a half, but that is all.

Crops are dying. Some farmers have allowed their cows into their bean fields, because the crop is dying and there is no other food available. If the drought continues, cows will start dying, then sheep and goats.

These are subsistence farmers, with no other way to make a living. This could become a matter of life and death for some people.

We are considering ways to help, and we are praying for wisdom. Please pray for rain!

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We should sleep well tonight!

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We had our fundraiser/going away dinner/silent auction tonight! We had a good turnout (almost 90) and sold quite a bit of stuff. We don’t know how much was donated… we will receive that total sometime next week. I know that we had already received about $2000 before the dinner.

Many family members came, and afterward they sang, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”

Very tired, but feeling very blessed!

 

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Two weeks to go!

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It’s easy to say, but “keep calm” is hard to do sometime.

We praise God that this time, our transition time hasn’t been plagued with issues, as it was last year. Things have been very, very busy, but we don’t feel like Satan is throwing something in our way every day or so. Pray for us that this continues. We are terribly busy, we don’t need frustrations to go along with the busy part.

We have the container nearly ready to go.  Since we have room, we’re packaging up some additional stuff that we weren’t able to get rid of (and we think would be useful), to go into the container.

Our big fundraiser (hosted by White Station church of Christ) is this coming Saturday evening. If you’re coming, we will be very happy to see you. If you can’t come, feel free to bid on the items in our Silent Auction. You can see it all online, and you can bid online as well. The form is at the bottom of the page.

After that, it’s just a matter of wrapping things up here, and getting ourselves ready to go.

Exciting times!

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Only one month left!

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The picture says it all! Right now, we’re focused on getting on an aircraft in one month.

If you want to help, there are several things you can do.

  • Pray for us. Seriously. We really need your prayers. Satan often makes life difficult for people who are doing God’s will.
  • Come to our Fundraiser/Going Away dinner on September 24th. If you plan to come, please RSVP at our church office by phone (901-761-2007) or email
  • Even if you can’t come, you can bid on items in our Silent Auction
  • If you’re in the Memphis area, come help us for part of a day. You might end up mowing lawns or installing windows, or carrying off boxes of stuff.
  • If you know someone who has a loading dock in Memphis we could use for a weekend,  please let me know. And maybe a frame for hauling a 20-foot container. And a highway tractor…
  • And remember: pray for us.

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We are almost ready to leave!

Last week, we purchased our tickets for our flight to Tanzania. We fly on October 4th.

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We’re travelling on Qatar Airlines: Memphis to Miami, then Miami to Doha, Qatar, where we spend the night. Then we fly from Doha to Mt. Kilimanjaro, with a tech stop in Zanzibar.

The Global Missions team has scheduled a fundraiser for Sept. 24th, just a week and a half before we leave. We expect to have a silent auction, as part of that fundraiser. Twyla and I will be selling some of our own artwork, as well as some pieces which were donated and some artwork from Africa.

In the meantime, we have SO MUCH to do. It’s going to be a very busy two months.

Before we leave, we hope to visit with many friends and churches who have been interested in our work in Africa. So watch our facebook posts and our blog posts to see if we’re near you. If you would like us to see you, send us a message on Facebook, or email me at ralphwwilliams@gmail.com.

 

 

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Connecting Memphis Report

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We were recently interviewed for an article on Connecting Memphis (interview and photo above by Cindy McMillian). This interview focuses largely on the biosand water filters we hope to build in Tanzania. We’re delighted with the coverage. Please click and “like,” and take a look at some of the other stories shared on this site. Good stuff…

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Please Pray for Cy Stafford

When we were in Tanzania this last summer, we enjoyed getting to know Cy and Stephanie Stafford. Cy is the director of the Andrew Connelly School of Preaching.

Cy and Stephanie

We just received word via Facebook that Cy is not expected to make it through the day. I wasn’t aware that he was ill, but apparently he is fighting leukemia. Please continue to pray for him, his wife, Stephanie, and their family.

Here’s what another African missionary had to say about him. 

We were involved with Cy on a project for the school, installing a rainwater collection system, and building a large steel tank to store water. Cy was willing to let me experiment on the construction of this tank, to see how well it would work.

While I was  building the truss for the roof of the tank, Cy came by and pointed out that I had welded the truss around one of the supports for the school’s porch! We had a good laugh, and Cy got a picture of me with my mistake.

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Later, when I injured myself (through my own foolishness), Cy and Stephanie got me cleaned up and arranged for someone to take us to the clinic in Monduli. They also have provided transportation to the airport at least twice, and that’s a big deal!

We have come to love and appreciate Cy and Stephanie, and we want to lift them up before God’s people. Please pray for them, that Cy may be healed. And pray for Stephanie and the family, especially if he is taken from them.

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Exciting New Developments

We’re excited about two developments regarding Biosand Water Filters!

First, we have  a Metal Fabrication class which is building a metal form, for pouring the filter vessels! This form will be invaluable when we get to Tanzania. We will use it first to make filters, and then–more importantly, we will show it to our local “metal fundi” so he can build more, just like it! It really helps to see what  the finished product looks like, and how it works. Here’s what one of these forms looks like.

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We also have just found a set of plans for making one of these forms out of plywood! We found this online, at ohorizons.org.  I’m fairly handy with wood, so by next week, we hope to have one of these built. We suspect these may not last as long as the metal forms, but the cost is much lower and the technology is much easier. wood mold production

Either of these forms makes a concrete vessel for a water filter that will produce as much as 36 gallons of clean water per day! The science behind these filters is very interesting. In nature, water is purified by flowing through sand and gravel and by exposure to the sun. This system, developed by a scientist at the University of Calgary, removes up to 99% of all pathogens from dirty water!

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RISE: Trying to be effective in the Lord’s work

We keep reading about huge projects that cost amazing amounts of money, and fail to achieve their goal.
That’s not the story we want told about our part in the Lord’s work in Tanzania. We want people to “see our good works and give glory to God” long after we are finished.

Here’s our “filter” for choosing projects. The acronym is “RISE”.

  • Repeatable: Can local people repeat this without our aid?
  • Indigenous: Does it use only materials and skills available to local people?
  • Sustainable: Can this effort be sustained in the local environment, without resources from outside?
  • Evangelistic: Does this effort provide quality time with local people so we can share the gospel?
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We have found that Bottle Brick construction of a rainwater cistern gives us a lot of time to build relationships and talk about the Gospel!

Like any good filter, the most important element is the last. Our goal is evangelism; as God’s people we also seek to bless those around us. We are trying to follow Christ’s example of doing good, preaching and teaching.

 

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