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2010 Trip Archive

The following are the daily team updates written and submitted by team member Karl Kurz.

Day 2
We are in Dubai…on the plane we slept fitfully, study our lessons some, prayed some, rubbed our swollen feet, and all watched 1-3 movies with “How to Train Your Dragon” being given 5 stars by George and myself.

I need to share a sweet moment from yesterday. As we were gathered in IAH preparing to leave, Gil Gray who went with us last year, came in and prayed over us. Quite a blessing to have a dear brother drive out and back from Katy just to pray for us AND with us before we left. Thanks brother Gil…you are missed already (you too, Graham!); however, Gil you would be glad to know that no one has yet to replace their backpack within two hours of landing in Dubai this year!

Such a privilege to serve a great God with such great men. A special shout out for Hollowell Sinclair who turned 80 on Friday! He is a STUD for the Kingdom!

Please pray earnestly for God to do unimaginable and unexplainable great things to make His Name famous! A quick shower and off to dinner.

“I pray for you that our God may count you worthy of his calling and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. I pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Day 3
Began the day way too early after getting a call from my wife at 4:00 AM!

We almost left George in Dubai — do you realize how hard it is to wake a teenager? Don left the key in the room as he came down early for breakfast and it took multiple phone calls and door knockings to rouse him from his beauty sleep. Must be nice to sleep that deeply anywhere in the world.

I also know that Hollowell’s name is holloway it’s just that it should be Hollowell — anyway we now refer to him as the Colonel, and Curtis is called Sonny, Don is 3D Davis, I am now Buc-ee, Ross is now called LRR (last rites Ross, I wish I could explain), Bill is called “one and half times Bill”, and Terry is Inspector Gadget (which we are thankful for) — obviously one more name is needed for George but it has to be really special.

Bill and I were quite proud of our ability to watch the world cup final last night. After trying about 40 websites we finally found one that carried the game live. We then hooked our portable projector to the laptop and enjoyed a big screen view of the game. Our connection froze up about every 3-4 minutes but a 1 minute reboot would solve that, through all that we saw about half the game live, including the winning goooaaaaallllll!

The flight to Dar Es Salaam began to test our resolve some as the mismatch between our body clocks and local time felt more evident. Getting visas and through Dar customs is hard to explain, Crenshaw likens it to an episode of the 3 Stooges, nevertheless God delivered all 17 of our checked bags 11,000 miles. After a 2 hour drive covering less than 15 miles, we are at the CEFA house ready to hit the road at 5:00 AM tomorrow morning. Next stop the Durban Inn in Makembako! On the first drive in Tanzania we learned how to turn a two lane road into a four lane road, played chicken with several bicycles, and passed our lane of slow moving traffic using the shoulder on both sides of the road (think about it…)!

Thanks so much for lifting us up — it takes over three days to get to where we are going, but it is worth it to serve the Lord in this amazing country! I am so pumped about seeing my Safwa brothers and serving with them! Please pray for our battle in the days ahead, there is a kingdom work going on here I expect to see the great deceiver as we did last year. Pray that we will daily, consciously, purposefully, and boldly don the armor of God. Lock and load baby, the saints are marching in!

Day 4
We were up at 3.45 AM due to jet lag. A unique and filling breakfast of tortillas, peanut butter, honey, and summer sausage and on the road at 5.15 am. Vehicles were packed tightly with little room for passengers, for ONLY 12 hours of driving today. We drove through Mukumi Game reserve and were able to see some elephants, baboons, giraffes, impalas, zebras, buffalo, and warthogs. Hard to enjoy them at 120 km/hr but it is exciting to see some wild animals of Africa. The animals, the scenery, and the flora all declare His glory, but most amazing are the people. They are everywhere, sometimes too numerous too count and sometimes a solitary person…walking, sitting, riding a bike, and like you and I each is made in His image, is precious in His sight, and has a unique life story. I see them on the side of the rode and wonder what their story is and whether they will ever have a chance to hear about the Lover of their soul.

We arrived at the Darban house and are gathering for dinner. Momma Monica (our American missionary contact) shared a letter from the one of church plants last year. They have added 17 new believers and are continuing to grow. They thanked us for bringing the gospel of truth to their village last year. This is very exciting, humbling, and encouraging news as we move set camp and minister to the villages tomorrow.
One last night in a bed and then to the tents…the stars will be amazing, again declaring His Glory. Thanks again for your prayers and replies, they are needed and encouraging to the team.

