Patrick: I feel that we are doing a great job as a team and we are working hard. I think it is awesome what we’ve accomplished on the building so far and what we did today is best. I think one thing we need to do is persevere in our work even though we are all tired. I believe one of the reasons our team is so awesome is that we all have God working through us so once we all work together we can do anything. I can’t wait to see what God will do through us while we backpack.
Mo: After a couple of days working, the team is starting to get the hang of bricklaying/mortar mixing/water runs. Spirits are still pretty high meaning no one is on the end of their rope which is a good sign. The walls of the BMW building are going up slowly but steadily. So far we’ve laid one shipment of bricks. Mortar is constantly being made and delivered by yours truly and several others. Christine and Lorraine are doing a fantastic job of making sure us kids don’t starve. In fact some of us may be far from it at the end of this trip! Petah is doing great by not only challenging us to have more God whispers than chicken talk (useless chatter while we work). Travis is keeping us all on our spiritual toes with constant E we V quizzes and scenarios to work through with the EV skills we have learned.
Audrey: Today we started another strong work day. Right after the morning routine of getting water/breakfast/devotions we did some bucket runs (taking buckets down to the river to bring back full of water for mixing mortar) and started toward our goal of laying more than four levels today. The progress we have made so far amazes me, we are six levels up so far and have several walls going, the Lord is doing His work through us for sure. The team by this point has a good feel for the flow of things and for the idea of how things should work so progress will only go faster from here. I also feel the team has really gotten to know each other and strong friendships have been made and there is a good level of trust and encouragement that moves through the team and keeps us working. I can see Christ working through several team members. Christ is also in our leaders. It is incredible to hear and see God in our leaders’ words and actions. They all have such a heart for the Lord and they are so committed to His Word. Through this trip God has been teaching me to get rid of the extra fillers in our life and to fill the void by giving my time to Him. He has also taught me that I can do all things through Him, even when it seems that the work is hard, Christ is doing the work through me and giving me strength.
Nabeal” Our time in Africa so far has shown me many things. First of all, Boot Camp is completely worth waiting through. Secondly, the only good quality in a car here is a good horn. I also enjoy ample amount of time for personal devos.
Sierra: Since I’ve been in Africa I’ve realized the difference of priorities in America and Africa. Carrying water and going through the filtering process shows how much a blessing CLEAN running water is. God has been showing me how big He is. Seeing Mt. Kilimanjaro and just knowing that God is even bigger than the tallest mountain is so insane! Kilimanjaro is pretty big! I love being here and can’t wait for more experiences in Africa.
Clay: I love being on this team and serving God in this beautiful place. The work is demanding at times, but well worth the heavenly reward. We are doing God’s mission and He will not forget us. For those of us missing the comforts of home (myself included) just remember that whoever loves his father, mother, brother or sister more than Him is not worthy of Him.
David: We’ve been learning so much here and everything is exciting to see. Jaro is one of the craziest things I have ever seen, it’s massive! This trip has opened my eyes to the difference we have as North Americans. Church was a lot of fun. Mainly so far we have been working on the BMW building and it’s going up fast. We’ve been working very hard. Hopefully we can soon get to backpacking. I can’t wait to see Jaro up close. It’s going to be amazing. Our team works well together and this summer would be so much harder without everyone here.
Christa: Sometimes it feels that no time is passing, that we keep waking up to the same day. It is almost shocking to look at the date and realize how much time has passed. So many fun moments. The pain and stress is worth it when I think about what I’ve learned. It is so important to be quiet on the inside. So things are really happening here. We are learning to be careful how we speak and act, and to encourage one another. Our building project is going great. In a few days we take off for backpacking. Can’t wait, it will be interesting. God is good.
Naomi: I would like to say that I am so blessed to have each and every person on this team. We have become so close and have worked so well together as a team! Today we had the chance to have, yet again, another amazing meal which included French toast and oranges! Then we went straight to work, we worked so hard this morning it was crazy! By the time lunch rolled around we had two levels on every wall! Right now Petah is working the team mixing mortar and laying bricks and Travis is helping with the water runs. God is so amazing! He is the one who gave us this team, this location and all the amazing people on this team!
Abby: I have been reading in Isaiah Chapter 10 and God has been showing me that I need to give Him the glory in everything. He is showing me that I am His tool, which I am so glad to be! So far the experience that has touched me the most is when we went to church. After the service was an auction. It amazed me that even though these people have so little they still give even more than North Americans do. They give 10 percent of whatever they produce as well as 10 percent of the profit from selling the produce at the auction. It was so cool how friendly and inviting they were after the service. I felt so welcome and wanted. It was really, really cool!
Emily: Since my trip began with Teen Missions the Lord has been convicting me on how I should be living my life back home. After going through Boot Camp and arriving in Tanzania I’m constantly challenged to put others first and be a servant to all those around me. My daily routine at home rarely focuses on anyone but myself. I get so focused on what I need to get done that I don’t stop to consider anyone else. God has given me an easy, full, blessed life and the least I can do is give a little of my time to someone besides myself.
Christian: So far this trip has been a blast. I have been a little home sick, but who hasn’t. Every morning we walk about a half mile to get drinking water. That has given me a new respect for running water. After breakfast and devos we start working whether that be getting water, mixing mortar or laying bricks. Through this trip God has taught me to take up my cross and follow Him. That has been a struggle for me but God’s plan for us is much better than anything we could ever come up with.
Tim: This trip to Tanzania has been very beneficial spiritually. God has taught me so much already and He has shown me exactly how much we take for granted such as toilets, beds, running water and refridgerators. Last Sunday at the church was an amazing experience, even though I couldn’t understand the sermon, I could see how excited the people were and it made me excited too. I can’t wait for church tomorrow. We have gotten so much work done on the building. God has gifted us with the ability to work harder everyday with sorer and sorer muscles.
Josiah: Life here in Tanzania has been amazing. This place is full of beauty. There’s cool looking birds, chameleons, hedgehogs and tons of lizards. Every time I see monkeys on our morning water runs it totally makes my day. I’ve enjoyed working on the project here at the base. I’m proud of the team and all the bricks we’ve laid. I’m so pumped to go backpacking in a few days. Maybe all that marching around at Boot Camp will actually pay off. I’m excited to stay at the villages and do some evangelism. So far I’ve been just trying to soak in everything and enjoying the African experience. Mom and Dad-I love you guys and I’ll be home soon! Tell everyone I love them too!
Daniel: So far the trip to Tanzania has been an amazing experience. I have learned a lot of things that I didn’t know both about myself, God and others. It has been fun and challenging. It’s odd to think that I’m thousands of miles from home, but being away has taught me to surrender all that I am and all that I care about to Him. Quiet time is especially helpful because I can be alone with God and work through the issues I’m going through and grow in Him. I’ve made some pretty close friends which makes it enjoyable and we’ve seen some pretty cool stuff like our pet chameleon and hedgehog. I want all my friends and family to know I love and miss you all. I look forward to seeing you and telling you about the trip.