Friday, July 31, 2009

Kili Time

It's Friday afternoon, the work week is coming to an end and "I'ts Kili time!"

It is hard to believe that we have been back a week already from our trip.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Laundry Facility Needed at Nyakato Clinic

The laundry is currently done by hand for the hostel and clinic at Nyakato. Some of the laundry is done at the clinic and some done outside Lucy's home - and then everything is hung on lines outside to dry.

This is the way they have always washed clothes on the Nyakato campus but it will not do for a hospital.

The Patricia Ward is basically completed, the Birthing Center will be completed soon and then the Eye Clinic, too - however, they cannot open any of these buildings to provide care until a laundry facility is completed. The pad is poured - they just need donations to complete it.

I feel it is important we get this message out! I have a new understanding of the people associated with the Nyakato Health Center. Every day they do so much with so little and they have such a positive attitude. It was a blessing to be able to work with them!


Rev. Dr. Kamudzandu at Atonement

This past Sunday, Rev. Dr. Israel K. Kamudzandu, from Zimbabwe preached at Atonement, and during the sermon he briefly spoke about our M4M team and our recent trip to Tanzania.

I am sure those who have gone to Africa, if they are given time to share their stories, I am sure we will be transformed by their stories.

When you went to Africa you met this stranger who you thought you'd never meet in your life, but because of the blood of Jesus Christ you were able to connect to that person because we are children of God.

We are a blessed people. We are children of God. God has made us an extraordinary people. God has transformed your life. God has made you that special angel. God has called you to live in unity with your brothers and sisters, therefore the life we live is not our life but it is a sacramental life.

Click here for the link to Rev. Dr. Kamudzandu's complete sermon on Atonement's website.

Monday, July 27, 2009

God's Spirit is Alive and Well

In the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, pastors serve anywhere from two to fifteen congregations. Rather than depending on the pastor for daily support, each congregation has an evangelist, someone from within the congregation who is trained to preach and teach each week. Michael is the evangelist in one of the congregations served by Pastor Frances Gunda.

It's a rapidly growing congregation, where the building that is being constructed is already too small for the worshipping community.

Because of the lack of space, meetings often take place under the mango tree outside the new worship space.

Michael faces challenges in life because he is albino. In certain areas of Tanzania there are people who believe that it is okay to kill those who are albino, and that their body parts will bring wealth. Pastor Gunda and the congregation are careful to protect Michael when he visits homes in the local neighborhood. It is a remarkable witness that this man of faith has been called to proclaim the gospel of God's love each week.

Another challenge that comes from being albino is that Michael's vision is greatly compromised. Michael had to read with a book inches in front of his eyes. Pastor Gunda brought him to the construction site and then to the eye clinic on the first morning it was set up in the Patricia Ward, and Doc Erica found a pair of eyeglasses that would improve his vision, but they weren't quite strong enough. Michael wore them faithfully though, and was thankful for the help he was given. We promised to keep working on the problem so that Michael would be able to see even better.

This morning Jim visited America's Best Eyeglasses, where he presented the prescription for Michael's glasses and told the story to the manager. What a delight when the manager not only helped find the strongest frames and most durable lenses, but also was very generous in the final cost. The best part though, was when the manager asked if he could first take the glasses to his own church so that the people there could pray for Michael and his vision, and then he'd get the glasses to us to send to Tanzania.

It's so exciting when people "catch the vision" of God's goodness and desire for healing in this world.

Janice Kibler and Jim Williams

A Capella version of "Africa"

In case you miss Tom's singing, here is an a capella version of the Toto song "Africa" which opens with an astonishing human-made storm.

Walls of Blessings

Below are most of the blessings that were written on the walls of the eye clinic structure by the M4M team.