Posts made in July, 2014

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

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: 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).” 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! 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.   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. 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.” 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...

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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

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. 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. 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. 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...

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ETL 2014

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Clean Water | 0 comments

While our Toloha Vision Team was preparing to leave for Toloha, Erasing the Lines was happening in Kinston. Erasing the Lines or ETL is an amazing annual event for middle school and high school students. The students participate in community projects, Vacation Bible School, worship services, missions activities, Bible Study and more in Kinston and around Lenoir County. Around 190 students participated in ETL this year, and Toloha Partnership was privileged to share with them about Toloha for the second time. Last year, we held our very first water walk with the ETL students (Click to see a post here and here and watch a video here). This year, we gave the students a little glimpse of what it might be like to live in Toloha. The students were given different roles as villagers, put into families, given a certain amount of money and assigned an occupation. They learned how the villagers gather water, wash their clothes, sell things in the market and care for their families. They were also given an opportunity to write letters in Swahili to the villagers, sing songs in Swahili, write in prayer journals and pray for specific people and projects in Toloha. It was pretty amazing! Check out some photos from the day!   We would love to do a similar activity with local youth groups, schools, VBS or college groups. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us or email us at

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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 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.  ...

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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...

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