Greetings! Yesterday was a national holiday here in Tanzania! It was National Workers Day! Which means, no one went to work! So the stores were all closed so we could not use the internet. Though no one went to work yesterday, we did! Our work site is really coming along!
Weather – the weather has been cloudy and cold lately and then in the afternoon the sun peaks out and it gets very hot! When we went up to the mountain for church on Sunday it dropped in temperature as we climbed higher and Nelson assured us that the remainder of our trip up on the mountain will be cold and we will be in the clouds.
Nelson Chimbala is our TMI Missionary we are working with. He is from Teen Missions in Uganda and has come to Tanzania to lead us. Nelson is very direct with what he would like from the team and has a very cheerful spirit as he teaches and directs us. He is very special to the team and we listen to his wisdom and perspective on customs and what it means to walk with Christ. Nelson does not speak Swahili because he is originally from Zambia but he does speak very good English.
Pastor Frank lives here and is a missionary to this area. He worked in an orphanage for 9 years and has been with TMI for the past 3 years. He has been amazing! He goes into town with us as a translator and is one who makes sure we don’t get overcharged as we purchase supplies and groceries.
James is a Tanzanian BMW student and he is camping with us and will be hiking with us as we head up the mountain. James also serves as a great translator for us as we go into town and has been a hard worker and great blessing to the team.
Camaro is also a TMI site worker who has been a tremendous blessing. He runs the work site and makes sure our students are being safe and their work is of great quality. Please keep these men in prayer along with the rest of our team!
Our team has been cutting and steel tying rebar to make columns and then building cement molds out of timber and then lay the rebar into the molds and then pouring cement into the molds. The team continues to haul water from the river, mix cement with shovels and distribute it to where they need to build the cement columns. They are doing this work so that the building will be able to support a roof in the near future. They are doing quality work and it is coming along!
Saturday afternoon was the best time we’ve had since we’ve been here! We got to go to the orphanage “A Light in Africa” to play with the children there! The children were sweet and eager to play. Our team played, painted their finger and toenails and let the children braid their hair. We also sang for the children. You can look up the orphanage on-line and check it out! Also the lady that started the orphanage has written a book called “A Light in Africa”. If you look the orphanage up or read the book your teen will be so excited to share with you about their experience there too! Many of us want to come back to volunteer and the orphanage has lodging for those who come to volunteer. This is where Pastor Frank worked for 9 years.
On Sunday our guys bought a rooster at a church auction! So we bought another and had rooster for dinner! We have been living off the land picking our own corn, sunflower seeds and bananas. Its added to our experience.
We went to another Lutheran church on Sunday and we got to sing before the church and perform one of our dramas! It was very encouraging with the church and our team is gaining confidence for when we head into the villages next week.
Our team continues to share each of our testimonies each night and get to hear the awesome story of how God has grabbed hold of our hearts and continues to work! Its an amazing time of encouragement!
We now plan to finish our construction on Thursday and then break camp and head out for the mountain on Friday. Be praying for us for Friday because we will be loading up our backpacks and heading up the mountain! Everyone is very excited!
Pastor Frank has also been able to arrange for our team to get to go to the Tanzanite Mine in our area! The team is pumped to rock-hunting for raw Tanzanite! Everyone is hoping to find something special for our families back home!