Day 5
The journey continued — we started the day with “Spanish” omelets. It was actually the best thing I had eaten since Kari and I had sushi last Wednesday. God did a great thing when he made eggs, or did make chickens first? Chicken or egg? Don’t know but I like eggs more than chicken!
Another 2 1/2 hours on “paved” road, an 1 hour delay, and another hour on a dirt road, and we arrived at Kilambo!

Let me tell you something, I have been blessed to travel to some unbelievable places and some desolate remote places.

I have been dirty dusty and filthy; however, I have never been so dust/dirt covered as today. This area is so different than last year. Dirt and dust describes it best. On the drive in we could literally taste dust on almost every other breath. Everything is dusty. The local kids are so dusty that are actually gray!

We got here and pitched camp, it is always a good feeling for a Boy Scout to get his tent up. George “Futbol” Williamson broke out the soccer ball and the game began. I cannot describe the scene as our team with ages of 17, 64, 50, 42, 49, 49, and 73 yrs old (Sonny) engaged the local boys. We tried to redeem the name of our world cup team but I am sorry… Africa won again. After an hour or so of soccer, we retired but the game went on. The thrill of a real soccer ball (they usually play with a dense wound ball of rags) was evident. The children are so precious and so happy. It is such a blessing just to see them and interact with them. We have had a medical incident and guess who…yes our navy medic, LRR, Last Rights Ross. Ross attacked an Acacia tree and almost won until it grabbed his ear and cheek, a lot of blood for a little wound. Made for some great pics!
Our Safawa brothers and sisters finally arrived and they arrived in style. They came in the back of a midsize pickup truck. There were over 30 men and women, with luggage, singing, clapping, and praising God — the effort to get here was covered in full by witnessing their arrival. I know I get so much more than I have the ability to give on this trip. These people grow my faith, challenge my heart, and shine the light of Jesus in a dark world. We have covered over 11,000 miles in 3 1/2 days to get here. Its dusty dirty remote thorny and uncomfortable but we all love It and are glad we are here! God is good! Praise His Mighty Name!

Please pray for work here in Kilambo, Tanazania!

Day 6
A cool night of poor sleep but ended by a cup of coffee with another round of tortillas peanut butter and honey. We started sharing and discipling today. At the first home Futbol (George) and Buc-ee (me) stopped at, we shared some Bible stories and were asked many hard questions. We answered by the Spirit and the man decided to accept Christ as his Savior! What a blessing!. Needless to say George and I were excited and fired up. We had a 6’4″ giant accept Christ this afternoon…he rode up on a bike as we were sharing with his wife. My first instinct was TROUBLE! He was a giant with a scowl, unfriendly disposition, and carrying a big stick. Man’s wisdom (mine) was again shown as foolishness as the Spirit prompted his heart to seek the Savior. Our big big God just gave us a big big brother in Tanzania! We got some great pics of us with him. 3D Don and the Colonel also had a run in with a demon possessed woman. Many requests for us to come back and share more of God’s word. God is working.

Dinner was rice tomatoes and onions, and it was delicious! Right now we have about 25 children singing and dancing as we ready to show the Jesus film in Swahili. This will a big screen showing on the mud wall of a hut. More after the film!
Well we had over 80 show up for the world premier showing of the Jesus film in Kilambo, Tanzania! Pray for the seeds that were planted tonight in the hearts of these people.

Heading to bed after we rescued the Colonel and LRR’s tent from a battalion of army ants. These are major league 1/2″ ants with matching mandibles. Probably would have devoured the Sinclairs overnight if left alone.

My first set of clothes lasted 4 days…these will have to last the same, but I am a little concerned that they will already standup in the tent by themselves. Pigs now avoid me.

Day 7
I kept smelling something in my tent last night — I thought it was Crenshaw but it was me. The magic of a few baby wipes changed BO a baby powder aroma and everything was just lovely until my declared non-snoring tent partner started snoring. There’s a point where exhaustion overcomes noise and I found it. Today was another beautiful morning but there was a little more aches and stiffness in the team.

Bible storying and discipling continue, we are being blessed by God using us to save, encourage, and restore. One of the teams were able to restore a woman’s faith that she is loved by God and saved. She came to marry a man in this village and found out she was his third wife (it is almost impossible for a woman to leave a marriage here, men don’t either they just go get another wife). For twelve years she has been isolated from Christians and believing she could not be saved because of the polygamous situation. What a joy for the team to restore her joy in the Lord by explaining she was stilled loved and a child of the King. We have had many faith decisions and hundreds of seeds have been planted. People now know we are here and come for prayers of healing and more questions about the Bible.

