First of all the children are fine after a number of them “poisoning” themselves (think diarrhea and vomiting) from eating green mangoes from a nearby tree. Children kept falling ill, leaving us all confused until the beans (or green mangoes) were finally spilled. All are well on the mend. Unfortunately, hot on the heels of the mango mystery, Katy became very sick with a bacterial infection but she too, with a dose of antibiotics and some clear fluids and time, is healing also.
An enormous thank you to our new printer "Stan" and company. It is only with help like yours that we are able to send 100% of every dollar donated to Tumaini, TO Tumaini. Asante Sana new Tumaini friend (who declines recognition).
Only 21 days until Dr. Pat and I leave and I encourage all sponsors/donors to send me some recent photos, and a letter or two for your child (along with a VERY modest gift if you choose). I will share your cards, letter and photos with your child and this year many of them will be conversant enough in English to respond! With that I send, as always, my heartfelt thanks for your love and support of these oh so very deserving but needing children! Asante!
And now a GOD story . . .
Many of you will remember I was in Ohio about a month ago updating my sister’s church Springboro United on what has transpired since our last visit in late 2010. Thank you so very much to Pastor Terry, Dane, Terri, and of course my sister Pam for reaching out again in love and support of our kids . . . While I was there Pam arranged a casual breakfast with some of her girlfriends and asked me to share Tumaini’s story with them. You might remember the carload of donations I brought home from that trip . . . the soccer challenge, etc? Well, Jenny was at that breakfast meeting and after hearing how Tumaini came to be and what we’ve accomplished in two short years, she insisted I come and share my story with her adult Sunday school class and so I returned to Ohio last weekend, shared the Tumaini story and, well, have been completely overwhelmed with what has transpired since . . . anyone looking for God’s grace and a miracle or two, (or three) need look no further . . .
After my presentation, and questions, Jenny’s parents invited me to join them for lunch so we could continue our conversation and get to know each other better. I sat across from Jenny’s mother. At a point in the conversation she asked me what immediate needs Tumaini has and I shared with her that we desperately need a “heavy duty washing machine”, as our mamas currently do laundry, for up to 45 people daily, in buckets. It is just too difficult.
Her eyes got big and her mouth opened in that silent “o” of amazement, and then she said, “Cherie, we have a heavy duty washing machine and we aren’t using it!” Now I ask you? What are the odds that the one, rather unique item I present from our needs list would be exactly what they possess and do not need? GOD - +1. (To explain further, Jenny’s parents, in their “retirement”, decided to open a bed and breakfast and minister to pastors and missionaries who could go and stay, rest and recharge for the work they do in their own ministries and the washing machine they had acquired for the job was simply TOO heavy duty for their needs.)
You can imagine our marvel at this “coincidence”, hmmmm and Jenny shared in the excitement also! Jenny works for her brother’s manufacturing company which ships all over the world and she offered to speak to her brother and ask if their shipping guru could work his magic and try to get us a good price on getting the machine to Tanzania. We finished our meal (I was too excited to eat much) and said our goodbyes . . . Jenny promising to be in touch. I came home last Monday morning.
Thursday evening Jenny called and said, “Cherie its Jenny. Sit down. I spoke with my brother and he gave me permission to ask our shipping manager to look for decent fares to ship to Tanzania. Wellllllll . . . he cc'd me a copy of his email to my brother outlining the cost of shipping the washing machine in two methods . . . nestled nicely inside a 20’ container, OR, a 40’ and”, (get ready for this!) “my brother has offered to pay the freight for whichever size container you can fill! (Jenny had shared with her brother that here in Canada, we’ve been collecting all kinds of donations from YOU and that our dream was to afford to ship them over one day. Jenny’s brother has made ONE day, TODAY! I was ecstatic, to say the least and once I’d regained my composure . . . dried my eyes and said my thank yous and goodbyes to Jenny I ran to share the news with my husband Steve who was equally amazed at the generosity of “strangers”, people who don’t know us, but trusted in Jenny’s appraisal of the situation, of our need and our vision! God - +2!
In the ensuing discussion, (and more since, trying to decide what is priority?) Steve paused to remind me how expensive it will be to get our barn of Tumaini goods TO Ohio in order to take advantage of this incredible opportunity . . . wait for it . . . the phone rings WHILE we’re discussing this issue. It’s Jenny (AND GOD) saying, “Cherie, sit down again. My brother just called me and asked, ‘where does this woman live?’ and I told him, Ontario. He said, ‘we purchase raw materials for the company there . . . ask her if a transport can get into her driveway and we’ll stop there and pick up her goods and bring them here to warehouse and then ship them on . . . GOD-+3 . . . tissues two . . .
It has been such an incredible few days around here. Truly shocked at how blessed we are to be the beneficiaries of such kindness and trying so very hard to use this gift most efficiently to benefit our kids has had us VERY busy! We are trying to send a tractor, (we have one to donate), a plough and disc which will be used not only for our own gardens but will become another "business" a funds generator in Tanzania!
I knew I needed to share this story with you but didn’t write it until now, after attending church with David and Sherry, friends of ours and Tumaini’s (sponsors of Jenny in fact). We followed them to their church and met Pastor Marc Bertrand. His sermon took the GOD count up to SIX!
Knowing neither what we do nor that we were coming, Pastor Marc spoke about two things: ministry to ORPHANS and how important this ministry IS (+4) and worry (+5)! Many of you who know me, know how haunted I have been with worry about not being able to sustain the “tumaini” the “hope” we have brought to our children. Worry has brought me insomnia, ulcers and this year shingles and I struggle every day to be satisfied with doing the best I can and “hoping” that it will be enough and our kids will not suffer again.
God laid his hands ALL over Tumaini this past week (he has done so often in the past), and reminded me yet again, that HE is here, in this, with us. Pastor Marc’s words are inscribed into my brain forever and motivation for me to change . . . “when we worry, we declare GOD incompetent”. Noooooooooooooooooo, thank you!
Finally, because I can be a bit “thick headed”, or perhaps to show me HE does have a sense of humor, GOD +6 was driven home to me with a report delivered to the congregation on an outreach program the church supports called H.O.P.E. Helping Other People Eat, (remember folks that Tumaini MEANS “hope” in Swahili).
And, so. Here we sit with an incredible opportunity to get things needed in Tanzania TO Tanzania thanks to the power of GOD working through new friends. We are SO very grateful (I am told that our kind sponsor declines recognition) but we DO give thanks . . . to him and to HIM and to you who continue to make this possible. Our wish list follows:
A 36-42” flat screen television (on movie night we may have as many as 45 people squeezing around our set)
A diesel generator (a supporter donated two gas units but we are working them too hard)
Heavy duty sofa and a couple of easy chairs
Classroom furniture (especially chalkboard or chalkboard paint)
Solar lighting/panels, etc.
This is without a doubt a lofty wish list. I am wondering if, because this container will leave from Ohio, some of our U.S. supporters might join together to help us acquire this equipment and fill our container. Please, if you can help us help our kids in one of these special ways, please email me at your earliest convenience. Cheriemszucs@gmail.com and to each and every one of you, for loving us, Asante!
Inspired reading to the church groups inspired to reach out to us:
“Radical” by David Platt and “Mile 1” by Paul Carter.