Well today the team was up bright and early and all packed and excited to head to Arusha to do some shopping, have some relaxation time, and then prepare to go on safari on Thursday. The girls who have been here for the extended time, had a hard time saying good-bye to the children at the Light in Africa Children’s home. They had a lot of tears and many hugs. These beautiful children of God, really steal your hearts and their smiles light up the world. The stories of these children are beyond anything that we can possibly imagine, yet they all are so happy and always smiling. Mama Lynn and the staff here are the most loving and caring people, and it shows in the children. To see these children walk hand in hand or arms around each other is beyond words, they truly love each other. Please all pray for Mama Lynn and all the staff her at Light in Africa (LIA).

As our schedules continue to be busy, I could not do this work in AFrica without Julius, Freeman and Faraja. I feel so blessed that God has put them in my life and they are our Hope team in Tanzania. They are always helping me out and doing it with a kind and giving heart. They are always telling me “Mama Gayle be blessed”, but what they don’t realize is I have been blessed by them. All the team just loves them and they reach out and help me with the children and with the patient’s in the hospitals. Sending out a lot of thanks and love to these three great men!

Mark Wheeler and I stayed in Moshi and went to St. Joseph’s to do surgeries. Upon arrival we went to the ward to visit the 16 year old from LIA, who Dr. Block did surgery on and I was met with a smile. We examined him and removed his dressing and then he was being dismissed and would go home with us at the end of the day. Then we visited the other man, who Dr. Rizk did surgery on, and removed his dressings and then gave him orders for dismissal. His son was with him and we gave them dismissal instructions. Without the presence of these doctors and the donations from Hope Ministries, these two patients would not have gotten surgery. God bless all involved.

Even with the rest of our team gone, Mark continues to be an awesome teacher in the OR. There are some students here from Germany and Australia, who asked if they could observe in surgery. Mark is so patient and explains everything to the students. His patience of educating the doctors and students, will leave a lasting impact on many peoples’ lives. Many of these students, including our team members, are trying to decide if they want to go into medical school, nursing, etc. and the teaching done by the doctors on this team, is so valuable and may help a young person make a decision on their education that could affect the rest of their lives.

After a long day and many orthopedic surgeries, we went to get the young boy from LIA and take him home. I was sad to have found out that someone had stolen his shoes. We searched the entire ward and could not find them. So thanks to my driver Freeman, he took Jacob to buy a new pair of shoes, donated by Hope Ministries, and he was looking sharp when they picked us up. As I was helping this young man into the van, he said “Please Mama Gayle stop, I want to pray for you”. The words of his prayers, made the tears flow down my face. It was a God moment for me, and I turned and give him a kiss on the check and a big hug. Thank you God, this is why I keep coming back to Africa.

We then traveled home and stopped to eat some supper. We ordered some barbecued chicken and chips and so typical of Tanzania, I think it took 3 hours to get it. We were all starved, but God always has a plan, and Mark and I really enjoyed the conversation with Freeman and the 2 boys from LIA. One of the boys came and stayed with the boy that was a patient and took care of him. What great young boys they are!

We then arrived back at LIA and got the patient some pain medications and put him to bed. Mark and I were exhausted from the long day, but our hearts were filled with happiness with the patients that were helped today.

The rest of the team will leave on safari on Thursday am, so they are filled with excitement. Please continue to pray for the team as we continue on our journey. Sending a lot of love and hugs to all of our family members at home.