During our afternoon training, a herd of goats invaded the “kitchen” area of camp. One and half times Bill to the rescue,! In his haste to show off his herding skills, he grabbed an Acaia branch (same kind that gave LRR an ear piercing). As its thorns met his flesh, he managed not to cry like a baby, sucked it up, and grabbed another branch and proceeded to disperse the goats…or so he thought. As he stood looking over his efforts, about 6 goats circled in behind him. They could have enjoyed their ill-gotten gain longer but they couldn’t help but laugh at Bill, baaaahaaaahaaa. Their position now disclosed, and Crenshaw now given a second chance, the goats didn’t have a chance.

Again, thanks for the prayers. KEEP them coming.

Day 8
Still working hard, Bible storying, sharing, and training. Everyone is doing well, but I am looking for a second wind. Long day today of walking, walking, walking — Futbol helped carry me through. Colonel and 3D had four people of one family accepted the Savior today. The doctrinal training has proved to be extremely valuable in the areas of prayer, security of salvation, spiritual warfare, and loving others. When we arrived here, we thought this was a much poorer village compared to last year. It was visually less attractive…dusty, drier, with more trash lying around. We were wrong. This is a wealthy village. Lots of cows, pigs, goats (which you have heard about), and chickens (I love chickens). They have extra crops to sell to generate some excess cash. I have now concluded the amount of trash generated by a society is in direct proportion to its wealth.
When David, the local Zambian missionary, arrived here they said “See our cows, see our pigs, see our goats, see our women, see our houses, and see our farms…what can your God give us that we don’t have?”. It took me back to Israel — we must tell them OUR story of how our Christ changed us. It is the testimony of the saints that we fail to use as effectively as we should. It is the only message that they can’t dispute, dispel, or argue. We must share our testimony.

Please continue the prayers and for the those that have responded to the updates, thank you, for those that haven’t responded…may the dust of Tanzania bless your house and the smell of my clothes fill your closets. Even if you don’t respond…PRAY.

Day 9
I’m back!!!! Thanks for the prayers! Unbelievable, unimaginable day!

Last night I sat around the fire with the Safwa because the size of the group this year we are in two camps right next to each other. Sitting around the fire in the cool evening, listening to all the discussions while understanding nothing, and singing their songs with them as they laugh at my pronunciation has given me that second wind. The Restorer of our souls relishes to lift our spirits, and He has lifted mine. “One and a half times” left with David to show the Jesus film in a neighboring village. They had to take David’s motorbike…quite a sight to see that bike with big ol Crenshaw riding double holding all the equipment. Speaking of Bill, another flat out stud for the Kingdom, he makes this thing go. He coordinates and leads with conviction and grace. If you know him, thank him for being a servant leader extraordinaire.

Dinner last night was ugali (boiled corn flour which turns into a thick paste, in the states we call it spackling) and a beef stew poured on top. It was outstanding! This stuff would sell in Texas. The team is considering opening “Momma Naomi’s Tanzanian Kitchen” in Katy.
Bill got back late with news that 30 accepted Christ from the Jesus film showing. To the Praise of His Glory! We are sending George in place of Bill tonight. He is young and needs less sleep, and he eats too much!

Today, breakfast of “donuts” (some type of fried dough, really good if covered with brown cane sugar)and coffee. They will be added to the morning menu of Momma Naomi’s Tanzanian Kitchen. We held 3 church services in different areas. Ours lasted over 3 1/2 hours. Over an hour of it was aerobic praise and worship. I can’t believe the number of people that pay trainers when all they need to do is worship Africa style! An hour of solo’s and small group singing and an hour and a half of testimony and teaching (it really went fast). One young mother’s solo was worthy of an American Idol final…absolutely beautiful. The music is amazing. I will have to have it explained to me why we buy all these expensive percussion instruments back home because I have seen a 5 gal plastic bucket used as full drum set (minus the cymbals). We had 4 accept Christ at this service.

At another church service 11 men that accepted Christ organized immediately after the service and elected leaders and planned more gatherings. What a blessing to see a church born with strength and passion. First Baptist Church of Msenga Tanzania is now part of the body of Christ!
Ross has done a great job teaching! He opens and talks about 2 mins and then can’t say another word for 30 minutes…it might be the topic: security of salvation, great discussion on an important topic.

Tonight we again proved that white men can’t dance but we did dance with abandon. I wish we could free ourselves and do the same in the states. Wonderful, joyful, heartfelt, worshipful praise as we dance and sang together. There is video that I am sure will be a YouTube hit.

