July 07, 2012

Our Adventure: Tanzania 2012 (10)

Day 10       6/18/12

We had a slow & late start this morning - which was a nice change of pace.  After breakfast we went to the House of Hope property to see it and to do a prayer walk.  While I was walking I really heard God's voice through nature.
The property is surrounded by chain-link fence, but there's bougainvillaea growing up it - creating a hedge of protection. 

On my walk I saw a butterfly land on one of the flowers & I felt like God spoke to me that the girls/women that come to House of Hope will feel safe & secure and be able to just rest in God and his creation.  That butterfly had the freedom to fly to any of the neighboring fields/farms, but she chose to stay and rest at the House of Hope.  She was protected.  Safe.  Just like the girls will be. On one side of the property the bougainvillaea is flourishing and a bit overgrown- but there are shoots of it reaching 2-3 feet into the property and I saw that as God reaching, stretching himself toward the House of Hope.  And the... interesting (? for lack of better word) thing is - that part of the property (I learned later) is the exact spot where the building that houses the girls will be.   On the other three sides, just outside the property, are fields of corn, with very tall stalks. 

As I walked and prayed God showed me that those hundreds of corn stalks standing tall and surrounding the property represent his army of angels.  They surround that place.  Watching.  Protecting.
We also took some time to write down scriptures we felt the Lord giving us and we buried them at the four corners of the property, laying the spiritual foundation.  Mary & Peter took oil and anointed the perimeter of the property, and as they met in the middle the rain came pouring down.  We had been talking about and praying about fresh rain earlier in the week so it was really neat to see God unleash that at just that moment.
After everyone had time to walk the property and pray, we met on the foundation to look at the plans for the buildings. 
The foundations is poured for the first building, which will be an office classroom, storage and (upstairs) temporary housing for missions teams that come, or for rescued girls as an interim while building #2 is going up.  The 2nd building will be a two story home for all the women and girls that will be rescued from sex trafficking, abuse or who are otherwise unwanted.  There will be a playground and a garden where the girls will be taught how to do Farming God's Way.
The goal of the House of Hope is to raise up and educate the girls until they are either ready to go to college or ready to learn a trade. 
That is where the restaurant comes in. 
 The restaurant is an old house that Mary & Peter are remodeling into a restaurant, and leaving part of it as an attached apartment.  The restaurant will provide jobs for the locals, but it will also serve as a place for the girls to learn all the different trades associated with a restaurant (cooking, cleaning, serving, etc) so once they have been trained they can go into Moshi and surrounding areas and get a job. 
We worked there at the restaurant the rest of the day.  It's an old house that hasn't been lived in very several years so it is very, very dusty and dirty.  Time was spent washing the walls before we could prime them, and the guys demolished the cabinets in the kitchen.

I carried Owen around in the Boba a long time, but it was getting to dusty and fumy with all the demo and the painting so Marilyn took him and walked around outside before finally just taking him back to the house so he could play & Bill & I could keep working.  As we were cleaning up to get ready to head back home to shower and go to dinner, Mary came and whisked Bill & I back home, told us to shower and get ready because a car would be here to pick us up at 6:30. 
So Owen hung out with the team and Bill & I were taken to the Union Coffee Co. restaurant where a romantic table set with a couple dozen roses and several candles awaited us.  (pardon the cell-phone pics)
We had our own little dinner for two for our 6 year anniversary. :)  It was so sweet.  The whole team signed a card that the driver gave us right before we got the restaurant and it said everything was already taken care of and ordered and that we could get a latte and/or dessert if we wanted too.  We got to talk about the trip and about the possibility and dynamics of us coming back as a family - without a team.  It's pretty exciting to think about ;)
The team came around the corner at one point (they were eating on the other side of the restaurant) and sang "Happy Anniversary to You" to the tune of Happy Birthday, it was sweet.  After we ate we took the car back to the house and they had decorated our room with flowers and candles and I got an hour-long full-body massage.  I kind of knew about the massage.  Tracey is a single mom of two who earns her living by going to peoples' houses and giving mani/pedi's and massages.  She's a friend of the family so Mary had asked who wanted to sign up for a massage.  Yes.  We're on a mission trip.  Getting massages.  BUT. We're helping Tracey out a lot.  Everyone on the team got a massage within a three-day span, so that was a very good week for her :)  Anyway, the one hour massage was 20,000 tsh (shillings), which ends up being about $15.  She's been doing them since she was 17 (she's now 36) and was trained in Nairobi.  It was wonderful - and SO relaxing. 
After the team got back Bill & I put Owen to bed then headed over to the house and finished out the night with another game of Nertz. :)