Anyway… Wednesday morning we got up extra early and pilled into our “safari car” with Vincent (an excellent driver who has taken me on all three of my safaris) and headed towards the Serengeti. Once we entered the Serengeti area I was not expecting to see a lot of animals at first. Typically, you see a few animals on your first day as you are driving in and then you see most of the animals on the second day as you are making game runs and heading out. However, in true fashion, the four of us could not do anything typical. Right off the bat we saw 2 separate “couples” of lions. We joked and said that each couple was on their honeymoon and that’s why they were so far out! As we continued to drive, we saw giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, elephants, baboons, gazelles, warthogs, crocodiles, leopards and many other animals. I could not believe that we saw so many! We saw more that day than I had seen on my two other trips combined. It was crazy! Thursday morning we got up early to do a sunrise run and then came back for breakfast and headed out again. We drove around for several more hours before heading back to Mwazna. Overall, we had a great trip and took a lot of awesome pictures!
Friday was definitely a fun day. Liv decided that she wanted to throw the boys a birthday party. A lot of the boys do not even know when their birthday is, so she wanted to celebrate all of them on one special day. Earlier this week we went to the market and were able to buy each boy a pair of shorts, a shirt and a pair of shoes with money that had been donated. We thought these were perfect birthday gifts! Liv and I baked a cake and we bought pizza and cokes for all the boys. The boys were beyond excited about everything! We had a lot of fun helping them pick out which shorts and shirt they wanted. We had a sweet time of fellowship over pizza and cake. I’m pretty sure we left them all bouncing of the walls of the church from a sugar high…but it was worth it!
|My favorite shirt we bought! :)|
Today, Liv took Alston and I into town to the market to do some shopping while Brian studied and prepared his sermon for church tomorrow. Shopping is always an interesting experience in Africa. I love being able to look at the things that they have, but there’s one thing I love more…watching Liv wheel and deal with the sellers about the prices. It was always entertaining to watch her do it in English, but it’s even better in Swahili! She definitely got us some good prices! However, we had a funny/aggravating moment happen towards the end of our shopping trip. Liv had gotten this man to agree on a price for something I wanted. So, I paid the man, he bagged the stuff and we walked away. Several minutes later he chased us down and began to talk to Liv. Apparently it was not his shop and when he called and told what he sold the stuff for, he got in trouble. So, either I had to pay him more money or give the stuff back. The price he wanted was crazy, so I gave him the stuff back and he gave me my money back. I guess I should public apologize to my grandmother… Sorry Grandma, you won’t be getting the really cool baskets that I found for you! :)
Our day concluded at the church with the boys. They sang songs and did some scripture memory. I just love hearing them sing and recite scriptures. As I sit and listen I imagine about what Heaven is going to be like. One day, every tribe and every tongue will praise His name together. How incredible is that?!? I can’t wait. After singing we were waiting for their food to be brought down, so I was able to take some pictures of the boys. Once you start taking pictures, all of them want their picture taken! It was fun just playing around with them! Eventually the food came and Liv, Alston and I were able to plate it up and give it out to them. This is always a humbling time, but today it was even more so. These boys have nothing, yet three, yes three, of them “welcomed” me to eat with them. That quite possibly could have been their only meal today, but they were still willing to share with me.
What if we were willing to give and to share until it hurt?
What if we were willing to sacrifice what God has abundantly blessed us with for the sake of someone else?
What if we welcomed strangers into our lives and began to meet their needs?
I’ll tell you what…if all of us were willing to do this, we wouldn’t need to be ministering to the street boys of Tanzania…Because their would be no children sleeping on the streets.