Trips to Toloha

Follow along with our 2014 Vision Team on their trip to Toloha, Tanzania and read about past trips. This year, the trip is from June 28-August 4, 2014. Our team engineers will be checking in on the renovation of the water system and assisting the project manager and the Toloha Water Board. The whole team will be focused on making relationships with the villagers as we focus on seeking how we can serve them beyond water.

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An Exciting Opportunity

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Ministry, Photography by Josh Spear, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, written by Diane | 0 comments

An Exciting Opportunity

“I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

This is a big weekend for Toloha! A group of 8 leaders from the Toloha Church will be travelling to Arusha to attend a regional training in church leadership, teaching, and discipleship. Andy Scott and Gary Combs of International Cooperating Ministries of Hampton, Virginia will be conducting the training. ICM distributes and trains churches in the use of Dick Woodward’s Mini-Bible College, a free Bible study available in 31 languages. They also aid in the planting, building, and nurturing of churches and have built over 5,000 churches throughout 68 countries. The Toloha Church is one of over 52,000 churches and housechurches around the world using this excellent curriculum that contains teaching through the entire Bible in 4 years as well as teaching on marriage, family, and other topics. The Toloha Church has been using the Mini-Bible College as their primary teaching on Sundays since July when the Kinston Vision Team introduced it to them and provided the necessary study materials. In addition to training in how to use the curriculum, they will also receive training in leadership, discipleship, and church growth strategies.

The most valuable part of the weekend, though, will surely be the intensive time of fellowship and team building amongst these Toloha Church leaders. The team is composed of a diverse group of men, women, younger, and older leaders. They are filled with anticipation and enthusiasm for this opportunity to sharpen their ministry skills so that they might thrive as ambassadors for Christ in their home town of Toloha. We’re pretty pumped about it over on this side of the Atlantic as well!

This small group of people began to meet as a church in Toloha and is growing together in number and closeness to God. They are studying the Mini Bible College Studies every Sunday.

This small group of people pictured with some of our 2014 Vision Team began to meet as a church in Toloha and is growing together in number and closeness to God. They are studying the Mini Bible College Studies every Sunday.

 

Keep Digging – The Pipe Is Coming!

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, photography by Katie Maloney, Praise Report, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, Written by Katie | 1 comment

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As I stood in the village the very last day of the vision trip, I was sorta dreading going back home.  This dread came for a few reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to go home.  I love the village.  I love the simplicity, the people, the joy, the beauty and I even came to love operating on “Africa Time (everything starts a few hours late).”
  2. God is at work, people are being empowered and things are changing in Toloha – I wanted to stick around and see what God was going to do next!
  3. I was worried – how were we going to get the money needed to keep the project going?  The villagers were 16 weeks ahead of schedule on trench digging which left us 16 weeks behind schedule on fundraising.

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As we had our final meeting with the village elders, Engineer Burt Rudolph expressed our awe at how quickly the project was progressing and how impressed we were with the heart and unity the villagers had displayed over the past few weeks.   As he started to wrap up his speech, I leaned over and whispered, “you better tell them we don’t have enough money for the rest of the pipe.”  Engineer Rudolph agreed and then proceeded to share with our friends that we didn’t have the resources available to complete the project.  The villagers were working faster than we were raising money and unless something miraculous happened; the project might have to come to a halt until further funds were raised.

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As we traveled home, my mind was racing; thinking of every fundraiser I had ever seen and wondering which fundraiser would bring the most money the fastest.  By the time the plane landed on US soil, I had a plan…BUT God had a different plan.

This past Thursday night at Grace Fellowship Church in Kinston, NC part of the vision team had the opportunity to share about the recent trip.  After sharing about the predicament we were facing with the villagers digging so quickly, someone asked, “how much do we need to keep it going?”  Our treasurer and engineer did some quick math and came up with ~$25,000.  Within the hour, an anonymous donor had given $12,500!  The goal was set – to raise the full amount by Sunday morning – in just 2 short days!  From there the race was on – as word spread, checks began coming in…and coming in…and coming in…and coming in.  We’ve had pledges come in from our community, various parts of the USA and even some international donations all the way from Germany!

