Blogs

Profound acts of worship

I was out visiting people when I stopped by the house where Nache lived. It was clear that we needed to get this kid to the hospital in the city, and that meant we needed money for transport for him and for his mom. But I didn’t have any money on me that day, there wasn’t any cash at the house, Steve & Godfrey & Emmanueli were traveling, and here I was in the land of no ATM machines. But just down the road was a church, and so I took off in shot to quickly see them. “They aren’t members of our church; we can’t help them.” I was devastated. More than devastated.

And they said they would reserve an additional ten tests for me the next day!

It was getting dark and we were still out on the search for all of our HIV moms with newborns and infants. The wonderful news had come that morning that the Mudabulo Hospital had received a supply of the special infant HIV tests and that they were willing to reserve 10 of them for me for children in our villages. What a blessing to have true friends willing to help!

A lot of those buckets will only be half full

Godfrey and Emmanueli dropped me off at the Chinese restaurant in town and they were off hunting for spare parts for our vehicles. They left me there because I would be nothing but a liability – not simply because I know nothing about spare parts – but because my very presence would make it harder to get a good price. It wasn’t anywhere near lunch time, but I figured I could plug in my computer and work and wait for them to show up and then we’d splurge and have a treat.

She wanted everyone to stand

Quite a lot of what I do here in Tanzania I truly enjoy doing. Some of what I have to do is “less than fun” and a lot of what I have to do every day is hardly anything that people would find interesting, nothing as they say that’s worth “writing home to mom about”. Work is work, and work has to get done. But there is a part of my life here that I truly look forward to and love doing: I get a tremendous amount of joy out of traveling with Godfrey and Emmanueli to new villages where we have been invited to start new schools.

Even in death

He had just bought a new set of teeth. Oh and was he proud of that beautiful smile! But Garus was beautiful even without teeth. His face was simply so kind, probably because always wore a big toothless smile. When he was four months old, his mother, who was drunk at the time, rolled him into the fire and that is how he lost his foot. Growing up, he lost his teeth from falling so much. To make matters worse, Garus had severe asthma. I remember our first meeting six years ago – that was when I tried to teach him how to use my son Joshua’s inhaler as he gasp for air on my front porch.

Crying out to God

“Lord, I cannot do this without You. I’m depending on You.”

A beautiful scene

A beautiful scene – Baba Asia walking with his 2-year old little boy Bekam, as the two of them were coming home from church. Baba Asia had been my enemy for at least five years – he hated me and he hated everything about me – but recently he became my ally and even more recently my brother in Christ. In the midst of all of the death and sorrow that is a part of our lives here, I see God so at work as He draws even the most unlovable towards Him.

Simply unthinkable

I certainly never thought I would be spending the night tonight in our "retirement house". In fact, I didn't even plan to be here in Kising'a at all! According to the schedule, right now Emmanueli and I were supposed to be in the little village of Taweta hundreds of miles away in the Morogoro region and tomorrow we were supposed to participate in the grand opening of our latest new school. But three nights ago when Emmanueli and I were in the village of Bukimau, Godfrey called to say the mechanics had given up and neither Hewa nor Yatima were going to be drivable any time soon.

Flies on the wall

How I wish all of you could have been "flies on the wall" at our leadership conference this morning.

I didn't quote the words from Isaiah ...

I don't sit in cafes very much. First of all, we don't have a lot of them here in Tanzania -- our mgahawas are more places to eat and go -- the food is cheap, a buck or two a plate, and you're not really paying for the atmosphere, and so you normally come in order to keep hunger at bay and you leave pretty much as quickly as you can, and Godfrey & Emmanueli and I do a lot of that when we're traveling.