STAFF: Challenges with which to deal: Three board members, Sebastian, Frank, and Caroline, have revealed their true motives of only wanting to use the orphans for their personal financial benefit and/or power. It is extremely difficult to get dedicated board members who want to serve the Lord by serving the orphans. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV). “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NASB). Please pray for dedicated Tanzanians who are fully available to God and to serving the orphans via the Board of Directors position, teaching, and nursing. Currently, we have one dedicated nurse and one dedicated kindergarten teacher.
DOCUMENTS: Justice is slowly advancing. Court officials in Arusha went to Monduli to see the houses of Inocent. The houses will be sold to gain back the embezzled money. This man, previously on the board of directors, embezzled contributions from Germany which were fully allocated for the orphan ministry. In addition, immigration officials went to Monduli to see the educational center and the ministry that is being accomplished. Though Peter Hoetter finally got his passport renewed for Tanzania, he now needs to get his residence permit renewed; however, the officials liked what they saw and promised him a new residence permit. The local immigration officials do not know how much he will need to pay. The previous cost was $120; it could now reach $1,000. This second difficult task requires local government assistance since the application is sent to the federal government located in Daressalaam. Peter is appealing with the officials that the amount be similar to the previous application fee. You may wonder, “Why is there such a great increase in the cost for a residence permit?” Much time and money is involved because there are so many illegal people living here in Tanzania without permits. Recently, the government arrested many Ugandans and Kenyans who were living illegally in Tanzania. Government officials are attempting to follow every white person to his/her dwelling, asking many questions, and demanding official documents. Since many criminals have illegally entered Tanzania, everything is getting progressively more difficult for all foreigners.
GEM EDUCATION FOR ORPHANS CENTER: Our center has one classroom for our kindergarteners and one classroom for our computer school. Currently, we have our 21-year-old German volunteer, Luisa, teaching computer to our orphans who attend secondary school. She comes from Peter’s native home town in Bavaria. She is also doing some field work for her studies in the university. Our orphans range from age 4 to age 20. Most of them live with their grandparents or with their single mothers. Due to the lack of finances to hire national and/or international teachers, our orphans attend the local public schools. The definition of orphan in third world countries is: anyone who is completely alone, lives with a mother, aunt, adult sister, grandmother (most common situation), or relative—the men have either abandoned their families and/or died of AIDS. Since there is not enough money earned by the caregivers, these children have almost no hope. Tuition, books, and a uniform to attend a public school; medical care; and spiritual attention for these children, comes from the financial intervention of international supporters.
Besides the classroom, there is a small office, a guest room for Luisa, a room for Ancilla, our nurse, and a room for Grace, our kindergarten teacher, a small kitchen, one bathroom, and toilets for the facility. A night watchman has been hired recently to guard our workers and the education facility. There are those, such as Inocent, in Monduli who hate the work that is being done for the orphans; thus, it is not safe for the three women to be alone in the facility. Our night watchman is also a bodyguard for Ancilla since she goes out a lot to minister to the orphans’ health issues and to take them to the local hospital as needed. Peter’s on-going health issues force him to live in Arusha—a one hour drive from Monduli.
“Life can be tough, but sometimes you can discover great opportunities in the midst of all the dark”
(Peter Hoetter, April 14, 2013).
VIJAYAWADA: Steady progress is being made on the first floor of our future four stories Vijayawada Ministry Center. We have two functional wells on the property, access roads, and electricity. Our location is in the middle of the eastern expansion of this multi-million populated city. The city railroad station is only ten minutes from our Center. Lalitha and Joseph Murala are in the process of finalizing a donation deed of this property and unfinished structure to GEM. It is a magnificent, God-motivated gift from the Founder and his family!!! They sold their remaining property to expand GEM in India. We are hoping to have the first floor completely enclosed and livable sometime this May. One of Joseph’s daughters, Glory, and her husband, John, will be the caretakers of the property. First floor will have two separate living quarters for GEM staff. Second floor will be where our eighth GEM church will conduct services. Third floor will be used for ministering to the homeless street people, widows, the handicapped, and performing self-supporting projects for many of these desperate ones. Fourth floor will house homeless orphans and widows of the city.
GEM SCHOOL: We will open our instruction-in-English school on the GEM INDIA Campus on June 1, 2013. We will start with pre-school and grades one to six. We hope to hire five Christian teachers. The GEM staff will most likely teach the pre-school and first grade students. We will teach our orphans and other outside community members who choose to attend GEM School. We hope to have 15 – 25 students in each class. There will be a minimal tuition fee for the community students to help partially pay for our teachers’ salaries. There is much to purchase and to do before the school opens.
GEM INDIA BANK ACCOUNT: We have again been denied an official government number to open our much needed bank account. Since the conception of this ministry, the USA treasurer must send money each month via Western Union. Joseph must accompany various people to retrieve the money in India. It is a big hassle for everyone. This denial of a government number cripples our ability to send larger sums of money on a quarterly schedule. The government has told us to again apply for the government number in about six months.
MILK: Our Holstein cow is producing more milk. A type of tall-growing grass was planted on part of the GEM property. We do not need to buy any poor quality rice straw as long as we grow our grass. The grass is watered each night by staff members. It is harvested and then fed to the cow and its calf. Since we are able to produce excess grass, we want to buy a water buffalo in the near future. With two milking animals, the staff will be able to mix the milk. This mixed milk is a much desired product. Any excess milk can easily be sold in the community. This money can be used for unexpected expenses that regularly occur.
LALITHA: Lalitha, wife of Joseph Murala, is making a greater effort to lower her blood sugar. Since she is diabetic, she has become virtually blind. The blindness can be cured with an operation. We are praying that this surgery can be performed in the near future.
We praise God for our team effort with each of you who faithfully prays and/or financially supports this God-centered ministry.
On behalf of GEM USA Board of Directors,