As of this morning, we have received over $27,000 in pledges and donations!  We’ve called the villagers and let them know, “Keep digging – the pipe is coming  – the living God, Jesus Christ, is sending it.”

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God provides through His people, in His time for His glory!  Thank you for your sacrificial giving and your generosity – you are being the aroma of Christ to a village with little knowledge of who Jesus is or His great love for them.

I can’t wait to see what God does next!  Thank you for being a part of this adventure!

A Fundraising Emergency

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Fundraising, Get involved, Photography by Josh Spear, Praise Report, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, Written by Burt | 1 comment

 The Toloha Partnership Engineer, Burt Rudolph (pictured above) shares his heart about the project and poses a challenge to raise the remainder of funds needed to finish the project!

The Toloha Partnership Engineer, Burt Rudolph (pictured above) shares his heart about the project and poses a challenge to raise the remainder of funds needed to finish the project!

I want a moment to share with you from my heart about what God is up to in Toloha Village.  We had a chance to share at the Thursday night service at Grace Fellowship Church, and it was amazing!

After Ashely and I spoke and updated the congregation about our experience in Toloha, God started to move in a very real way.  Ashely and I were still tired from the time change (3 am Tanzania time) and planned on just giving a brief update on Toloha, but God had bigger plans for the evening.

ALL of this pipe is now in the ground!!!

ALL of this pipe is now in the ground!!!

Sammy Hudson, the Director of The Refuge youth ministry in Greene County, presented the sermon and really challenged us to let God provide in ways He chooses for Toloha, not according to our limited plans.

Sammy was prepared to give a four point sermon starting with sharing a need his ministry had for a water line and how God met the need in His way, but when Sammy heard about the need of Toloha he said only the first point of the sermon would be presented and he would share the rest after our emergency financial need was met.

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The villagers are ready for water!

Basically, Toloha Partnership has an emergency financial need because the manual labor of digging the pipe trench is progressing much faster than expected.  Based on test trenching results conducted last year we calculated it would take about 6 weeks to trench and install each 2 kilometer section of pipe.  So the entire 8 kilometer pipeline was anticipated to require 24 weeks of work.

Guess what?  We were wrong.  People of Toloha are so desperate for water that the first 2 kilometers of pipe only took two weeks.  That is one kilometer per week, so the whole main pipeline job will be done in 8 weeks and we are 3 weeks in.  If funding is available, the main pipeline will be complete in 5 weeks from now!   If not, work must stop in a few days.

Everyone is working hard to dig the trenches for the main pipeline to the village, and they are way ahead of schedule!

Everyone is working hard to dig the trenches for the main pipeline to the village, and they are way ahead of schedule!

I remember my last meeting in Toloha with the water board and village elders.  I explained we did not have the resources to buy the pipe right now and asked for prayer to the living God – Jesus (the village is predominantly Muslim).  At that point, I knew there was no way we are going to win the pipe race (America vs. Tanzania) and the project would be halted.  I am embarrassed to say, I did not have the enough faith to even think He could do it.  I thought Toloha would just have to stop digging and wait, but timing is important to God.

Here is the rest of the story.  In the middle of the church service on Thursday night,  I was asked how much more money we need to buy the pipe and finish the main pipeline.  I really did not know since I was not prepared to discuss or ask for funding that evening. From the front of the church with the microphone in my hand, I looked at the Toloha Partnership Treasurer sitting in the sound booth at the back of the sanctuary and we quickly calculated $25,000.  Here is how God works … A person who asked to remain anonymous approached me after the service and said you are now 1/2 way to your goal!

Now, I believe the other 1/2 will be here by Sunday and the amazing people of Toloha can keep on working.  This morning, Friday July 25, 2014, I have faith Sammy will be able to finish the rest of his sermon on Sunday, if people across the world who care about Toloha tell others and give themselves!

