July 02, 2012

Our Adventure: Tanzania 2012

Day 7     6/15/12
(warning: this post is real. wide-open. and vulnerable. only read if you can handle knowing the truth behind the spiritual battles that occur on missions!)

Today (mostly this morning) was by far the hardest day spiritually for me.  I woke up with a lot of pain in my back/shoulders/neck from sleeping funny, Owen woke up fussy & there wasn't any hot water for a shower (which I could deal with) but that meant Owen had to take an ice-cold bath.  He screamed through most of breakfast, and I just lost it.  I had to get away so I just lay on my bed and cried.  And I let Satan plant lies in me.  Likes like, "You're not cut out for this.  You can't be a mom and a missionary.  It's too hard.  You're losing it now - you've only been here a week!  There's no way you could live here."  I say I let him plant those lies because that's just what I did.  I knew it was all Satan.  I knew I shouldn't believe those lies.  But I did.  Because I was tired.  Tired of fighting.  I wanted to give up the spiritual battle and let him win.  So I did.

After breakfast we headed to a secondary (high) school to do an 'assembly' with the kids.  Owen was fussy most of the time because it was nap time (one more reason I couldn't be a mom and a missionary).  Each of us got up and shared something that was put on our hearts.  Bill took Owen at my turn to speak.  He really was a trooper today with him.  Mary spoke at the end about some topics like abortion, homosexuality and per-mariatal sex - those topics aren't discussed in this culture. It's just swept under the rug.  She talked very bluntly about it though and the kids seemed to be impacted by it.  
After everyone spoke kids that wanted prayer came up and we laid hands on them & prayed.  I was definitely not walking in the Spirit like I should have been, but it was still a great experience talking to the kids and praying for them.
Even though Aimee had taken me aside and talked to me and prayed with me about what I was dealing with - I still wasn't feeling it.  Satan was all over me.  And I knew it.  And I didn't try very hard to stop it because I was tired. 
After Owen went down for his nap Marilyn, Aimee and I got o talk and they were really very encouraging to me.  We talked through things and I felt a little better.

In the afternoon we headed to a little 'suburb' just outside of Moshi called Njoro to do some street ministry, hand out some toothbrushes and toothpaste that had been donated to our group and to do a 'treasure hunt'  A treasure hunt is where you pray and ask God for 'clues' and when you see them you pray for that person.  For example, Bill heard/saw 'red shoes' as his clue.  Mary saw a Muslim man, sitting under a tree with a walking stick as her clue.  I didn't have any 'clues' because I wasn't thinking about it at all that morning - I was too wrapped up in all the lies Satan was feeding me.
Anyway, it's a very poor neighborhood - houses made of mud, sticks or discarded pieces of cardboard/metal.  Some with wooden doors, some with ripped sheets for doors, some with no doors.  Heaps of trash everywhere.  Kids running around barefoot, like the stuff you see on those 'made-to-make-you-feel-bad' commercials about third-world countries.(*please pardon the quality of these photos - I had to be very discreet so 99% of these were taken as I clicked the shutter while my camera was hanging around my neck, like I was just wearing it and not using it.)


 We split up into teams once we got there, Bill, Owen & I were with Mary, Gaudy and the intern that had joined our team.  We saw SO many kids and babies. 

I met a little girl that was holding onto a doll - it was a stick with a barbie head on it.  And she was stroking the doll's hair and playing with it like it was the best thing in the world. 
We ran into a little boy that was playing with a ball- he quickly grabbed it up in his hands when we walked up to him, very protective of it. 
When we got closer I could see it was a ball made entirely out of trash bags. 
 I saw a little boy that was maybe 9mos old with a cast on his arm.
The muslim influence was very strong in this village, we saw several children wearing the muslim garb.
I also saw the parents' and children's faces light up when we handed them a new toothbrush and some toothpaste.  Several kids would run away giddy with joy, then return and try to get another one!  Or they would return and have five friends trailing along behind them because they'd heard the 'wazungus' were handing out free stuff.  For a toothbrush.  

While we were waiting by the car for all the teams to meet back up the kids began to gather around us and touch Owen's arms and hands.  They were so intrigued by the little white baby.  It was really sweet.  Africans in general love little white babies, but in this village they rarely see white people - not much of a tourist hot-spot - so they were excited when he waved and them and said, "Hi".

It was a really good afternoon and it lifted my spirits a lot. I felt like the time in Njoro helped me shake Satan off my back and I got back on track.
Afterward we went to an Indian restaurant -it was really good, Owen loved the buttered chicken and naan.  After dinner we started rolling up and sorting t-shirts and pumping up basketballs to get ready for the outreach Saturday.