Some thoughts from Ruth
Leaving Tanzania always stirs up mixed emotions – happy to be coming home and being reunited with loved ones but also incredibly sad to be leaving behind the rafikis you have made whilst being there.
This trip, I’ve formed deeper friendships with those I already knew, made new friends both on the team and in Tanzania, got deeper with God and learnt more about myself, and also got slightly darker skin than when I left the UK (we’ve been told the weather has been a miracle as it stopped raining when we arrived!).
It’s difficult to put into words anything that will describe the trip and do it justice!
What always stands out and what I always take away are the smiles of the children and the people’s joy despite having so little. Life is incredibly hard for them, for some almost unimaginably hard but they have a joy in Jesus that is inspirational.
The way the children immediately befriend us muzungus warms the heart (and will keep us warm when we’re back in chilly England!). Their fascination with the hairs on our arms and the colour of our skins, the way they talk animatedly to us without us having any idea what they’re saying and us being frustrated we can’t properly communicate back! But at the end of the day, it isn’t all about communication because you find other ways of communicating – through a smile, or just simply by holding hands and showing love in any way you can.
That is the reason for the trip; to show love. Jesus’ love. These children have next to nothing. Some are double orphans, some year after year wear the same clothes for their annual Grassroots sponsorship photograph, some would only get one meal a day and some are abandoned by their family. Unfortunately these are but a few examples of the situations children find themselves in across Mbeya. It genuinely breaks the heart.
£3.50 a month can help them in a small way. Not only physically but emotionally too. £3.50 a month, £42 a year in the grand scheme of things doesn’t seem like much. £3.50 a month could be a drink with a meal, £42 a year could be a tank of petrol or depending on how many mouths you have to feed, a food shop! But in the context of Tanzania, £42 will help ensure a child gets food, their fees to school will be covered and the child will feel cared for for a year – it gives hope and reminds them that Jesus hasn’t forgotten about them.