Yesterday, I spoke with folks in the village by telephone and they said Rasheed, a young man I got to know personally who can dig trench faster than anyone I saw, had a question for me “Where is the rest of the pipe?”  On Sunday I want to call Rasheed and simple say, “My God is sending it … the pipe is on its way.”

Please email the Toloha Partnership Treasurer, Mike Wiggins info@tolohapartnership.org or donate here with your pledge amount for the emergency need … THANK YOU!

Digging the Trench

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Praise Report, Program Update, Trips to Toloha | 0 comments

The villagers are digging the trench by hand.

The villagers are digging the trench by hand.

The Toloha Vision Team has been in Tanzania for over two weeks and most members will be heading back this week. So much has happened, and we will be sharing lots of photographs and details over the next few weeks right here on the blog and on our Facebook Page. Those of us back here in the States excitedly anticipate their arrival home, but for the Vision Team and villagers it will be a bittersweet departure. Below is a photo taken of the villagers digging the trench. We received this report form Burt, our engineer,

“Project is proceeding quickly!!! About 65 people per day and will finish over a kilometer by next week!”

Katie also called to report a few things. She said that portions of pipe have already been laid into the trench and covered with dirt.
The Toloha Water Board (villagers chosen to manage the water system) is taking initiative and overseeing the trenching and food-for-work program. The corn has arrived in village for the food for work agreement with the villagers. The villagers will receive food for work after a certain length of pipe is finished.
One morning, the team was awakened to the sound of the villagers getting 3 oxen to pull the pipe off the spools down the trenchline. The villagers are so excited to get the pipe in the ground, and even the animals are helping to get it done!

Praise God for all the work that is being done! Continue to pray for the villagers as they finish this task and our team as they travel on Thursday.

 

 

A Great Day!

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Praise Report, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, written by Diane | 0 comments

We just talked on the phone with Burt, Ashely, Josh, and Joseph. They are brimming with joy and excitement about what God has done so far during their first few days in the village! So far, every single day on this trip has been filled with so much adventure and excitement. Here are some highlights of our conversation:

  • As we were speaking at about 5 pm (in the village), they were having a July 4th party along with the villagers!
  • The team also showed the Jesus Film to the villagers on the 4th of July and forty folks came!  The Gospel was clearly shared!
  • The villagers broke ground on the trenches for the pipe Thursday after a very productive and unifying meeting with the water board. They dug 100 meters all day for free (no food for work compensation) to symbolize their commitment to the project and partnership, and they were able to get a lot accomplished.
  • The team climbed to the intake site yesterday. It was a rugged climb, but they made it. Even though there is plenty of water work to be done, great progress has been made. The water committee met yesterday with lots of clapping going on. Every meeting so far has exceeded our expectation. The food for work plan starts Monday. 
  • Burt was very enthusiastic about how the Lord has worked and ordered the process in a miraculous way so far. Keep praying for this to be a smooth and constructive process and for it to build unity and God’s love amongst everyone involved.
  • Josh led a ministry meeting with a group of about 10-12 Christians and some from our team to begin talking about the state of the church there in Toloha and discipleship through Bible study and housechurch. These villagers were very enthusiastic about their first Bible study using the Mini-Bible College audio Bible and lessons with 10 or 12 folks on Monday! Please pray specifically for that meeting that these precious people would continue to grow in Christ and in their knowledge and understanding of His Word to the glory of God.
  • Ashely said that our team members were having some fun soccer games out in the field with the local children. She said all on the team are healthy and in good spirits.
  • The village elders gave the team a gift of chickens and eggs, which was such a generous gift and was amazed our team.
  • Ashely, Brooke and Katie have also been able to spend a lot of time with the women of the village learning about their daily routine.

Every team member plays a vital role. God has knitted it all together. God is good and answers prayers! Thanks be to God! KEEP PRAYING FOR ALL!

