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Phil and Jannetta Vandenberg's Blog

A belated Happy New Year to everyone.  Oops, I am a month late.  Have you ever let something important slip away only to find out a month later that the bill was due, or a deadline was missed, or that library book was not returned? There is usually a price to be paid.  Farmers in North America know very well the importance of on-time planting and the subsequent reduction in yield due to...

The medicine man told Stephan if you plant mango trees you will die! He warned, “Do not plant mango trees in this village.” Yet as Stephan walked around the countryside in northern Tanzania he noticed that other people were planting mango trees. He was surprised to learn that others were not dying and that their families appeared to be healthier than the families that lived in Stephan’s village.

The medicine man in Stephan’s village held incredible power over the people...

The 5 month dry season was broken this morning with the pitter patter of rain on our metal roof.  This sound is exciting for all the farming communities in our region and especially those communities where World Renew has been teaching Conservation Agriculture.  The farmers who were trained have received seeds and now will start to plant green manure cover crops along with the staple crops of corn and cassava.  The rains are also exciting for Phil as...

Yesterday, on the way home from visiting a community that will participate in World Renews agriculture programming, we were again reminded of God’s promises, His faithfulness and His provision as we witnessed the warm rains falling on newly planted seeds and a rainbow reminding us of God’s promises and His love for all people throughout the world.

Jannetta and I recently attended a week-long Conservation Agriculture conference in Harare, Zimbabwe hosted by the Canadian Food Grains Bank. The theme of the...

Christmas does not have the same pressures in Tanzania as it does in North America. Our work with AICT and World Renews partners slows down as many of the people we connect with are preparing to travel to their home villages to visit with family during the holidays. Business slows down and the children have a long Christmas break from school. During December, we found ourselves juggling our work schedules to take the opportunity to support other missionaries...

One of the highlights of our week is the Sunday house church fellowship group we attend with other expatriate families. This gathering provides the opportunity to enjoy a potluck lunch together followed by singing and prayer. The children then go to another room and take part in a Sunday school program led by one of the parents while the adults continue with a Bible Study. This past Sunday, our next door neighbours hosted the fellowship.

When our next door neighbours first...

A heavy rain beats down on the metal roof as I write.  The Mwanza area has not received any significant rainfall since May. It has been our prayer that the short rainy season would start…well…did it ever this past Monday with a morning blast that delivered 3 inches of rain!!  The thrill of the rain was soon offset by the consequences… heavy erosion of dirt roads and gardens, washed out roads/bridges, the collapse of homes made from mud bricks

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   Habari za siku nyingi (How are matters after many days). This Swahili greeting was often used by our friends and colleagues as they welcomed us back to Tanzania for a third term. It has been a month since our flight landed in Dar es Salaam. It is with joy that we continue our volunteer positions with World Renew.

   Our first responsibilities were to assist in hosting the Co-directors of World Renew – Carol BremerBennett and her husband Theo from...

It is with thankfulness that we can report the arrival of the long awaited donation of 12 boxes of medicines and medical supplies. The shipment was scheduled to arrive prior to Christmas. The combination of human interventions which likely included inspectors, the payment of import duties, transportation inland from Dar Es Salaam and all those along the way who felt they needed to benefit...delayed the arrival of the much needed medicines. We are hearing that most rural hospitals still do...

Jannetta and I are excited to be back in Mwanza, Tanzania.

As we stand at the beginning of our second term of volunteering, it feels like we are home again. We might be considered “snow birds” to some of you….spending our summers in Ontario and the 3 other seasons in Africa. It is good to know that we are feeling at home in both cultures now. Our Mwanza house has been cleaned of the layers of...

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