Hey everyone. Sorry for the typing still on the old apple tech and it’s hard to reread things, wifi is so the temperamental I just want to get it online !
It’s a scary though when we actually have time to stop and think to say that we have been here for pretty much two weeks . It is only now that I can say that the tiredness from travelling what feels like a journey around the world a thousand times is starting to wear off, and with that that I ( and the rest of the team ) am starting to settle into the flow of things here. Eagle lodge where we are staying is fantastic and so much has to be given to the vision of Graham Mclure for bringing what would be a dream to many into a reality. It is relative luxury in a rathe poor area. A place of safety and comfort, but still limited by the infrastructure around us. Water is a luxury in this area and although we are connected to the mains, the water stops as much as it rains in Ireland.
As a team we have decided our projects so praise be to a God for the wisdom he granted us. There was so much to choose from. Not in a consumer sense here, as what do we feel like doing, but in a kingdom sense here. I have been to Africa and one of the poorest parts in Guinea Bissau before. i have seen poverty like no other, people literally starving with nothing to eat but the dirt that they are sitting on. The different between there and here is that we have to decide how best to spend Gods money. We have to seek his wisdom and trust that we will use it where he desires and the need is greatest, and ‘need’ is something that we all quantified differently. God gives each of us different hearts and passions and lenses with which to see the world, this is affected by how we are brought up, our friends our family by the environment we have lived in, and is a good thing. So when you bring a team together with 9 people who have 1000 different experiences between them, who are at different stages of life, Need is something that we will all understand differently. That is why I was so thankfully to God for allowing us as a team to come to a agreement of what we wanted to do.
Today we started working on our first projects which was building a water tank for a family in a local village. Coming from Northern Ireland where we have a wet season all year round, living on a road which runs over four rivers, water is something I am surrounded by and so used to, we turn on the tap and think nothing of it, we expect something to happen, we almost see it as our right to have access to clean drinkable and affordable water. But transfer yourself to a local village in musoma Tanzania and its a different planet. Life here is defined by the seasons, they live in hope of rain to water the crops on which their lives depends on, rain to fill the grow the grass on which their lives stocks will eat, rain to collect to use for washing and rain that will in someway affect their access to drinking water all that depending on it raining and continuing to do so during the wet seasons.
On our first day we had the privilege/ shock of seeing what a family who had been provided a water tank would normally drink out of. A pond at the bottom of the hill, that was browner than my tan will ever be and had a stench. I was shocked and angered that this was something that they as a family where thankful to God for having.
The tank is a UN design. Which simply connects to a tin roof throng guttering and allows the person to collect enough rain water which with, when used wisely would allow them to have enough drinking water for the entire rainy season. Which means for around £650 a family can have access to clean drinking water for the entire year round. The ripple affect of this is untold; better health, better education and a better future.
Last year a team started a church for a congregation who until that point have been meeting under a tree, who this very Easter where unable to give thanks and praise. This is probably the one projects that excites me the most. I don’t know why but the simple fact that something so simple as a tin roof can make such a different to the growth of a God church’s is something to give thanks for.
As a team our budget will also go to various other places. Meeting medical needs when they arrive, buying materials and building smaller things such as goat sheds.
Thoughts so far.
I would say my biggest highlight so far has to be the scenery around this place. No matter what dirt track you go down you always seem to end up with a stunning view of either lake Victoria or some far of mountains. There are views that you would never get sick of.
The local people we have been working with are fantastic, the Anglican disclosed of a Musoma is such a powerful influence of good for a God and so much thanks has to be given to the bishop and the leadership there for a desire to bring about change. From kingdom minded things such as church planting, but much more than that to simple education programs in schools around the area for Malaria and HIV, to doing everything they can to fight poverty.
Life in the areas we have been working is hard, there is no fancy way of putting it. Most people in the areas have no access to clean drinkable water. There is no tap to turn on when you want a glass of water, so from this comes so many issues that I don’t know where to start. You would think being beside one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world would make access to water the easiest things, and a lot of people do use it to access water to drink and clean with, water to live off. But this means that the open themselves up to various different infections. If people don’t live close to the lake then their likely water source will be the local watering hole, which they will share with their own livestock and wild animal. Add to that that the water source will be at the bottom of a hill and the average Tanzania has no toilet, the likelihood of infection is severe.
Malaria is a massive issue, every hour we meet someone who has been arched by it in some way. It’s as common around this area as the 24 flu. It is so preventable thigh, the different a mosquito net makes to the likelyhood of being infected is massive, but that in itself is such a battle. Most Tanzania women believe that sleeping under a mosquito net will make them infertile because it makes the air stuffy, so more than likely nets that have been given out without proper education and training will end up becoming nothing more than something to dry food on.
Plans for the weeks ahead.
We starting getting stuck into our projects in the next few weeks. So probably come Monday we will be starting to work at the church. We also have various other committeemen the such as youth club and boys and girls outreach and missions. So please keep those in your prayers please.
– team Unity: everyone is great, but so different so pray that we really do become one body of Christ serving him and not ourselves. Pray that we all get to know one each really well and in that our strengths and weakness will all fit into Gods plan and purpose.
– Pray for ‘Go Mad’ the team here are fantastic. They give so much of their lives and time to this area and the volunteers So pray that God will bless them and give them the energy to keep going. I could not do what Andrew and Deborah and claire have done for the last few years.
– Me: that I would have the energy and desire to serve God and work hard even when I do not want to. That I would sleep better at nights, and that I would be able to rise early in the morning before everyone else to spent time in prayer and reflections with God before the business of the day.
– health: for all the volunteers who are here that they would be well, there is a lot of infections in the areas.
Yours in Christ