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The Butcher Shop

June 25, 2013

By act

It is pretty funny to me that I’m writing to you about a Butcher Shop. I’m mostly vegetarian and have been for almost 20 years. But I want to tell you about a Butcher Shop that brings me hope.

When I was planning my trip to Tanzania I asked Geoffrey if there were some youth that I could meet with. He arranged for me to meet a youth group that meets in the Diocese of Masasi.

We drove over there late in the afternoon on Saturday. They were all waiting when we arrived.

We sat down together with a bit of the awkwardness of a first date. It became clear that we were all eager to know more about each other. I asked if they would each introduce themselves with some details about themselves. I wanted to know more about them, what they did, what struggles they had”¦

But first they wanted to know more about me.

Right, this is how we build relationships! Clearly I need a lesson in first-date-101!

They asked me a number of questions. Am I married, do I have children, how old I am, did I go to school, what did I study, what do I do for work”¦ etc. We laughed and joked”¦ and I think there were some proposals for marriage (they might have been rescinded when they realized my age!).

Then they introduced themselves to me. I learned their names, their ages, if they had children, if they were married (these facts are very important in Tanzanian culture”¦ I was asked many many times about this!). I also got to hear about their struggles. Especially the struggle to find work that pays their expenses. I heard about the youth group and what activities they did. They meet regularly for bible study and fellowship. They participate in outreach in their community. And they are building a Butcher Shop.

Up until this fact, I was thinking”¦ This isn’t so different from youth groups in Canada”¦ But a Butcher Shop?

They told me that they wanted to generate some income as a group, so they came up with the idea of building a Butcher Shop on the church grounds. It is almost done. They are working on it as they have the money to put into it. Right now it needs a few more tiles and to hook up electricity. When they can get these things done they can open for business. They are hopeful that this small business will be able to generate income for the youth group.

This vegetarian is very excited for the opening of this Butcher Shop!

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