There has been a great deal to understand as we spend time with Lowell and Claudia. This morning we spent time putting together health/cleaning kits for the refugees at the camp north of Kigoma. Many of the refugees come from war-torn Congo, or Rwanda, or Burundi. We will distribute the kits when we arrive tomorrow morning. The kits, by the way, consist of the following materials: towel, wash rag, tooth brush, tooth paste, and bar of soap. These kits are life savors! Thanks to the many churches back in the States that assembled and sent these kits to Joy In the Harvest. We may take such items for granted, thinking what can we possibly do? However, once we realize the connections we see how little things matter. Therefore, we will want to note how such projects, while seemingly small in our eyes, are really big to those who have been displaced.
Such an observation raises all kinds of questions. While we in America debate health care, for example, it is important to realize that in Tanzania, and the rest of Africa for that matter, there is NO health care. Many of the people in the towns and villages, not to mention the large urban areas, simply do not have access to care. Nothing! To bring doctors and dentists to a place like Kigoma, therefore, would supply a measure of hope beyond words. Again, we are simply talking about the basics in a place without access to the basics. It is something to think about with respect to future plans.
We are now preparing to help with another ministry at Joy In the Harvest. On Fridays, persons throughout the area head for town. Many are beggars. Because Friday is considered a holy day by Muslims, persons are required to provide some kind of offering or assistance to the poor. At Joy In the Harvest, we will be helping to access the needs of these persons and families. Many are Muslim. Our efforts will provide a small opportunity to share God's love in a concrete way. The message is simple but not over the top: Christ cares about you!
We hope all is well with persons back in the States. We miss our families, and I miss Peggy and the kids very much. Send everyone our love.
We will keep you posted of our work as we continue our journey.