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The Hands and Feet of Jesus ~ Compassion Tanzania Blogging Trip {Day 5}

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Masai Day 5-1

From the very beginning, this center visit in Arusha, Tanzania was different from all of the rest. Driving out to the center took over an hour and we traveled through some absolutely beautiful areas not far from Mt. Kilimanjaro. The homes here are a different style than the ones in Mwanza because the soil is so very different, making bricks difficult to make. Also, there is a very large Maasai population.

Masai Day 5-7

Maasai were in the fields herding their flocks and every now and then we would see a boma {a group of their houses}. Right now the fields are green and provide plenty of vegetation for the cattle to eat. Last year it was a different story for many when a long drought hit the area, making it difficult for families to feed and water their flocks and provide an income for their families.

For those in the Maasai tribes, education is not always a top priority. Girls can be married off at a very young age, and truthfully…there are other things that happen which are almost too difficult to think about, let along write about. Just know that as a mother of young girls, the thoughts make my heart unbelievably heavy and want to cry. And cry some more.

Compassion International’s work with the center in this area of Arusha is amazing, which was something I realized in full after our home visit.

Visiting a Maasai Home

Masai Day 5-2

After 15 minutes of driving, we had almost reached the home of 14 year old Lema. She is from a family in the Maasai tribe. We walked a short bit to get to their boma. Everyone needed to stoop to enter the door of their home, which then quickly filled with other family members, neighbors and those curious to hear what was happening. The mother quickly borrowed stools from nearby homes so that we all had places to sit.

Masai Day 5-3

The darkness completely enveloped us. There was a small fire that was dying out, but the embers glowed in the darkness.

Masai Day 5-4

Slowly, as my eyes adjusted, the structure of the house appeared and you could make out the faces of the many people inside with us. Lema was a bit shy and quietly answered our questions.

Masai Day 5-5

So many people were talking at the same time. One person was singing very loudly making it difficult to ask questions and hear answers, so after about 25 minutes with the family and a time of prayer, we began walking back.

Masai Day 5-8

The visit left me feeling a bit disoriented. After talking with another team member on the ride home, a few things about our visit to the center today impacted me. I began to understand how above and beyond this particular Compassion center works with the families in the area, but I know that it is not unique to this center.

A Passion for Children

Sometimes we forget the people that are ‘behind the scenes’ in the centers. We know there are teachers and directors and such, but we know that everything is taken care of and so that’s it, right?

Or maybe I am the only one who thinks that way {grins}. Yes, I write my sponsored children, send gifts, pray for them, but I’m also learning the importance of praying for these many individuals that provide the love and support for these families behind the scenes.

Typically, home visits are made to sponsored children twice a year. In this center that sponsors over 270 children, they try to make two home visits a month.

{I’ll let you stop and ponder the math for a moment}.

I’ll also let you think about the fact that many of these home are miles and miles away. Children are walking for a very.long.time {just thinking about it makes my legs tired}. This isn’t just a walk down the street to a friend’s house.  For the home that we visited, I would guess it is a good one hour walk ~ and that’s briskly {I don’t do briskly}.

During these home visits, the center workers are able to check on the families, see what assistance they need, and look into any concerns the family or child may have. This has been a huge help for young girls that enter the program and provides an added measure of protection {against the things that I am not even wanting to think about or mention}. The center helps give an added voice to those that are a part of the program.

For Lema, that can mean so many different things, but it gives her one more advocate as she continues her education. Dreams of one day being a teacher. Grows up to be a woman of faith.

The Compassion office in this area is very respectful of the unique qualities are part of the Maasai tribe. When some of the customs can be harmful to a child, they work hard to educate them of the dangers to individuals. The Maasai culture is truly a community and something that is so amazing, as I witnessed today.

My eyes have been opened this week to the many facets of Compassion International. From child sponsorships to caring for babies, families, future leaders, and critical needs around the world, there are people all over the world that work for and with Compassion, intently focused on being advocates for children in whatever way they can. They are using their passions to work behind the scenes, serve in the ways they are able and make a difference in the lives of children. Giving hours upon hours of time and prayer to these children.

And for that I am so very thankful {and thank YOU ALL at Compassion for the work you do!}. The are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus in the lives of children and walking with them day by day.

Would you like to help make the difference in the life of a child? Sponsor a child through Compassion International and begin helping fight the poverty of others.

If you have sponsored a child this week {or before}, would you let me know? I would love to pray for you and your child too!

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Read more of the other blogger’s stories via the Compassion Bloggers site.

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This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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  1. I know that we cannot even begin to grasp the things that are being done to children around the world  I am praying for you as you process what you’ve learned. Our Ncheshia is Massai so I enjoy this glimpse into his culture.

    Thank you!

  2. :( What a tough visit today was!  Praying for continued strength for you.. but also for the behind the scenes people that work for compassion. 

  3. 270 kids/2 times a month? Wow.  That passion is amazing. Who are these people? Nationals? Compassion staff from somewhere else?

    Jolanthe, I feel your disorientation. Praying for you today!

    • Amanda, it is the staff at that center that does the home visits. I will double check, but pretty sure there are only four working in the office there. They do not need to visit every child that often, but they are absolutely wonderful and care so very much for the children’s physical, spiritual and other needs. Amazing people everywhere on staff, because it isn’t just limited to this center. :)

  4. Wow. At a loss for words. We sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic. She is the exact same age (5) as my older girl, and they share a birthday….how much they are the same but different…. Thank you for praying. Will be praying for you as well.

  5. Your words share your heart well. I never thought about the behind the scenes staff much either, yet another things you’ve helped bring to light for me, thank you.

  6. Amazing!  You are an inspiration. This is one of my dreams someday. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Such a precious people! Loving the stories and pictures! Thank you for sharing the journey with us!

  8. Wow! Their passion for the children is evident with their extra home visits.

  9. Oh Jo….this hits my heart to the very core with all Brady and I are endeavoring in right now and I’m sure the unthinkables are what we are fighting against…..thankful for an organization that reaches into the depths where many lives are touched and changed each day. Thanks for all the posts……it’s got my heart and mind whirring!!!!

  10. Myra Hendrickson says

    THank You for your blog.  It makes me realize anew how much my sponsored child, Merry endures just to exist.  She, her family and the Center workers are a part of my prayer family.    God bless you, too.  Myra

  11. Thank you for going on this trip.  We sponsor a little girl at TZ 505 and won’t be able to think about visiting her for several years. 

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