We got up somewhat early and cooked breakfast over the campfire this morning: scrambled eggs, bacon & leftover baked potatoes we made into hash browns. The Longeedos made us mandazi & chai and we had some instant coffee we'd brought from Trader Joe's too. It was delish - a nice change of pace from the chai we'd been drinking so much.
Kids started trickling in around 10am. Since most of the kids in this village attend school, only about 25 kids were able to come to the outreach. There were a handful of mamas there with infants & about 10 adults total.
We did our introductions and the skit for them, then gave them salvation bracelets as Ty told them the gospel message and how to use the beads on the bracelets as a reminder to share the message.
Next we handed out goody bags. We actually hadn't planned on being able to because we only made enough for the first village, but we counted the kids and counted the bags we had left over and ended up having just enough for each child to get one.
We also handed out suckers and free t-shirts that we'd brought over, then we took a few pics before heading into Longeedos house to pray over his family and their church.
As we were piling into the cars a grandmother came carrying a 6 year old girl that was crippled. We prayed for her & saw some improvements in her mobility.
We got to hang out with Gaudy, Nicole & Justin again and that was really nice. I could totally see Gaudy & I becoming friends if we lived in Moshi. She told me while we watched Owen & Nicole playing that what we shared in church on Sunday really meant a lot to here. She said that it really renewed her faith and it really touched my heart to know God was able to speak through me like that.
Tracy came over to hang out and give massages to the rest of the girls, we ate an amazing dinner, then headed hope to pack up.
We debriefed as a team after everyone was pretty much packed up and we all shared one God-thing that stood out to us from the trip. Mine was about how God showed us the realities of living in Africa. I really feel like we've gotten direction, and that we're supposed to go back again (to Moshi) very soon. I just keep hearing God say "soon." It also occurred to me how God was working on our (mostly my) hearts with the connection we have to Father's House in Ghana. Since that was my first experience in Africa, I totally fell in love with it and figured we would probably live in Ghana someday and help out at Father's House or something. But shorting after that trip & having Owen we kind of lost touch with the co-founders of FH. We're still very good friends - but there's definitely a disconnect and we don't talk or hang out like we used to. One night, when Owen was still a newborn, they asked us over to their house so they could see Owen & so we could talk (and this was shortly after I told them Bill & I heard God tell us (separately) that we'd live in Africa as missionaries one day). Turns out they wanted to talk to us and pretty much tell us they didn't want us to think Father's House was where we would live/work when we did move to Africa. At first it was kind of a shock that they would say that. And - I'm not gonna lie - it hurt to hear it. A lot. I definitely shed some tears over that one.
But now, almost 12 months later, I can see (God has revealed to me) that disconnect had to happen so I would have my eyes and heart open when we came to Tanzania And I'll admit - I was slightly unsettled with coming here. I really wanted to go back to Ghana. But because God allowed for that disconnect to happen, I was able to hear his voice and direction so much more clearly than I would have if I was still attached to Father's House so strongly. Don't get me wrong - I still love Ghana and Father's House, and the co-founders very much. And Ghana will always be the place that stole my heart. But now I feel a renewed sense of direction. I feel like a plan is coming together. Two years ago God told us we would be missionaries in Africa. But we didn't know when or where. So our plan was to work hard to pay down debt, and keep saving for trips to Africa by using 75% of my photog. business and a portion of our income to start a missions savings fund. But on this trip we've heard clearly and seen vividly how real it would be to live in Africa. We found out that we can do it as a family. We fell into a rhythm almost immediately. Heck, Owen even rode on my lap (or someone else's) in the car a dozen or so times. :) And I rode in the back of a pick-up truck down a dusty, dirty road. And I peed behind bushes and boabab trees. And my son got filthy dirty on a three day camping trip in the bush. I bathed him in the sink. I boiled water to do dishes. I ate goat liver. We all had chai, mandazi & chapati for breakfast. We had plou. We slept under mosquito nets. Owen became a walker in Africa. He learned to say turtle, and dirty.
And it was all so normal.
And I love that.