Saturday, June 14, 2014

Community of Grace

After a leisurely breakfast we climbed aboard the somewhat funky white Uhuru bus.  Sam rode shotgun, which makes it look like he is driving from our vantage point further back.  We made our way into the busy town of Moshi to exchange money and the group enjoyed their first full-on experience with street vendors.

Our first visit today was at the Ushirika Wa Neema Deaconess Centre (Community of Grace). Everyone appreciated learning about the life of the Lutheran Sisters as we strolled the campus to see, gardens, cows, chickens, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, pigs and trees bursting with fresh fruits. The Deaconess Center is a forty-acre Garden of Eden from which life saving ministry emanates throughout the entire region.
The sisters butcher their own cows and make their own communion bread.  They run elite boarding schools and clean toilets.  They have committed their lives to service in the name of Christ. To be in the presence of the sisters is to be humbled.  To know them as friends is to be blessed beyond measure. When you visit there the Sisters promise they will keep you in their prayers after you leave. That alone makes the marathon journey to Tanzania worth all of the effort.

Next we visited a Building a Caring Community site. BCC Centers are amazing ministries that serve physically and mentally challenged children. In many cases these children remained locked in their small huts during the day while their parents go out to try to earn a living. The BCC locations offer a caring daycare for these children and offer educational services to their caretakers as well. We knew we were at a caring place when two of the children being cared for at the center greeted every person in our group with a big hug like we were long lost friends! 

Then it was off to a traditional Tanzanian feast at the home of Frederick and Janet Shoo. We had blood soup, intestines, banana stew and roasted goat! Lisset was the bravest in our group and tried almost everything!
Lisa, John and Carol all made it in today so we are at full strength with 18 people. We're up the mountain for worship at Kusheyeny tomorrow. There has been a lot of rain so it should be a fun ride! 

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