After darkness fell the Tanzanians decided to move the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to their campfire. After 30 minutes of wrestling what we thought was a tree from the garden of Eden, we realized it was the tree from hell. We then decided to build the fire right there around the tree to send it back to hell. Brilliant idea! Probably came from a Figthin’ Texas Aggie.

Rice and beans for dinner…with the Louisiana hot sauce that the Colonel brought, it will again be fine cuisine tonight.
So much more to tell, the blessing is ours and we are thankful for it.

Day 10
Well after I sent the email last evening, a party broke out!

I need to explain one of the miracles on this trip. Inspector Gadget “just happen” to see a small portable speaker a day or two before he left for TZ. He thought they would be nice to have and threw it in his bag for TZ. Well, our speakers for the Jesus film quit about 30 minutes into the first showing. We were able to use Terry’s with the system and they have carried the day! Without them no Jesus film! The providence of God occurs in amazing and unexpected ways. Well we broke out the ipods and speaker, and then danced from 9.30 to 11.15 PM. From casting crowns, to Elvis, Statler Brothers, mercy me, James brown, you name it we played it…and danced to it! LRR and I were the finalists in the TZ “so you think you can dance” contest last night. LRR got first with his patented Sinclair swirl where he dove into a one handed pushup position and proceeded to run in circles (ala Curly of the three stooges)! Get this…the song during the Sinclair swirl was “Play that Funky Music White Boy”. We had a hard time translating “funky”. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe! We danced and danced. The joy, the laughter, the fellowship was wonderful. A special night with our Safwa brothers and sisters!

One group went to a village market center where they were able to share with about 25 men and some children. Some of the men had already been starting on their daily corn beer. A little intimidating for the team (3D and George) initially but they boldly went into their sharing and found the group to be quite engaging. Pray for these seeds to grow.

Another story I must share…yesterday in one of our church services a village elder came because he said he had heard some white men were sleeping in tents for a week. He said if these white men would leave their good homes to live in tents he must know why and came to find out. This is what everyone MUST understand. Just going on a mission trip is a testimony that God uses. It doesn’t require any special skills or talent, just the willingness to GO. Go and God will use you.

Today I witnessed one of the most humbling moments of my life. Earlier on the trip one of the teams (Sonny and Inspector G) were sharing a story from Luke with a family. The daughter and mother had just been reading from Luke from their Bible. The daughter was too ashamed to bring the Bible out. She finally did…the cover was gone and there wasn’t a complete page left. Torn, tattered, and frayed. The mother said she thought it must be the end times because the Bible said the word of God would be hard to find in those days, and she didn’t know of any other Bibles or where to get one. I went with the team to give her a new Bible today. How precious is the word God to her? More precious than gold and sweeter than the honeycomb! I don’t know how one like I can express how humbling and heartwarming it was…humbling because I take access to God’s word for granted. Imagine if all access to God’s word was down to one Bible, and that every time you used it, you lost part of it as it crumbled in your hands. Think about this, wow…now grab your Bible, praise God for it, and read it. We must read it (try Psalm 19), savor it, enjoy it, and revel in it. It is the very WORDS OF GOD. It was heartwarming because…I don’t need to explain this one. In addition, He added to His kingdom with 4 that accepted Christ in the village of Dodoma B. Even after a night break dancing, LRR was able to get out of bed and help bring in the harvest. His infamous quote is “I may be fat but I am light on my feet”!

Tomorrow we start back with 9-10 hrs of driving then we get a recovery day at a game park. Then 12-14 hrs of driving to Dar Es Salaam. Then 22 hrs of flights to get to Houston and we are home.

My prayer right now is for Jesus to come quickly so our team can continue to dance with our Safwa family before our Savior (the way we dance will not be found in most Baptist churches in west Houston)!

Hip hopping in Him,
Karl et al

Oh yea the pigs. George and Ross set a trap to catch a pig next to the camp. No luck using bread and rice. They need to try using my shirt from the first 7 days.

Day 11
Well guess what happened last night — another party broke out!

More song and dance as we rejoiced the joining of different people but of one body in the Lord’s work. I didn’t realize that the previous night was a warm up. Lots of singing and dancing around the fire. The Kilambo Kool Kats octet sang remakes of Blessed Assurance, Amazing Grace, and when the Roll is Called Up Yonder. Lots of dancing and we all enjoyed see Curtis “Twinkle Toes” Casburn kick up the dust. We went pass midnight and everyone was still up early to pack. Big Dave, Gil, and Graham…we and the Safwa miss you not being here. It is night you can only experience, it is indescribable. However, some video was taken that shows some dance moves that you would never expect.
Beth, I have committed to hosting a Tanzania mission trip party/celebration/prayer gathering for KBC TZ 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, with spouses it should only be about 50-60 people. Please practice making Ugali and carrying heavy loads on your head. I want to make everyone feel welcomed. Asante!

