Please look around and continue visiting my blog so that I can keep you up to date about everything having to do with my serving in Tanzania ! Feel free to email me with questions and please keep me in your prayers!
Matthew Sroka

Saturday, May 14, 2011

And the countdown begins....

Long lost friends and family,
With much happiness but also sadness, I write to you again from Mafinga, Tanzania, for most likely the last time. It is impossible to believe it is halfway through May! The days fly by and quickly turn into weeks and months. Before I know it, I will be in the arms of my family and probably crying with joy to see my sisters!
Bukimau Secondary has progressed rapidly this spring. Walls, windows,and roofing are up now on our new laboratory. The boys toilets are finished, and the girls have walls and windows. Two new teacher houses have been completed, including the one we just moved into. We only had to live one week without glass windows and a toilet! Pretty good considering we have been waiting to move there for 7 months! Mkrugenzi, Mr. Godfrey, the director of VST came to visit last week. He was enthused to see the progress at Bukimau and was about 90% sure we could be registered this spring along with six other VST schools.
May here in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania has brought the end of rainy season and the return of gorgeous weather. Hali ya hewa ni nzuri sana siku zote! It means the weather is perfect every day! Each morning calls for leggings and sweaters, by afternoon the sun isperfectly warm, and by evening, the sweatshirts come out. Along with spring came four baby goats that are just hilarious to watch, a litter of pigs next door, and scores of baby chicks that we have to save from hawks in the evenings.
During April and May, I have ben studying Galatians with the help of William Barclay and his daily bible study series. I've been blessed to study Paul and his words to the church of Galatia. An amazing thing struck me how Paul clearly could say he was "entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews." (Galatians 2:7) It grips my heart to know that like Paul and Peter, we are all "entrusted" with a sphere of influence.Mine this past year has been Tanzanian high school students and villagers. My sister Bethany's has been Chinese college students. Yours has been wherever you live and work! We are all given the call to preach the gospel to a certain group, whether it is in Tanzania, China, or Arnold, Maryland. It is a comfort to know that all over theworld, God has called different people to their own unique sphere of influence. Since coming to Tanzania I've been reading daily from a collection of wisdom from Mother Teresa called "The Joy in Loving." (Which I highly reccomend to give your life some perspective) April 30th had this to say:
"It is so beautiful that we complete each other! What we are doing inthe slums, maybe you cannot do. What you are doing at the level whereyou are called--in your family life, in your college life, in your work--we cannot do. But together you and we are doing something beautiful for God."
Maybe what I am doing here in Tanzania you cannot do, but what you are doing in your neighborhoods, families, and work places, I cannot do. We complete each other! We are counting the days until our return to you, but we will partwith great sadness also. Pray for our finishing strong, for the rightwords to be spoken, and time spend with the right students.
*Finishing strong
*Travel at the end of June back to the States
*Continued health
*Parting words and gifts given to the right students
*Transitioning back in to life at home
*Work opportunities at home (I have an offer to return to BWMC, ifthose details can be worked out, and for a teaching position for Mattto open up)
Much love and blessings this Spring!
Emily and Matt Sroka