Stories - Tanzania 2017 - Saturday and Sunday, Week 1

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Tanzania 2017 - Saturday and Sunday, Week 1

Teachers To Tanzania 2017 | Jul 01, 2017

This weekend was filled with widows, sponsored children, visits, worship… and stunningly beautiful views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru at every turn! The sky was clear and we were graced with perfect views of both mountains. Each night our hearts and minds have been full to overflowing.
Saturday morning PUNCHWMI hosted a widows’ tea… the room was filled to capacity as 75 “special ladies” attended. Mama Kathy, MaryKatherine, and Witness (PUNCHWMI’s wonderful social worker) led a devotion on loneliness and the slightly modified sexual education and abstinence seminar. The women were engaged and appreciative. Widows in Karansi face many challenges… some of which they cannot overcome. Some of them may be able to see themselves in new ways, but all of them love and influence their children and grandchildren. Some on the team had the privilege to pray with and over these sweet special ladies… it was holy ground.

 

Sunday morning, we were able to join together as believers – members together as the Body of Christ - in worship to our God at Pastor Waraieli’s church in the village (just down the street from the school). The Bible says to worship the Lord with shouts of praise, dance, music, prayer, stillness and so much more. Man, could we learn a few things about how to worship from these people. Their joy in the Lord is evident in every aspect of their worship… it was a blessing to all… for three hours!

 

Afternoons were visits with widows and sponsored children. Their situations were so varied, but each was precious and tender in its own way. One visit was with a bright-faced, happy woman who has been widowed for 25 years, and raised 7 children in a dirt-floored room no bigger than most of our dining room tables; she is now is raising 5 of her 8 grandchildren in that home. One Bibi (grandmother) has raised a girl and her brother who were abandoned as young children, and have been sponsored all the way through the school. The now 17-year old sponsored girl had cooked a chicken for us and the Bibi insisted, “after all these years, you have never eaten with me in this house.” (For reference, Christmas dinner is meat and coke…) To see the pride and joy on her face as her granddaughter’s sponsor ate with her in her home was humbling… and to see the depth of gratitude from the heart of this precious grandmother reminded us of the widow’s mite. She was so grateful to be able to say thank you… and the gift was all the more precious for the cost to the giver. We celebrated with two sponsored children on their great school report cards. There were cheers and celebration as each mid-term grade was read aloud. Another sponsored child (age 7) and his two siblings have been recently abandoned when their mother who ran away, and their father’s wife refused to keep them. They are now being raised by their grandmother. One sponsor celebrated the success of her sponsored child, and wept after holding his very ill 9-month old baby sister. It is always a privilege to visit in the homes of these precious ones…

 

We also enjoyed visits to Teacher Moses’ current house and Godfrey’s new one (they’ll be neighbors until Moses’ new house is finished.) As all 8 of our team, Moses, his wife, and 4 children, Witness and Baraka (the project manager) sat knee-to-knee in his front room talking, laughing, drinking chai and snacking on peanuts, he said, “This is a picture of heaven!” We all agreed. Godfrey’s new house is beautiful. He told us that when he had no home as a young man, he imagined this home in his mind. He designed it and has overseen construction… over many years, bit by bit. It is almost a reality, and he can hardly believe it. He shared his heart that this home be a place for Bible Study, fellowship, prayer and respite; he has even built a specially dedicated prayer room. He also told us his story… how God brought him to this village and this project, and of his infant daughter’s passing last summer. He has faith beyond what we can imagine; every part of his story rings with God’s faithfulness… always.

 

 

Tomorrow morning the children arrive bright and early for the beginning of the 2nd term. Please join us in praying for:

·         Good recall of all that the teachers learned last week and enthusiasm as they teach

·         Receptive hearts and minds in the children

·         Solid foundations for learning and understanding for the children

We are privileged and awed to be here… and we are learning so much more from them than they could ever learn from us. Feeling very humbled… and very blessed!
Mungu aku bariki!

 


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