My Life Verse

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tanzania Highlights.

I want to start by giving God all the glory for opening the door for me to travel to Tanzania with such an amazing family and work alongside such an amazing ministry out there. I also thank God for everything He revealed to me while I was in Tanzania and how He used me to shine His light and love to the people there. It is always a gift to be able to be the one being sent and experience what God is doing around the world. I also want to say THANK-YOU for supporting me as a missionary and contributing prayerfully and financially. I would not have been able to go without you!

I've tried to break things down to make it simple for you by separating my trip into categories where I will write a descrption about it and share a couple photos in each category. Enjoy!  *For more photos, click on the link at the bottom of the blog

1. The Rider Family

The Rider family consists of Paul, Crystal, and Levi. Paul and Crystal are married and Levi is their son. They were missionaries to Mozambique, Africa for many years and founded the organization I went to Africa with on my previous trips. They are a wonderful family and great people to be around and learn from. We certainly had lots of fun together! Paul is a great teacher and always bringing about laughter and fun. Crystal is such a sweet woman and never once withheld an encouraging word and continually spoke life over everyone God placed before her. Levi is so personable and sensitive to those around him. He always makes sure everyone is doing well and truly honors and loves people.

2. Kevin Basconi of King of Glories Ministries International.

Kevin is the founder of this ministry and you can find out more information about him at http://www.kingofglory His ministry supports Living Waters, which is a ministry in Tanzania we helped with during our stay. We partnered with Kevin while we were there. He led the school children in devotionals and teachings throughout the week. He also put together a "Love Feast" and Baptism at the nearby hotel, where the children were given the opportunity to swim in the pool, then get dressed up and enjoy lots of food. It was a FUN day for everyone. We got to spend the entire day with the children who live at the Children's Home and are supported by his ministry. He also brought us to visit some of the children that his ministry supports who live in homes with extedned family members. That was also an incredible experience. In one of the homes, we saw money literally multiply as he was handing it to someone. This kind of stuff happens all the time with him. He truly believes nothing is impossible with God and it is evident in his life.
3. Carolyn Phillipot of Living Waters Ministry

Carolyn Phillipot is 74 years old and one of the most amazing women of God I have ever met. She has an incredible testimony and the gift of faith. She is dedicated and committed to serving the Lord wholeheartedly no matter what He asks of her. She trusts Him to provide and expects miracles, and she always gives God the glory for everything. I spent five days living in her home. The highlight of staying with her was and my favorite part was praying together in her living room before we went to bed. She is so loving and truly cares for the children in Tanzania. It is her home as God has called her there and she serves Him so faithfully each and every day. Crystal always said "Carolyn does things with excellence" and that is so true! It was such a blessing to serve alongside such a strong and powerful woman of God out there!

4. Living Waters Education Center

Living Waters Education Center is a school that educates almost 400 children in Mwanza, Tanzania! Carolyn Philipott is the founder. It is Bible-based and the children are highly encouraged to attend devotionals during the week and church on the weekend. Although it is a Christian school, everyone is welcome and there are quite a percentage of muslim children who attend. The teachers are phenomenal and the school is beautiful. There is a play ground with a seasaw and monkey bars, as well as rope connecting to surrounding trees that the children can climb. They are given porridge at break time. I can only speak highly of such a wonderful school. All the glory goes to God as Carolyn says because He provided the location and everything that followed. He honored her vision. He meets every need. The children that attend the shcool are very happy to be there and enjoy learning. The respect the teachers. None of the teachers physically abuse the children. I only mention this because I saw this happen when I was at a school in Ghana and it is not unheard of in Africa in general.
5. The Village
One of the first days we were in Tanzania, Carolyn brought us to a nearby village. Some of the children in this village had never seen a white person "Mzungu" before, so they were unsure about us at first. Once they warmed up to us, it was super fun interacting with and loving on them. Paul gave a lesson about Jesus and then taught them a song. We entertained and played with the village children while Carolyn talked with the adults about the potential of purchasing a building for a school for these children. Currently, there is a school in this village that meets under a giant tree. The day we went to the village, we delivered a large chalkboard that Carolyn had and didn't need. God provided her with it and she knew it was to be given to the school in the village.
6. Homes
At the end of our trip, we were given the opportunity to visit some of the homes of children that we and our church sponsored. There was a number of children who were living in an oprhanage for a length of time until something happened and that was no longer an option. Due to that, the children are currently living with an extended family member or widowed mother. (It can be complicated to understand the living situations in Africa, but this is what we got to be involved with during our time there, and it was an honor) When we went to visit the children in their homes, we interviewed and prayed over the children and family members. The African culture is so welcoming and hospitable and it was so lovely to be welcomed into each home we visited. As you can see, they don't have much and the living arrangements aren't the best conditions.
7. Baptism
King of Glories Ministry hosted a pool day and baptism for the children who live at the Childrens Home and those in the community supported by their ministry. The children were able to go swimming in the pool at the local hotel and they had so much fun! We played with beach balls, enjoyed a soda, and just swam around. At the end of the pool party, some of the children (those pictured to the side) chose to get baptized, so we bapitzed them in the pool as they committed their lives to Christ. It was such a great experience baptizing those I had built relationships with during the short time I had been in this community. As you can see, God has given them all great joy and we had a very fun day!
8. Love Feast

Kevin put together a love feast for the people that were invited for the baptism and pool day. It was hosted at the hotel. There was plenty of food for everyone. It entailed dinner, a soda, and dessert. It was buffet style. Kevin shared some encouraging words and love to those that his ministry supports, and he gave Carolyn flowers. Crystal honored Carolyn for all that she does for their community as she is the long-term missionary living there and taking care of not only the children but has invested her heart in the entire city of Mwanza in which they live.

9. African Culture
I've noticed that I take less pictures when I travel to Africa because I like to soak in everything rather than view it through the lens of a camera. However, I know that those of you who support me and/or have never been to Africa before enjoy seeing pictures of what the African culture is like, so I did my best to take some photos of the scenery. I'm thankful that Crystal is a great photographer and she took many pictures as well, so you can find more on the link at the bottom of this blog, where I have posted all of my pictures from Tanzania.

10. Safari in the Serengeti

At the end of our trip, we had made arrangements to go on a Safari in the Serengeti National Park for a few days. It was such an incredible experience. We got to see elephants, zebra, giraffe, monkeys, impala, lions, and more. We stayed at hotels within the park. A few unforgettable moments: 1. We got upgraded to the presidential suite one night because there was a lion walking within close proximity to the pathway to our room after dinner. (We had to sleep in what clothes we had on because all of our stuff was still in our room, but it was so much fun) 2. We saw two elephants playing/fighting.3. We saw an entire pack of lions and watched them for quite some time. They were hungry and on the hunt for zebras, and we ended up seeing one lion try to catch and eat a zebra. The zebra managed to prance away, though. 4. An elephant came up to Crystal and my window at another hotel in the middle of the night, literally facing our window only.

For more photos, click on the following links:


(Tanzania Safari)