Our first week on the field has been full of all kinds of experiences and activities. I will try to catch you up. Thursday we had the chance to take the team to “the mountain”. We needed to pick up tools and other construction supplies and kitchen equipment from the Teen Missions container located where the Boot Camp is run up in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our experience began shortly after devotions with a brisk walk to catch a bus to Moshi. We started our walk up the hill at the Teen Missions base where our project is located. Walking down to the river was not far, but then we had to be careful when crossing the river where there is no bridge. Stepping over the stones one at a time over the shallow water we had to be careful where we placed our feet so we didn’t slip off and get wet. Walking up the other side we continued further and further along the dirt trails until we reached the pavement. We kept walking nearly three miles or so until finally a bus came by and we were able to comfortably ride into Moshi, the fourty minute ride costing only $0.60 per person. We were dropped off near the center of town and we first went to exchange everyone’s dollars for shillings. Then we stopped by the Post Office to mail the letters home written by each team member. Then we were able to pick up the Teen Missions truck and after stopping for lunch of chicken and chips we were on our way up the mountain. We made our way up the winding roads waving as people shouted Mzungu “white people” as we drove past. Climbing higher and higher, the pavement ends and we can look down over the valley to the lake below. At the end of the road was a secondary school that was mostly all built by Tanzanian Boot Camp kids over the years. We had the opportunity to sing a few songs, they were impressed that our team knew some in Swahili, and the team enjoyed spending time chatting with the students. We got our supplies from the container and were on our way back down the mountain and back to the base.
Friday we began work around the property, including clearing the weeds that had grown up around the existing unfinished building, gathering rocks to fill in the areas where the floor will be poured and unloading 100 bags of cement. Yes, even Aidyn tried to lift a bag by himself and ended up in the dirt. The afternoon was our first chance to go down to the river to bathe and do laundry which was a highlight for many of us.
Saturday our bricks arrived and after unloading them the team continued hauling rocks, carrying bricks to the building picking up a load of timber and finishing the walls for the squatty. Daniel, Josiah, David and Clay worked on building a mighty fine sand sifter that they can be proud of, they did a great job. Saturday night we had a time for games, though it was pretty dark they enjoyed Capture the Flag. Peter picked up some sugar cane for everyone to try. David led the evening group devotions and we are going in count-off order now each night.
Sunday we visited a Masai church. The team was invited to share a few songs, so they sang the ones they knew in Swahili. The rest of the service was in the Masai language, though our friend Elly translated. At the end an offering was taken and the items auctioned off and the church gave us a bag of potatoes, eggs, avocados and some goat’s milk. In the afternoon we caught up on memory verse review and held our first quiz sitting on buckets on top of the hill overlooking Mt. Kilimanjaro. We have been very lucky, most of the days here it is mostly cloudy, but by late afternoon the clouds roll away and we get a view of the mountain. It is just beautiful. We have lots of pictures. Josiah loves taking pictures of all the different varieties of birds. Naomi has been journaling everything. She did a great job making Red Lobster biscuits while on KP.
Monday was the first day of tackling the project head on, with all the prep work done and supplies gathered now. The team hauled water up from the river, mixed mortar, sifted sand and got a system going of taking bricks to the bricklayers and keeping up with the demand for mortar. They began working on the inner walls mapping out the ten rooms with the hallway all the way down the middle. By meal time they were hungry. This was the first day we saw progress on the building and it made everyone feel good about how hard they worked.
The team is doing really good. They are healthy and hard working. They really have been learning so much from their personal devotions and participating so much in GG. We have enjoyed everyone on the team so much. They are really a good group. I will finish by sharing a few of their testimonies.
In my devo times the Lord has been showing me a lot of things I have been lacking in my daily walk with Him. One of those is my physical walk or testimony, how do these people see Christ through me? Being in Africa and being among these people makes me realize how important my testimony is. And everyday I thank the Lord that He has led me here!
God has been teaching me that there are some distractions and things in my life that need to be removed. I will work on these things…music, video games and back-talking my parents. I need to learn to respect my parents, honor them and help them.
I love it here! Africa is such a beautiful place! Since I have been here, God has been showing me that it is not about me. I have been humbled just by seeing how people here live. Also, in working as a team I have realized that I can’t work as an individual, but as part of the team.
Hey, it is interesting to see how much more materialistic North Americans are like when we went through American airports there were so many shops for everything like food, clothing, souvenirs and everything else. And then we went through African airports and there was like nothing. I really like it here. It is beautiful and the weather is nice. Love you Mom and Dad
I honestly like it here because I am away from all the negative influences of the world (I Timothy 2:15) But what I don’t like is the fact that I’m always tripping over rocks. Anyway, I feel that God has shown me that I should appreciate what I have and that we as Christians have a duty to be in missions. I have also seen that it is not through my power that I can do things, but through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and that I really need to spend more time with Godly people. I am enjoying the scenery, food, work that I am doing for Christ and the peacefulness. That’s what’s up bro.
So far since I’ve been in Tanzania God has shown me more than one thing, and built on things that He had already instilled. The biggest things would definitely have to be trusting in Him, not being afraid all the time. I was scared out of my mind since even before leaving home. I was scared to be away from my parents, my family and friends. I guess I just didn’t want to leave the people I depended on. Then, while at Boot Camp I really wasn’t myself, I tried to be, but I couldn’t, I was longing for home in every part of my being. But since then I have learned a lot of things, like trust. Just hold on to God and let Him have the reigns of my life.
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