I’m not talking about tea or coffee; although Tanzania produces some of the best of both.
Thursday evening we were invited to a 70th Birthday party for a missionary here in Mwanza who is with the AIC (Africa Inland Church) and working with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Naomi is full of life and energy and has a great love for the work she does and for the people of Africa. She was born in Africa; her parents were missionaries here in Tanzania among the Wasukuma people and Naomi, who never married, has been married to missionary life all of her adult years.
She planned her own 70th birthday party and there was about 35-40 people; a fairly even mixture of white people (mostly Americans) and Africans (mostly from the Wasukuma people). She was brave enough to try a “potluck” style meal; this is well-known to Americans but a new concept for the Africans.
It was a great evening; we watched old movies of her family and work through the years and sang her favorite hymns. We ate together and there was plenty of food; a delicious mixture of African, American, Danish and Canadian food.
We celebrated with her and the Africans who were there called her “one of God’s gifts to Africa”; what a wonderful thing to have said about a person who has given their life to missionary work.
We sang the hymns three times each; once in English, once in Kiswahili (national language) and once in Kisukuma (the language of the Wasukuma people-Naomi is helping to translate Christian literature into Kisukuma for their use).
One of the choruses we sang:
Yesu, Yesu, hunsanyaga
Hunsayaga gwa, gwa, gwa
Yesu, Yesu, u wa mpango
Nansanye kutinda no (KISUKUMA)
Yesu, Yesu namwamini,
Yesu, Yesu, Yu thamani
Ahadi zake kweli. (KISWAHILI)
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him! How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh for grace to trust him more. (ENGLISH)
Song: Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus