As many of you know, I have just got back from Tanzania, where I was volunteering with Tearfund. Eight of us went out to work with Tearfund’s partners AICT in the Mara and Ukerewe diocese. We were based in Musoma up on Lake Victoria but travelled out into the rural areas for work.
Whilst out there, we taught at a few schools where we really managed to connect with the kids, and they seemed to learn from our “teaching”. I taught maths and science to students aged 8-17. Finding out about the struggles they face every day was not only interesting it also meant we could talk to the partners and see if we could help to alleviate some of those struggles. Getting to know these kids was one of the best experiences I had out there, they were so enthusiastic, eager to learn, and many were very passionate about Jesus which was inspiring to see.
We also got ‘stuck in’ with the work at the local churches; singing, dancing and doing the Sunday school each week. I was fortunate to preach twice, once to a congregation of over 200 people! It was an amazing experience for me to preach Gods’ word to so many people, to show that Gods’ love is worldwide and that the gospel is for everyone. It was awesome to have people coming up afterwards and responding to the word that God had said to them through me.
We were so fortunate to have some incredible experiences with some truly amazing people. Playing football and catch with some girls at a safe house run by Hope for Girls was one of those ‘once in a lifetime opportunities’. Girls as young as 4 who have all been victims of FGM and GBH, safe now and smiling constantly. It was awesome to see how God was working through charities such as this.
As part of Tearfund’s mission to end poverty, we took part in a lot of agroforestry projects. Be it milking cows, teaching kids at schools about how to farm sustainably so they can take those skills back to their homes or planting trees, we did it all! At a number of schools we planted trees together with a pupil who would then look after our trees and help them to grow. Getting stuck in with sowing whole fields of maize was a real insight into how so many people make their living out here. It was also good to do some manual labour with the hoes!
Although our placement was cut short by two weeks, I am very grateful for all the time I was able to be out there, experiencing a different way of life and helping to improve the lives of others, spiritually and physically. I also was able to grow in my faith and continue to do morning devotions now that I’m back home, reading my bible and learning more about this amazing grace of God. So I want to say a massive thank you to all those who sponsored me and enabled me to go. It was an incredible experience that I won’t forget and was made possible because of so many of you!
If anyone has any questions about my time away, drop me an email email@example.com and I’ll be happy to answer them. :)
Mungu alubariki (God bless you). Joss Wheeldon