Jambo from Tanzania! I need to say again that time is passing strangely. We can’t believe that it was one week ago today that we left Boot Camp. It feels like just yesterday, but Tanzania is also feeling more and more like home as we’ve been here awhile. We have truly settled in here, and we thank God for the progress we are seeing on our work project and in our spiritual growth as a team and as individuals.
We’ve now spent five days here, including a weekend and a bit of a chance to relax. Sunday was a particularly wonderful day, even if we didn’t get to sleep in. We were up at 5:30 as usual. After breakfast and devotions, we were off to church. We felt very welcomed by the pastor and congregation of El Shaddai Worship Centre. When we went up to give our presentation, people really loved our singing and puppets. A highlight was definitely the congregation joining as we sang one of our songs in Swahili! The drama team wowed with “Battleground”. Thanks, Hannah, Jake, Alex, Charis, Ryan, Nana, Owen, and Rachel! Landon jumped in during a last minute switch and gave his testimony, touching people’s hearts with his message of God’s great love. Before leaving the church, we had a chance to socialize and meet some of the congregants.
The afternoon brought a change of pace from our usual workday, too. We reviewed our memory verses and practiced quizzing. Our team has some talented quizzers! Following quizzing, we also switched tent partners. Team members are excited about the opportunity to get to know someone else a little better. Our odd number of girls means someone has their own tent. While most girls request NOT to be on their own, some are delighted by the prospect. Savannah was very delighted to be getting some personal space and time by switching into the single tent yesterday.
In the evening we had the opportunity to have devotions with the Tanzanian BMW students. We all shared how we ended up in this place together and then had a time of encouragement and prayer. The BMW students were very surprised to hear that Victor is our youngest team member, particularly as he’s so tall. (I’ll bet Victor hears that comment often enough!)
Today we were back to a regular work day schedule. Here’s an idea of our morning: Cortnee started out in prayer closet today. Ana and Jake helped today’s KP (Enoch and Nana), since there were some dishes left over from last night. Everyone else carried their buckets down to the river and brought back water for our project. This is about a kilometre round trip. Then kids began sifting sand and mixing mortar. Everything paused temporarily for breakfast and devotions. Although it had kind of been drizzling at breakfast, the rain had stopped by devotions. Then it was back to work. Kids began plastering the section of the two internal rooms that we’ve almost finished. The rooms are small and we only have four ladders, so other kids began plastering in the large classroom. This room is large enough to allow for lots of growth in the school population, and its exciting to think of all the Tanzanian students who will be able to study here and will got out throughout Tanzania and the world, bringing God’s kingdom. By lunch the first batch of mortar was finished and kids were happy to wash up and enjoy a hearty lunch. As I write this, its quiet as kids enjoy library time, reading stories of God’s faithful labourers working in mission fields around the world. Soon the quiet will be over as kids excitedly get back to work. The atmosphere is often filled with joy as the teams songs while working.
Special thanks to family and friends who are praying for us faithfully. Please continue to pray for our health and safety as we work and travel, and for the advancement of God’s kingdom here in Tanzania.
“Hey, y’all! So as you know, we made it to Tanzania! It’s been great so far, although there have been some rough patches. I really enjoy waking up and seeing the sun rise near Kilimanjaro. God has been teaching me about who He is. He is also teaching me who I am in Him. If you could pray that God makes it very clear to me what be wants me to do for Him in my life. Thanks for all the prayers.
Love you all and can’t wait to see everyone!” -Kenzie
“It is much cooler here than it is in Florida. I actually have to get in my sleeping bag at night! We get our water from a stream, which is a few minutes walk. We also use squatty-potties as bathrooms. In other words, I really like it here!” -Ryan