My first Day in Africa

**We lost electricity so I did not get this blog sent after I typed it.   So you are getting it a day late!


Wow what a day it has been.  I started out not sleeping well because of the time change and then someone in the next room really knew how to snore.  Hopefully tonight will be better.

It feel so good to be back in Africa.  There is something that stirs within side of me when I arrive here.  As soon as I step off the plane, I  take a deep breath and the familiar smells of Tanzania fill me with excited.  Then I am always so happy to see my Tanzanian Assistant, Julius and my driver Freeman.  I am greeted with their warm smiles and big hugs.

This morning my dear friend Fiona came right away in the morning for coffee, which I am always excited to see my dear friend.  We got updated on each other lives and then I went to town to have some Swahili lessons.  I know a lot of Swahili but my goal is to learn to speak it fluently, so with the help of a Tanzanian friend working with me daily I can accomplish that goal.  I know my patients and  friends will love it!  They said is shows that I really care about what I do her in Tanzania.  

After my Swahili lesson, I met my assistant Julius and we went over the schedule and spent time setting up meetings.  We then went to exchange money.  I then met with my dear African sister Nai.  I just love her so much and I am always so happy to see her.  When you leave so far away from each other and don’t see each other often, we rely on God to hear our prayers to keep each other safe.  She is a nurse so been a big discussion on what Hope Ministries can do medically and what steps I need to take to make sure we are in compliance with the Tanzanian government.  Always red tape to work through, but I want to always be a step ahead of immigration.  

Then Nai presented me with the saddest situation and asked for my help.  Her and a Doctor from ALMC, were doing an outreach clinic and a lady presented with these two children.  The mother of the children has severe mental health issues, and the sister stole the two children from her to bring them to the hospital to see Nai and the doctor.  As Nai explained the situation, she fought back the tears and pleaded for my help.  These two children had always been tied in a chair and locked in a house with the dogs, cats and sheep.  The oldest boy was 12 years old and could not talk and appeared malnourished.  The second child was a girl and 8 years old and could not talk and walked on her hands and feet like the animals do around her and was malnourished.  Nai said it was the saddest thing ever.  

Nai then offered them some food.  The boy would take the food and smell it and then gobbled it up.  They were so hungry.  Nai then said some words to the boys and he would repeat them.  So it was obvious that he has the ability to learn to talk.  She then stood the little girl up and she was able to shuffle and tried to walk.  They could not find anything wrong with the children.  So the sister was going to take them home.  Nai could not bear hearing that they would have to go home to these conditions.  So she contacted the district commissioner.  She brought the children to see him and he had to turn away after seeing them and then called the police to go to the children’s home to check things out.  The mother chased them away.  Because they did not have anywhere for the children to go, they were brought back home.  

Now Nai has pulled at my heart strings and asked for my help, so I have started making some phone calls to see what we can do to save these children.  Please pray for them and that God gives me the strength to say the right things and contact the appropriate people.  This is so hard to believe that these beautiful children are being treated like animals.  On the other hand, please pray for this mom because she is mentally ill and not responsible for her actions.  I will keep you updated, but I am need of a lot of prayers.  

Sending a lot of love to all my friends and family.