Hello again from Ngarony, Tanzania. This is our last update from this location and, indeed, almost our last email update from Tanzania. It is hard to believe that our time in Tanzania is quickly coming to an end.
Today we are packing up our base camp in Ngarony. On Wednesday we will begin packing up to leave Tanzania, and we begin our travel to Debrief on Thursday afternoon.
Our time up here on the mountain has often been cold, sometimes wet, but always rewarding. We feel like God has been working through us in our evangelism. We have been able to encourage many believers, plant seeds in many nonbelievers, and lead two people to Christ. God has also definitely been working IN us, growing our reliance on Him, our boldness in telling others about Him, and our ability to have a positive attitude attitude in every circumstance.
Our EV days here have been busy, with a full schedule of seven hours of door-to-door evangelism. We return to the base camp for lunch each day, which is a long, steep, uphill climb. That doesn’t stop some from exuberantly running up the mountain – namely Jake, Ryan, Owen, and Landon. The girls are not slow about hiking, either. Yesterday, on the way home from church, Alex and Ana got to find out just how hard it is to hike uphill with a shuka as a skirt!
By the time we get back from EV, all the local school children are waiting for us. They hang around while we do our laundry and eat supper, waiting for us to play. And play, we do, in the free time between supper and evening classes. We play a lot of their games – Mingle, Mingle is always a favourite. Yesterday Nana, Enoch, and Victor were teaching kids “gymnastics tricks”, for lack of a better term. This quickly devolved into a pushup contest. Others choose less crazy ways of interacting. Charis played Frisbee with a group of kids, using a bucket lid. Caleb doesn’t even have to play, but he always seems to be swarmed by kids. Yesterday he was just sitting and studying his verses, but he was surrounded by a group of kids watching interestedly. Landon and Cortnee were on KP and missed some of the play time, to their disappointment.
Free time is also a chance to journal, take pictures, or hang out with team members. Kenzie has been teaching Hannah how to play ukelele recently, for example. Meanwhile, Rachel always seems to be brushing her teeth during free time, and we joke about her toothbrushing obsession. Hanging out with team members is important – we realize that our team time is quickly dwindling away. For some, like Savannah, the thought of going home is very exciting. For others, there’s a lot of mixed emotions. There’s excitement about going home, but Tanzania and the team have such a special place in our hearts. We know that we have only three days left in Tanzania and ten days together as a team.
On that note, here’s a list of ways you know you’ve been in Africa for a while, as compiled by Hannah:
-when anything under a roof counts as inside, even if there are no walls
-when you choose a squatty over a flush toilet because there is toilet paper
-when you think sleeping on a flat field is so comfortable
-when you look back on an airplane lavatory as the height of luxury
-when saying thank you feels strange, as “ahsante” is what you’ve become accustomed to
Thank you so much, faithful prayer partners. Please continue to pray for our health as we finish up our time on the cold mountain, and then we have long days of travel ahead. And pray for safety through out travel. Please pray for the seeds of the gospel that have been planted, that they may be faithfully watered by the local church and made to grow by the Holy Spirit.
“I’m having a great time here in Tanzania, and although it’s pretty cold and things don’t always turn out as expected, one verse that’s helped me is Romans 8:28 – we know that all things work together for good to them that love God… Even if there doesn’t seem to be a reason for something bad happening, it could just be a test of our faith and willingness to serve God. That doesn’t mean there’s been a lot of bad stuff happening here, it just means that God has been helping me out when things don’t go as expected. “~Enoch
“Hey, family and friends! I’m having a great time here in the foothills! I’ve had so much fun hiking and spreading God’s word. God is teaching me so much about Tanzania and about His people. I’m really excited to tell you all stories about my trip!!! See you in ten days! Love you!”~Kenzie
“Being in Tanzania has been a wonderful and crazy experience. God has definitely showed me a lot while we have been here. Doing construction on the BMW base was really fun, and walking to the stream to get water in a bucket has definitely made me appreciate running water. Evangelizing has also been eye-opening, just seeing how passionate people are and how much they love God. I have loved every moment of this trip.” ~Alex