Africa Day 5: Little Friends in Tanzania

18 Feb

Five marafiki (“friends” in Swahili) at the Mission to Homeless Children in Morogoro, Tanzania

After flying back to Nairobi last night, we caught a one-hour flight to Tanzania this morning and then drove three hours to Morogoro, where we’ve been helping another orphanage, Mission to Homeless Children, for the past five years. We produced a video about Mission to Homeless Children three years ago (that you can see by clicking here), in which I asked for help to construct an adequate home for the thirty children there, most of whose parents had died of AIDS. Their current rented facility was less than adequate. Although our faith has been challenged and we’ve faced many hurdles along the way, three years and $140,000 later, the new building is finally done.

After a late lunch meeting with the director, Robert Simba, and his ministry’s board members, we drove to the new building, where all the children (now forty-four in number) were waiting for us. I had not seen them for three years, and quite a few have become young adults. I was reminded once again of the need to do what we can to promote our Education Fund, as school fees increase significantly when children enter high school, and our $20-per-month sponsorship is not enough to cover what is needed. In any case, it was great to be with them all again.

Simba gave us a tour of the new building. Although I had received scores of progress photos of the construction during the past three years, seeing it in person gave me a greater appreciation for the work that had been done. To build a similar building in the U.S. would have cost at least three times as much.

Robert Simba, his wife Veronica, and most of the children in front of their new building

After our tour, we were blessed to enjoy the children’s singing inside the building’s dining hall. Their worship, in typical African harmonies, was enhanced by the acoustics of an empty room, and it was so beautiful that it was hard for us to hold back our tears.

The new building is finished, and all that is lacking are beds, some other furniture, and a well to provide a steady supply of water. So those are the things for which we (and they) are looking to the Lord. If anyone reading this is burdened to help, the Dorms for Orphanages Fund is the means. Also, only 23 of the 44 children are sponsored, and so Mission to Homeless Children is really struggling for their daily needs. I took portraits of all the children, but it will be a few weeks before they are posted at the Orphan’s Tear website. You can, however, see a few of them below. If you are interested in sponsoring one of the unsponsored children at Mission to Homeless Children, send Emily an email at [email protected].

Tomorrow we’re taking all the children on a field trip to see some giraffes, hippos and, if we’re really blessed, some lions. — David

Vicky Michael (I believe that Vicky, and her sister, Lucy [next photo], are still unsponsored)

Lucy Michael

Pascal Mogella

Sophi Thomas

Jennifer Koba

Andrea Ngoda

Rukia Atuju

Alex Martin, who is always smiling (I suspect that Alex may be unsponsored as well)

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