Arrival in the village

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Praise Report, Trips to Toloha, Written by Ashely | 0 comments

The Toloha 2014 Vision team has been in Toloha for 2 nights, and there has not been a dull moment.  We are praising God for all that has already happened.

God, through Burt, Leyton, and Daniel, led an awesome water meeting under the village tree, and then the digging of the trench began TODAY! A unity among the team and the villagers and the water board is being achieved – answer to prayer!

Photo from 2013 Trip

Photo from 2013 Trip

Eight villagers came to a ministry meeting to learn about starting a Bible study, and they are very excited! There were 2 young women, 2 young men, 2 older women and 2 older men  at the meeting. How God is supplying the needs – including the ministry of the villagers is amazing!

There have been several other highlights for the trip.  The team was invited to Massai ceremony.  They walked to water source with village!  The village is SO grateful they are there.

Keep praying AND PRAISING!

Photo from 2013 Trip

Photo from 2013 Trip

Pray for the Team!

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Get involved, Photography by Lindsay Corrigan, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, written by Diane | 0 comments

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” Isaiah 52:7

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2014 Toloha Vision Team Members: Left to Right – Daniel, Joshua, Burt, Jonathan, Scott, Ashely, Katie, Brooke, Parker, Joseph & Perry

We have been sharing specific prayer requests for our Vision Team while they have been traveling and are in Tanzania. We ask anyone who would like to pray with us for our team! Here is the first list of requests: Prayer Guide for the Vision Team. Please continuing praying!

Please pray for the team that:

  1. God would be glorified by EVERY aspect of the trip. Trip dates: 6/28-7/21, Daniel & Joshua stay through 8/4.
  2. Each one on the team, as well as the Tanzanians with whom they work and share, would have a personal and powerful encounter with God.
  3. The unconditional love of God would radiate in and through each team member.
  4. All on the trip would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  5. God would give the team strength and good health throughout the trip.
  6. God would protect and provide for family members back home.
  7. Team members would make quick adjustments to time and culture changes.
  8. God would put a hedge of protection around the entire trip.
  9. Divine appointments from beginning to end.

(Read a little about the 2014 trip here, and here, and the 2013 trip here, here, here, and here).

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Arrival in Tanzania!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Praise Report, Trips to Toloha, Written by Ashely | 0 comments

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We landed after a smooth trip – 27 hours so far. Little sleep but BIG smiles! Leyton met us at airport with 4 vehicles and a few familiar faces from last year. We loaded ALL bags (no missing bags!) and split up to head to the hotel about a 30 minute drive from the airport in Kilimanjaro. It is pretty quiet out because it is 3 or so in the morning here!  We are tired from two LONG (but smooth) flights. Seating on flights was perfect. Actually our whole group truly is “perfectly” designed by God. Tonight, we are in a very adequate hotel. We will shop tomorrow for supplies (AND BIBLES!) and stay one more night in Moshi before heading to Toloha on Wednesday.

Thanks for prayers. No doubt, God is doing this. Thank you for letting us be here and for praying continually for His will each day. We praise Him. O sifuni mungu!

Prayer Guide for the Vision Team

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Clean Water, Get involved, Photography by Lindsay Corrigan, Program Update, Trips to Toloha, written by Diane, written by Lindsay | 0 comments

Today at noon, the Vision Team left Kinston and began the journey to Toloha, Tanzania. It is amazing to think that within days our team will get to see with their own eyes the new pipe in Toloha. This trip will be so much different than the last one now that the hope of clean water is becoming a reality to the villagers (Read a little about the 2014 trip here, and the 2013 trip here, here, here, and here). We are so excited to share with you first hand about what’s happening in Toloha for the next month. In the meantime, we have a request.

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Last Sunday, our Vision Team was commissioned by Grace Fellowship Church. We would like to ask for anyone who would like to join them in prayer to pray for these specific things. We will be posting specific requests over the next few days. First, we have some requests regarding the water project.

