Sunday, September 18, 2016

the sun and moon are fighting

We experienced a solar eclipse!

I captured this photo accidentally. I pointed my camera straight at the sun (yes, Mom, I know you told me NEVER to look directly at an eclipse) and of course I saw nothing. But then when I turned the camera at a slight angle I caught this flare. Check out the white crescent inside the flare. I guess that's what the eclipse looked like.

Jeannette was outside hanging laundry and she saw all these strange crescent shapes on the ground. I guess it's like when you do the old pin-hole-in-the-paper-to-see-the-eclipse experiment. But the trees above worked like the hole in the paper. Cool!!!

We had a blast with our Tanzanian colleagues. They wanted me to take this photo of them pretending like they were staring at the eclipse. Tanzanians say that the sun and moon are fighting. I wonder who won...

Monday, September 12, 2016


Jeannette texted me saying, "Totally just felt like the earth was shaking. I think I'm going crazy!" I gave a cute reply because I had no idea what had happened, "The earth quakes under the intense volcano of my love for you."

After a couple minutes we started seeing reports that we had indeed experienced an earthquake! About 145 miles away, across Lake Victoria, there was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. Sadly, 13 people have died and hundreds were wounded. Many houses here are poorly built out of mud bricks. One of our Tanzanian friends here in Musoma is thankful that he was not home at the time because the wall of his bedroom cracked and he was afraid it would fall down. Pray for the people of Uganda and Tanzania who were affected by this tragedy. Pray that people would hope in God.

Psalm 18
      The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 
      my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six kilos of pig leg

I (Ben) woke up early on Saturday morning and went to the local slaughterhouse (some guy's backyard). Men with knives were already working on the second pig that morning. All that was left of the first pig were two legs. I said, "I'll take one of those." They weighed it and it came to 6 kilos (13 lbs.). It still had the skin on it and the bones in it.

Then I went to work. I tried three different knives until I found one that could cut the skin away from the meat. I won't gross you out with the rest of the details but after a few hours we had both the crockpot and the oven full of meat.

Finally it was time to enjoy the fruit of our hard work. Jeannette made this amazing pork pie. Question: If a shepherd's pie has lamb and a cottage pie has beef, what do you call it if it has pork? We don't know but it was delicious!

Then Jeannette made pulled pork with thyme and paprika and other magical ingredients. Yum!!! And of course, we savored a little pork BBQ also. So was it worth the effort? YES!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A centipede, a snake and a mongoose

Luke found this scary guy in our backyard hiding under some rocks. Yes, he's highly venomous!

Then as Ben was hanging a picture in our hallway he felt something brush past his heel...

He brushed Ben's heel so Ben crushed his head. It's poetic.

And you might be wondering, where was this guy when we really needed him?

Mr. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi here showed up the morning after the snake incident. Sure, some fierce cobra-killer he is.

Welcome to wild Tanzania!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mama goes back to school

Lake Victoria Learning Center is now open for a new school year! Our kids are so excited. And this school year brings a new twist. Jeannette is teaching! In the past, Jeannette has worked as substitute teacher, teacher's assistant and library organizer. This year, because we have so many missionary kids in so many different levels, Jeannette is teaching two levels of math. She teaches 3rd grade and 5th grade math...and she's the playground monitor...and she still has all of her responsibilities at home. Pray with us that Jeannette will be able to balance all of her different jobs and do them well.

Another new twist is that Jenna is officially in school. On the first day of school she was excited beyond belief that she got an eraser with a pony on it.

Kara said, "I love staring at maps and we're studying geography so that's perfect!"

Luke came home after the first day of school saying, "This is my first time ever having homework! I even have to bring my book home. It's more homework than I've ever had in my whole life" And then he finished his homework in about 4 minutes.

Ellie was excited because now she gets to read a book that Kara read when Kara was her age.

We love our Learning Center and we thank God for our teachers!

By the way, we're looking for another teacher to join our team. If you know anyone who might be interested, please give them this information:


Lake Victoria Learning Center in Musoma, Tanzania is in urgent need of an elementary teacher to join their team.

If you are a certified teacher with at least one year of experience, then this is a great opportunity to work in a unique, multi-level, non-traditional setting which enables many missionary families to continue their work in Tanzania.

If God is calling you to this ministry, we’d love to explore the options with you. We would like to have a commitment of at least 18 months.

Please contact the Human Resources Department at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beware of falling fish!

Watch out! If you visit us in Tanzania you might get hit in the head with a fish. Check out this video...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes

We hate goodbyes. We hated saying goodbye to grandparents, cousins, siblings, parents, friends and churches in America. And now that we're back in Tanzania, we're saying goodbye to our dear friends who are returning to America for their furlough. We hate goodbyes.

But it has forced us to fix our eyes on our future hope of resurrection and reunion on the new earth. Many times we find ourselves clinging to the hope that, "when we finally get home on the new earth there will be no more goodbyes." And of course, we remind ourselves that the most glorious joy of the new earth will not be seeing all our beloved friends and family members (even though that will be fantastic). Rather, the most massive, magnificent joy of the new earth will be seeing Jesus and being with Jesus and enjoying Jesus forever. That's our hope!

So as we've been rehesarsing the glorious truths about the new earth from Isaiah and Hebrews and Revelation, I tried to combine many of them together in one place. Here goes…

We Fix Our Eyes on the Land of No Goodbyes

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where there can be no night
because Yahweh is our everlasting light;
where bitter weeping is forsaken
as we zealously proclaim, "Behold your God."

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where violence is silenced
and destruction is demolished;
where righteousness thrives
and death dies.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where troubles are forgotten
and joys are everlasting;
where mourning is banished
and gladness reigns forever.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
because we desire a better country, a heavenly one
and we desperately seek a homeland
so we fervently wait for the enduring city
whose designer and builder is God.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where the curse is reversed
and desolation is transformed into delight;
where pain and rebellion become peace and rest
while old things pass away and all things are made new.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where we will see our Savior Jesus face to face
and God himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes;
where God will dwell with us
and we will live with Jesus forever.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
joyfully awaiting the new heavens and new earth.


Here are the Scripture passages that I drew from. Spend some time meditating on them and preach to yourself the hope that we have in Jesus!

Revelation 21:25; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 65:19; Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 60:18; Isaiah 60:18; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 65:16; Isaiah 61:7; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 65:18; Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 11:14; Hebrews 13:14; Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 22:3; Isaiah 62:4; Revelation 21:4; Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 21:4-5; I John 3:2; Revelation 22:4; Revelation 21:4; Revelation 21:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1