Today is Sunday, but we missed out on posting yesterday due to our travels. Saturday, we left at 9 a.m. for Shiroti. The road was bumpy, I mean, REALLY bumpy. I might consider wearing a helmet next time! This time we are roughing it in the L.A.A. Hotel; when we arrived, there was no electricity, and no running water, but, they had the most important thing - a nice bed to fall asleep on. Saturday was our day off, some spent their time playing cards, others read or napped.
We had been working so hard and pouring our hearts out till they were dry in Tarime, we needed a day to recuperate, tie our shoes (strap on our chacos), and dust off the dirt from our clothes. Sunday, we were back into action.
Your faithful blogger,
Today was such a great day! We ate a lovely breakfast of mendazi, our favorite fried sweet rolls, and then everybody got ready for church. Most of us went to the church at Ingrichini while Davis, Glenn, and Madison went to the church at Gabimori. Those of us that went to Ingrichini had an adventure getting there. We started by driving back down the road we drove in on yesterday for about an hour. On the way we missed a turn somewhere and our driver had to stop and ask several people how to get to the church. We ended up taking a sharp turn over a ditch and onto what was essentially a walking trail through farming fields, which we drove on for about another twenty or so minutes before the van couldn't go any farther and we walked the rest of the way to the church. It was a beautiful area and we got a few glimpses of those breathtakingly wide-open savanna views, so it was well worth the bumpy adventure to get there.
The church was pretty small and there were maybe only about twenty people there, but they were all so incredibly welcoming. On the back wall there was a chalkboard area where they had written a welcoming message for us, which was just the sweetest thing to see when we walked in. The pastor of the church, Jacoba, was so kind to us and he seemed genuinely thrilled to have us visiting. And the service itself was great! The worship song they started with was Hakuna Mungu, which is one of the songs that we do for our children's program, so it was cool to be able to sing along. Shelby preached today and she delivered an awesome and much-needed message about God's love and the roles He plays in our lives. After a while everyone asked us to sing some worship songs, so we all went up to the front and sang a few of the other songs that we do for our children's program. We must have done a good job, because just when we thought that the service was over, we were asked to get up and sing some more songs. I guess we were feeling confident after our first performance because we decided to branch out and try to sing some of the songs that we sing when we have our team devo and worship time at night. As we were standing up at the front and quickly whispering back and forth to figure out what song to do, I distinctly remember someone saying "Let's do 'In Christ Alone!'" and someone else saying "Are we sure we know all the words to that one?" and then all of us saying "Yeah we for sure know that one!". Well, John started us off strong in a nice mid-range key, but things quickly started to fall apart when we a) forgot the words and everyone started mumbling and b) got to the part of the song that gets really high and realized that we should have started in a way lower key. It was so funny because there was a moment where everyone was mumbling the words and then all of us just stopped singing except for three brave souls who tried to squeak their way through the high part. Thankfully I was standing in the back because I started crying because I was laughing so hard. Just thinking about it now I cannot stop laughing.
Our singing performance must not have been to scarring for the Ingrichini church members, however, because they fed us an incredible lunch of chapati and chai tea. Then we bumped our way back up the road to our hotel here in Shirati, where we've had a restful afternoon and evening.
We're all excited to see what God has in store for us this week, and we are so thankful for all of your prayers and support!
La la salama!
Megan did a great job describing our wild wild adventures, but I have to take them a step further. So we're rattling along the road, the whole van is shaking, our bodies are shaking, our teeth chattering from the bumps when all of a sudden Nicholas (our driver) slams on the breaks and we're all looking around, looking out the windows to see if we almost hit something, but then he turns around in the middle of the road and we're all like whoops, too far, right? Well , we are lost in Africa, so Sarah makes him pull over for directions, and they take us to this tiny opening in the tall grasses. We somehow make it past the deep ditch, and suddenly we're driving in a field. If I put my hand out the window, I would pull in an ear of corn...
Props to Megan for describing our confidence in our singing. I don't think any of us realized we didn't truly know the words to the songs, or what they SHOULD sound like. I'm proud that we semi kept it together in the midst of our failure.
The minute we got home to Shiroti, everyone scattered for naps, cards, and free time. We had chips mayai for dinner, then we moved into team meetings and devo time. In our devo worship, we sang two of the hymns we attempted this morning (AND WE NAILED THEM!), but of course a lot of us broke down in laughter in memory of this morning.
Keep praying as we enter a new community. Hopefully we are well rested, physically and spiritually, because we've got work to do.
No pictures tonight, just a lot of smiles!
2017 Tanzania Team
Would you like a falaffle with that?