Please pray for the water project:

  1. God would guide Burt, Perry, and their team as they assess and construct the spring-fed pipeline and as they assess other infrastructure needs of the village.
  2. Villagers would feel a sense of their worth to God and to us as they partner with us in the construction of the pipeline.
  3. Dealings with the government officials and village leadership would be free from dissension and controversy and that the water project would help to create goodwill and unity among all parties for God’s glory.
  4. The repair of the intake area would proceed smoothly and efficiently.
  5. God would provide clean and healthy water to the village soon but within His perfect timing.

 Thank you so much for your prayers! If you would like to receive special prayer requests and updates during the trip, please fill out the form below.

“For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” II Cor 6:2

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We’re going back!

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in 2014 Trip to Toloha, Clean Water, Photography by Josh Spear, Praise Report, Trips to Toloha, Written by Katie | 0 comments

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we sent the first team to Toloha Village. All we knew at that point was the villagers needed water and we wanted to help!

Go to the village

God has done A LOT in just a year. We now have definite plans to pipe water in from a mountain stream with a budget of ~$170,000. We held a fundraising banquet and auction in November raising $35,000. In March we held our 2nd annual Water Walk and had over 150 participants from across the community raising $28,000! We’ve seen many individuals both young and old be moved by the story of Toloha. People across this community have caught the vision for Toloha and are passionately praying, working and fundraising for the people in the village.

With a year like that behind us, we cannot wait to see what God has in store this year as our second team boards a plane in less than a week to begin the journey to Toloha.

As most of you already know, Toloha Partnership is, in part, a water project.  And yes, we are bringing them clean water and most of our fundraising efforts (Water Walk and Banquet) are going toward a water pipeline.  But, the real heartbeat of Toloha Partnership goes deeper than water – our heart’s desire is not just to bring the people physical water but to tell them about Jesus.  This year as the team goes to Toloha they are still working to bring the villagers clean water BUT they are really focused on the people – on building relationships, listening to their stories, telling them about Jesus and casting vision for the future development of the village.  Our partnership with the village of Toloha is a long term partnership, not just a water project we do for a few years and then move on.

Our 2014 Vision Team will leave on the journey to Toloha this Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our 2014 Vision Team will leave on the journey to Toloha this Saturday, June 28, 2014

Over the past 2 months the vision/travel team has been meeting at least every other week to cast vision, pray, study, plan and fellowship.  This has been so valuable – the team has been walking through a video series of what poverty is through a Christian worldview and how to address it in a way that empowers the people and gives a hand up rather than a hand out.

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On Saturday, friends, family and board members gathered for a feast of some African cuisine that we might be eating during our stay in Toloha, and then they covered us in prayer for our time there and for the people of Toloha.

On Saturday, friends, family and board members gathered for a feast of some African cuisine that we might be eating during our stay in Toloha, and then they covered us in prayer for our time there and for the people of Toloha.

With all of our current budget directed toward the water pipeline, each team member has raised their own financial support and thanks to the creativity of many, a ministry budget has also been raised. A separate team has been working diligently to figure out just how we can effectively share the truth of the Gospel with a people of a different language and culture.

Thanks to the ministry budget, the team now has access to many resources in Swahili that will help them to proclaim the Gospel!  We have solar powered MP3 players with the Bible and expository teaching in Swahili, we have Swahili tracts, we have the Jesus Film in Swahili and we have access to Bibles in Swahili.

Going to Toloha is pretty uncharted territory but God has been so faithful to confirm and to lead us to this point and we have no doubt that he will continue to do so.  We do not know what every minute or hour will hold as we go to Toloha, but we certainly know who holds each of those minutes and hours.  We are thrilled, and a little nervous, for what is ahead.  We would truly appreciate your prayers as we go. We will be posting a prayer list right here within the next few days. You can also fill out the form below to receive updates about the trip while we are there.

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