Day to Day

The First Sunday Morning

I decided i would try to fight the jet lag by staying up. After my shower, my roommate Lexi told me she couldn’t sleep and was going to sit outside watch the sunrise. I sat outside with her and watched my view reveal itself to me slowly. DSC00026

The picture shows the beauty, but I promise it does not do the actual visual justice. In my first couple hours in Tanzania I was experiencing such beauty and peace that I could feel how fast this month was about to fly by and I was already trying to put the brakes on. A few minutes after the Sunrise, a boy named Casey came out and joined us. We all were talking and it turns out that both of them are from  ACU too. Casey and Lexi were apart of world wide witness. They are here for two months helping start a program for the mothers of these babies so that hopefully they can keep the babies rather than abandon them. Casey offered to make me some eggs and Lexi made me some coffee and i read Psalms 68 out of my bible. It was an amazing way to start my time in Tanzania. As the sun rose higher in the sky we started to accumulate more company out on the porch. An older couple, probably in their late 30s named Chad and Rebecca, joined us and i quickly learned they were alumni of Abilene Christian University! Another girl tat looked around my age appeared with coffee and joined out conversation. As I was explaining the story of how i learned about Neema Village, with my mom’s ex-boyfriend Rob’s parents dropping everything to start an orphanage, the new girl interrupted me and exclaimed that her dad is Rob and her grandparents are Micheal and Dorris! What a small world. It turns out their is another ACU student named Abbe who is also a granddaughter of Micheal and Dorris, but she is the daughter of a different brother. After the conversation died down everyone left to get ready for church. Everyone had previously picked a baby to take to church with them, so we all went down to the baby home. The volunteer director Emily gave me a quick tour while everyone else was grabbing the baby that they were taking to church with them. We all pilled into two vans and were off. The ride was bumpy, but the kids are tough and didn’t seem to mind at all.DSC00035.JPG

When we arrived at the church a man came out, personally greeted all of us, and escorted us inside to our seats. The church was a single-roomed building with window frames and door frames but bars and chain-links rather than actual doors and windows. Inside were rows of chairs arranged like pews. The chairs were plastic and colorful, kind of like those you would see at a daycare. At the front was a piano, a guitar, a drum set, and three microphones. We worshiped for around an hour in Swahili. The worship at this church was the most soulful experience I think I have ever experienced. You could feel God in that building. Their voices filled with love and intention and praise. There was no alternative motive. No lingering thoughts in the back of their minds. No after-church chores distracting them. The only thing they were thinking of was their undeniable love for Jesus. I could not understand anything they said, but I felt the love of God and that was all i needed. The service only lasted an hour and a half, but they say most church services in the area are around 3-4 hours long. They say that Sunday mornings when they get to worship God is the best time of their week and they want to make it last as long as possible. I think that is a beautiful thing. It is so opposite from how America works. I just think it is something to think about when we are talking about where our priorities truly lie. After church, I decided to take a nap because, after not sleeping in at least 48 hours, I really needed some rest. i didn’t end up waking up until 13 hours later at 3 in the morning…

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