Tuesday morning we finished some packing and took down the tents. Everything was carefully loaded and packed in the truck, leaving just enough room for the team to squeeze in. After breakfast and devotions, we were off on our trek upwards. Our drive took just over an hour, most of it up hill. We waved to all we passed, and many children were very excited to see us. As we traveled upwards, the plant life around changed from the dry fields we are accustomed to, to hills full of trees.
After an hour, we pulled into our new home: a Lutheran Church compound. A children’s ministry is planned for this location, but so far there is only the exterior of a big building, a bathroom, and a tiny building where we set up the kitchen. The rest is a big open field. Up a ways from us is the pastor’s house. Behind that is Kilimanjaro National Park.
Our tents were set up quickly, although we had to stake them well and put our bags inside to prevent them from blowing away. We were immediately struck by how chilly the wind can be. When it’s not blowing, temperatures feel cool but tolerable, especially when the sun is shining. However, the wind can chill you right away. We all dug out our sweaters and jackets and put on shukas if we had purchased them. A shuka is a traditional Massai wrap and while it feels quite thin, it is quite effective.
The first night we bundled up well in our tents to stay warm. Cortnee is now enjoying the single tent, but up here that means only half the amount of body heat keeping the tent temperature warm at night! On Wednesday morning, Owen and Victor got up and immediately begin running in order to keep warm. As they ran laps around the open space, they eventually persuaded JennaFaye and Caleb W to join them.
After breakfast and devotions, we were very excited to start the work we came up here for: evangelism! We set out in small groups, along with a young person from the local church, and begin door-to-door evangelism. Many people invited us into their homes, and we had the opportunity to pray for and with many people. One group even led someone to Jesus and salvation!
After lunch and library time, we set out again to do the same thing. Rachel and Nana were on KP on Wednesday, but didn’t want to miss EV time. They were very thankful that they had reduced KP duty and were able to go out the full day. Enough and Alex were also thankful as they were KP for Thursday!
Wednesday afternoon brought a light drizzle, but all the hiking during EV kept everyone warm. By supper the rain had stopped and it was just fog. It rained during the night again, but our tents faithfully kept us dry. Thursday morning we woke up to an almost cloudless sky, a rare occurrence here! We could finally see the peak of Kilimanjaro from our new location. It was surprising how close it appeared, and gave us a good idea of how high in altitude our mountain ridge might be.
Door to door evangelism begin again Thursday morning, with small teams heading in different directions from yesterday. In the afternoon the team went out with Melchizedek, the evangelist from the local church. He teaches religion classes at the local primary school, and the team did a presentation for his class.
Our plans for Friday, Saturday, and Monday are essentially the same kind of evangelism work. We are so blessed to be used by God and spreading his name and glory throughout the earth, ” so that in everything Christ might have the supremacy” (Col 1:18).
Prayer supporters: please pray for our health as we hike in this cooler climates. Please pray for clear messages through our translators and for people to be receptive to the gospel.
The work project has been going really well. We have been plastering the inside walls of the BMW school. The first few days the quality of our work was a little rough, but we have gotten much better at it ( although the Africans can still do it faster than us). The TMI Tanzania base is really scenic and weve enjoyed seeing the mountain. Our team has been bonding together and we all feel like family. I love my team, & I honestly don’t want to leave Tanzania.~Ana
We are finally finished with the work project! We plastered the walls and helpd to lay down the floor. We carried water from the stream every morning. Now we’re going to the foothills tomorrow to be hiking to different villages and evangelizing which is what I’m most excited for.~Landon
Evangelism isn’t exactly what I expected, but it’s great! Yesterday when we were going from house to house praying for people and sharing encouraging verses, it was raining, and it was incredible to see how the people invited us inside with huge smiles and handshakes despite our filthy boots! I love how much of the culture we are experiencing and also the beautiful views. Ahsante (thank you) for your prayers!~Hannah
It is so exciting to have started the evangelism part of our trip! It is very humbling to see how welcoming the locals are to our team. While hiking to the villages, many of the Tanzanians invite us into their homes to hear what we have to say. They enjoy listening to us sing songs to them, read scriptures, recite our Bible verses, and pray with them. It is very encouraging to meet fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in another country. It is even more uplifting when we meet people who say they are ready to accept Christ. It is overall such a phenomenal experience! Our God is so good!~Rachel