February Highlights from Tanzania

February Highlights from Tanzania

We want those of you who are interested in this work to share in a bit of the joy that we have in getting to be here! Thanks for being a part of this work with us ....

February 3: Our trucks Furaha (Happiness) and Tunda (Fruit) began three days of work with the people of Bumilayinga helping them to haul bricks. We have to get one last building completed by June to meet the school inspectors' requirements so that the kids can take the national exams, but with the rains it's totally impossible for people to make bricks now. So the village decided together to ask those who had their own personal brick kilns to give their bricks on loan to the village so they can get the new lab building built and the school registered and accredited in time even though the rainy season is in full swing. Lucy, who heads up the school building project, will have her work cut out for her getting everything organized to build, but where there was "no hope", now we all have hope!

February 4: Our former student, Msafiri Masenga, began serving with us. Msafiri has finished his medical studies, heard that we had just opened our HIV/AIDS Community Treatment Center, traveled across the country and showed up because "I knew Mama would need some help." How truly blessed we feel!

February 6: The head nurse and the head evangelist from Ilembula Hospital came to Madisi today to visit students they've sent to study here. We had sent Janerose last month to have her baby there, and today she organized a wonderful dinner in their honor to thank them for all that they did. And we all got to ooh and aaah over Ntula and Janerose's beautiful newborn girl named Tumaini (Hope)! The connection between that wonderful hospital, 150 miles away, and our work here continues to grow as the personal bonds between us all become stronger and stronger.

February 9: Patty Hall, and her husband Steve, arrived from America and began traveling with us to visit several of our schools. Patty is a retired school teacher who founded a charity called H20 for Life -- she travels around to schools in America, shares with kids about the problems students in many countries in the world face with water, and raises money to help with water projects. She has organized more than 30 schools in the US to raise funds for water projects in our schools here in Tanzania. Next year she is going to get schools involved in raising money also for latrines and hygiene projects for our schools. We were inspired not only by her and all that she has done, but also by the whole idea of getting schools kids in America actively involved in raising money for projects here.

February 11: Justin visited a total of 12 schools in the Iringa region and as a result more than 250 people applied to serve with us. Godfrey and Emmanueli held marathon interviews and chose 76 of them to serve with us!

February 14: Sayuni and his wife Karista agreed to help by taking into their home Margaret, a desperately sick young woman, who returned here to Igoda "to die" -- she, like many, left the village years ago to work as a house girl in Dar es Salaam, got AIDS and has now returned. We've got her in treatment now and Sayuni and his wife are the good Christian people who will help her get back up on her feet.

February 21: Msafiri worked with a team of doctors and nurses from town to serve 140 people from our villages at our HIV/AIDS Community Treatment Center. He will travel to town next week to work with the doctors and nurses to begin transferring the files of more and more of Susan's friends so that they will be able to get their medicines and treatment right here in our village.

February 22: We held two days of meetings with government officials in the region of Morogoro and received their enthusiastic invitation to begin building schools in villages in that region. We are going to ask Anyisile to move from the Rukwa region to move to Morogoro towards the goal of opening 5 new schools in that region by the end of 2012.

February 26: We completed putting the roof on the library and computer center at our college bringing us a giant step closer to getting enough of the campus built so that we can open in 2012!

February 28: Susan and the four leaders of the Urafiki group (our local HIV group) made their first trip to talk to the villagers of the far away village of Lulanda about getting tested for HIV. Now that our CTC is open, they plan to make trips to all of the villages surrounding us where people have not yet heard that free HIV testing and treatment are now available closer to home. The leaders of Urafiki gave their testimonies about their lives living with AIDS and about how God has been with them every step of the way. It was really quite beautiful as it was the first time that anyone in that village has admitted that they are living with HIV/AIDS.