Hello dear friends,
I have now returned to Tanzania having visited South Dakota and California on this short trip to America.
My first port of call was to a ‘blustery’ cold Iowa with snow on the ground. It takes a lot of adjustment for me and many layers of clothes, after leaving a very ‘hot’ Tanzania as we wait for the ‘rainy’ season to arrive and cool everything down.
I always stay when in Iowa with Lee and Nicole Harding and their family, and it is always a delight to stay with this wonderful couple who extend such kindness to me as do their extended family. Aurora gave up her bedroom for me to stay in and hanging on her door was this notice, which I think could apply to all of us. I shall be making some cards when I return home to place in all of the children’s homes.
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
T - IS IT TRUE. H - IS IT HELPFUL. I - IS IT INSPIRING. N – IS IT NECESSARY. K – IS IT KIND
Sadly I didn’t have time to visit Akron where the Harding’s used to live to meet with the farming community down there and Liz and Steve Wilcox. It just means I shall have to return for a longer visit next time.
My first speaking engagement was at the Blue Mountain Restaurant where I was on arrival interviewed for a slot on the local tv station and afterwards I spoke to a select group of people on the work of Light in Africa which helped to raise funds for Hope Ministries, who are an overseas medical mission team which visited LIA 3 times last year, and already visited with a group in January of this year with another proposed visit in May where they will help the poor to access medical treatment on one of our out-reach stations where we work.
I then flew from Iowa to Los Angeles where I was met by my dear friend Jim Ludwig who chauffeured me to his lovely home in Malibu to meet with his wife Cindy ( Jim and Cindy very kindly wrote the forward to the book A LIGHT IN AFRICA ) and a group of friends for an evening meal and to once again catch up with all that is happening at Light in Africa with our children. The following day Jim drove me to the Augoura Hills where a Global Conference on Disability had been organized by Joni Erickson Tarda and her team. With over 800 delegates from around the world coming together to share and network on how best to help the disabled child and adults. It was truly an amazing experience to be part of a universal community, and I was particularly touched when in her opening speech to the conference mentioned our mission in helping the children who are albinos within our care. Thankfully, the Tanzanian Government have come out strongly and banned all witchdoctors from practicing their cruel trade and we pray this will be the end of this cruel practice on this marginalized group of people.
Then it was off to stay at my second home in California and to meet my best buddy Max, who hadn’t seen me for over six months and so many soft toys had to be brought to my feet for me to throw.
His owners Liz & Gordon were more controlled and just gave me hugs and a nice cup of tea aaahhhhh
Whilst in California I had the pleasure to catch up with Joan Coleman who was visiting our children at Tudor and we waved to each other as we crossed the Atlantic in different airplanes, it was great to see Joan looking on her return to the States so well after her major neck surgery. We visited a wonderful couple who had made a pledge to have a bore hole drilled on our site at Tudor Village to try to find water for our children. This precious commodity was found by Gasper a hydrologist who works for ChemChem Drilling Company in Arusha and after a depth of 89 meters water was found. It was just so exciting.. We are now looking at options to have it pumped to the surface to enable distribution to the children’s homes.
Sadly the grandfather who was brought to us by the local police when his wooden shack that he lived in was burnt down, died just before I left to visit the USA. The staff and I at LIA are content to know that we gave him a quality of life over these last few months that he had not enjoyed for a long time. He was quite a cheeky ‘chappie’ in some respects asking me to give him a wage as a security guard – he was in his eighties, had one eye and shuffled an inch at a time, - I asked him what he would do with a wage and he said he wanted to buy some snuff and a soda so we ensured he received these just so our security wasn’t compromised and when my daughter –in-law went to get him washed and ready for church on Sunday, he asked her to marry him!! Joseph was a devout Catholic, he loved the Lord so we are happy to know he is now with his Maker.
It sometimes feels that as we are a ‘grass root’ organization and work with all the different tribes in the area that we also see some of the worst of the countries behavior.
This child was brought to us by the local police. She is so seriously traumatized she sits like this all day afraid to move. That’s not surprising as she was found tied to a tree and slept in a cow shed, another example of the wicked stepfather syndrome. It is going to take months and months of painstaking loving kindness before this child trusts anyone again.
And today, my dogs found this starved little puppy at my door. It had had a slit made in his ear and a cow tag inserted into it. One of the children asked me if an angel had brought it to my door…. Who knows?
Abundant Blessings - always - mama Lynn