It’s about 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and we (Compassion Bloggers) just finished an amazingly draining yet energizing day. Draining, because we have flown for well over 48hrs due to plane delays, long layovers, schedule changes and you name it. To top the draining portion of the day off, half of the bloggers’ luggage did not arrive (LaKendria and I are in that half that didn’t arrive… insert sad face). Yes today was draining; however today was also Energizing, because… well I’ll get to the energizing part in a moment.
A Little Background: As long as I can remember I have either made statements about the Motherland (referring to Africa), I even found myself sometime in the 80′s wearing the African medallion around my neck. For the first time my wife and I landed in the Motherland together. To be specific we have been to Nairobi Kenya for an airport layover and made our final destination of Mwanza, Tanzania. It’s kind of surreal, lots of emotions, glad we are here together, along with the rest of the amazing bloggers on this trip.
Let’s Get Up To Speed: We finally made it to our hotel for just enough time to check-in, grab lunch and head out to one of the Compassion International CIV Project. I was amazed to see all of the parents and children there to greet us at the church on a Sunday evening. They were all so thankful for the generosity of Compassion International, in other words they were thankful to everyone that sponsors a child or donates to Compassion in any shape, form, or fashion. Those investments are making lasting deposits into the lives of these children and changing their outlook.
My Thoughts From Today: Let me start off by saying, I have so much information, perspective and emotions that I could write forever; however I’ll be sharing every day for the next few days and have memories for a lifetime. Today we had the opportunity to spend time with the pastor, volunteers, parents and project workers. This time allowed us to gain great perspective of the compassion programs and services, while seeing their impact firsthand. I asked the Pastor how other churches perceived them in the community since they were a compassion partner? The pastor informed us that being a compassion partner and having the Compassion CIV project has really been a unifying factor for the community and the Body Of Christ.
He explained that it’s been the one thing that has crossed denominational and cultural lines for the church. They can all come together for the children and for the sake of the Gospel. It was great to hear stories about kids that have come to know Jesus, pastors partnering with other pastors and parents coming forward to have their children prayed for in the name of Jesus. The Body Of Christ in Mwanza is being united around the children and that doesn’t surprise me, because the children are important to God.
I’m reminded of this account in scripture, Matthew 19:13-14
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”
Back To The Energizing Part: I was energized deep down inside to see a group of people living in such poverty demonstrate how richly blessed they were. I was energized by the fact that I’ve had very little sleep, have not taken a bath in a couple of days, our luggage is lost at this point and you know what “We will be alright.” I was energized by teaching some of the locals here a little slang, the #FistBump, talk Jesus and talk a little sports. I found out that the center for the Memphis Grizzlies, Hasheem Thabeet is a local.
Quotable Moments: One of the church volunteers said the two key problems in their area is poverty and not enough activities. A grandmother raising her 3 grandchildren due to mother leaving when they were young said her dream for her family to have a better roof over their head. “Mr. Scott & Mrs. LaKendria, people keep talking to you as though you speak Swahili… they may think you are from here.” Ha, we are in the motherland.
Tomorrow we get to visit another project and I’ll have a whole lot more to share, I’ll close by saying this. What Compassion International is able to do with $38 a month sponsorship is amazing and helps children, even families get out poverty. Children are coming to know Jesus and communities are being more connected. for those of you that sponsor a child, I want to say thanks on behalf of these children and families. Those of you who have yet to sponsor a child, can sponsor a Tanzanian child by clicking here. Who knows, maybe I’ll give your child a #FistBump while I’m out here.
Below are some pictures that a personally took today. I’m not a photographer; however these are my images through my lens.
Join in, share your thoughts, ask me questions or feel free to make some requests of me while I’m
out here, over here, down here.
Any of these pics. stand out to you?
Thanks for reading… Check back tomorrow.