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Good afternoon from Tanzania!

Good afternoon from Tanzania!

Good afternoon from Tanzania; this is Anya Hockenberry on July 22nd, 2021, reporting from the TMI Tanzania base. Days are growing sunny as the winter winds down; when clouds permit, we have a stunning Kilimanjaro to behold. Last night at sunset, the peak turned orange for a minute before slipping into darkness. We paused dinner to behold it. 

The last few days have been comparatively uneventful compared to last week’s full foot washing. Since Monday, we’ve been catching up on daily things that were overlooked, putting our affairs in order to leave, and spending quality time with Saba and the staff. 

We brought several duffels to Tanzania, organized by Florida staff, packed with a variety of sizes. Since predictions are impossible, we ended up with lots of infant toddler, and adult sizes. Most kids we serviced were, regrettably, in the middle category of adult sizes 1-6. About 70 pairs were left over, and on Monday, Lydia J helped a few leaders sort and catalogue them. Saba and Ethel will distribute the rest to those in need, and the list of which sizes we have is helpful. 

 Saba took us on an in-bus city sightseeing tour; he wanted us to see the buildings, open markets, and people. A few team members commented that people in rural areas were more likely to smile and wave than city dwellers. Selah E rode in the truck with Saba and three leaders, and he described two mosques we passed and many in Muslim dress. We didn’t see any city Christian churches. That evening, Maranatha R gave a beautiful message on the blood of Jesus. She shared several Scriptures and some experiences which made that theology reality. We took courage & peace  remembering that we have the victory. 

Today, team members got caught up on laundry, some four or five days behind. Cleaning is always fun with another person, as Kathryn S and Selah E showed by throwing soap at one another. Team members aid each other in wringing out clothes, sharing buckets, and scrubbing stains. No wonder everyone finishes before the hour ends! They spent time today packing, too - and preparing to leave this country. Bryson A confided that he’ll miss the cheerful people, delicious food, and Kilimanjaro. Through Biblical conversation and soccer, team members are well-acquainted with the staff and BMW students, too. Aric R plays with them well after dark (not so much a formidable opponent, he admitted, because they’re really good). It’ll be sad to leave. 

Today and tomorrow, we will continue  practicing our debrief presentation. It consists of introductions, testimonies, a skit, and team songs. We will drive to the airport on Saturday at 2pm and fly at 5pm. Please pray that all Covid tests are negative, final preparations go well, and that travel is smooth! God bless. 

Note: All team members have written a web testimonial. For today, each of the leaders have written one. Team members were all & equally given opportunity to write an additional testimonial. 

“Even though this summer has been very different , it has been great to be back in Tanzania with the 2021 Foot Washing Team. We have been privileged to spend this time with 19 amazing teens, who we have come to love and will continue to pray for them in the future. I want to say ‘thank you’ to my other three leaders, all of which this has been a new experience and they have done an awesome job! I would also like to say ‘thank you’ to the staff here at TMI Tanzania who helped make our foot washing days such a success—Enoch, Rachel, Witness, Isayah, and Jubilathe—thank you so much! Thank you also to Japhet and Ezekiel for your help and encouragement, and a special thank you to Saba and Ethel for taking such care to make us feel welcome and care for our needs. We love you and will miss you as we go.” -Patricia Storey, Head “Male” Leader

“Jambo [Swahili for hello]! I am sad to see this summer in Tanzania come to an end! I have loved getting to know each team member and seeing hem grow in their relationship it’s God, and serve Him! I am so proud of each of them and have loved being able to be their leader! This summer as we’ve been serving here in Tanzania, my heart for missions, especially medical, has grown immensely. My heart also broke as we had to turn people away because there was nothing we could do to help their medical condition or when we could only do a little. In some cases, all we could do was tell them t go to a doctor and pray for them, leaving their condition in God’s hands. I am so thankful for this team, the other leaders on it, and the parents who not only entrusted us with their kids but also took the time to pray for our team. We love you all and are paying for you! Love,” -Deborah Veit, Head Female Leader

“My time in Tanzania as definitely different from what I expected. With a limited amount of shoes, we had to be fluid and flexible. Even though it was different, our team still was able to give several hundred people does. God was able to use and teach the team that He is in control even when we aren’t. Outside of our work, the beauty and grandeur of Mt. Kilimanjaro is spectacular, and it is a blessing that we can see it from the base. I hope that this summer was an adventure that lasts an eternity for our team members.” -Joshua Troyer, Assistant Male Leader

“Thank you for sending your teens to Tanzania this summer. They grew exponentially, drawing close to God and in friendship with one another. They put their all into playing with these kids, washing their precious feet, and finding the best shoes possible. Despite the language barrier, all your teens showed the Lord’s love and perseverance, sometimes trying three pairs of shoes so a child could freely and safely run. It’s been a blessing to see. Expect your stateside atmosphere to change, because the Teen Missions Tanzania team is ready to return!” -Anya “Anne” Hockenberry, Assistant Female Leader

“Dear mom, dad, Laurel, Selena, Elaina, Marielle, Nathaniel, Carlton, and Grandma: I miss you guys and am so excited to see you soon! I am really going to miss Tanzania. It is so beautiful here, and I’ve had such a wonderful experience. I loved washing feet, and we were able to give out so many shoes. I also had an amazing time at the Ngorongoro Crater. I can’t wait to show you all the pictures! I’m excited to see the new living room. Love you guys and see you soon!” -Lydia J. 

“My time here in Tanzania has impacted me in so many ways. Seeing the joy and generosity of the people here, no matter their circumstances, has opened my eyes and humbled me. Even though we are leaving in a couple of days, the lessons I learned here will stay with me and I will regularly think of the many people I met here and of those beautiful country. While I will miss Tanzania and the family this team has become, I am so excited to be home soon!” -Kayla S. 

“Hello family, friends, and random strangers I have never met! Our time here in Tanzania has been winding down quickly. I think all of us find it hard to believe how quickly it has all gone by. Most of us are looking forward to going home, but will miss Tanzania. The gorgeous landscape, wonderful people, and their passion for life. The trip has been a great, growing experience for most if not all of us (including myself), and I am very glad that I am on this team. Throughout this trip, God has been teaching me the importance of following the Holy Spirit’s leading in the little things. Some examples of that are asking simple questions leading to good conversations and saying certain things during Bible studies. Yesterday and the day before, some of us played soccer wit the students and staff at the BMW school here. IT is very fun, and I typically play goalkeeper. I am looking forward to seeing hose of you who I actually know. Hi mom.” -Joshua H. 

“I have lots of funny and cool stories and experiences to share when I get back, but I wanted to share one about a little boy named Davis. Davis is a baby, probably a year old, and came on the foot washing day I was in charge of the medical station. Davis’s dad walked up, holding him with a blanket wrapped around him. We greeted each other, and then he uncovered Davis’s face from the blanket. I was in shock. His face had blisters from burns and open burn wounds all over his face and neck, to where you couldn’t see his skin. Just looking at him completely broke my heart. I tried not to react because I didn’t want them to be scared, but I knew we didn’t have the right stuff to help him. I grabbed what I could find that would take some pain away, and as I was helping him, I started to cry. I knew the family didn’t have enough money to heal the wounds. I was praying for him as I worked and still do pray. [Ms. Deb] did all that we could, prayed over him, and tried to keep it clean. (Dad, this is for you: I told them to wash it every day with antibacterial soap and water). Though it’s a sad story, I’m glad I got that experience and see God work in my life in that way. Love y’all; see you soon!” -Ellie D.