Another snippet from a couple nights ago. If you remember that we sent George out on the motorbike to show the Jesus film — well the headlight of the bike went out and coming back to camp all they had was George’s ONE LED pen light. At one point, David (the Zambian missionary) said in his broken English “This is very bad, we are lost”. Lost in the Tanzania bush is not a good feeling! Well, they did make it back to camp but I couldn’t share the story until they made it back again last night (we equipped George with a Surefire flashlight this time). Had to wait to write about because I thought it might be hard to explain to George’s mom if we lost him again the second night we sent him out.
With mixed emotions we start our journey home. Life is simple and pure here…hard at times but simple and pure. In the simplicity of life here, one can more clearly see ones’ priorities: Loving God and loving people. Everything else should support these two priorities and not distract from these two priorities.

I am writing as we are 2 hours into our 9 hour drive. I am ready to get in the shower at Ruaha. It has been 8 1/2 days. I have discerned that cleanliness is NOT related to Godliness!

Arrived at Ruaha and did a short game drive as we went to the bungalow. We are staying at the river camp where you are not allowed to leave your bungalows without a Masai escort. The area is frequented by elephants, hippos, crocs, and cats every now and then. A week or so ago a lady got trampled and killed when she got between a cow elephant and her calf. We got picked by our Masai escort and ran into some elephants on the way to dinner (couple hundred yards from bungalows). It got a little exciting as the Masai started yelling at us in Swahili and we thought he meant come forward when he meant go back quickly. Momma Monica later got the Masai to lecture us about the dangers here, again. Of course I had to explain that he best use English if he wants a bunch of Americans to respond when he is yelling. I know he’s got a big spear but he probably ain’t ever dealt with a God fearin, gun lovin, John Wayne watchin, ready for a Christ acomin, wolverine x-man like fightin Texas Aggie. Enough said.

Dinner was good, a bed will be even better, but walking with Jesus is the best.

No signal right now so I am unsure when this will get sent. Pray for us as we process this trip…many personal things to work thru for each us as God touches us. Pray for our Safwa brethren and pray for our new brothers and sisters in Christ as they grow in their faith.

Clean, fed, and ready for bed, Karl and the team. No more pigs. Right now Bill and I are watching hippos graze by the river 30 yards from our porch.

Day 12
Last night’s sleep was wonderful.

Our game drive was outstanding except for one little thing…no guns! Ross and I hyperventilated a couple of times. We saw two prides of lions just like you would want to…a hungry pride (5 lions that we saw) from afar and a fed pride close up (7 lions at 15 yards)! We saw elephants, giraffes, baboons, hippos, crocs, impala, gazelle, kudu, zebra, mongoose, jackal, monkeys, ostrich, warthog, many birds, and hydrax (closest living animal genetically to an elephant…look it up!) We got some great pics and video. Creation is amazing. We are really enjoying our full day here.
With so little ground light, the stars in the African sky is beyond description. You just can’t imagine the stars…it is awesome. “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands, day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. THERE IS NO SPEECH OR LANGUAGE WHERE THEIR VOICE IS NOT HEARD” (Psalm 19). In Houston we can not see the stars and are prevented from seeing their declaration of God’s glory — it is a shame that we can not hear their voice. They are there but we have hid them from our view. In Africa the stars scream at you — they declare God’s glory! You can hear them here — I wish each of you could hear them like we have.

Creationism is hammered home when you look at His creation. In Africa you can’t avoid it. In America it is often hid from us by our creation: houses, cars, cities, buildings, etc. I know that is why I love to be outdoors (and even hunt some). It helps me stay grounded in God, the Creator. This trip so so grounds me in this truth. How blessed am I (and you) that the Creator loves me, knows me, and wants me to know Him. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20). Read Romans 1 — it ends bad for those who don’t see His divine qualities.
I can see those divine qualities more clearly here in Africa. I hope you can see those divine qualities a little more clearly from my writings.

Clearly seeing the Creator, Karl et al

Day 13
Another good night sleep at Ruaha River Camp. With only travel ahead we are anxious to get home. I am glad there is only 2 more updates after this one!

Here is what each of us miss/want when we get back (we weren’t allow to talk about wives, family, and/or girlfriends, but Beth you know that you were No. 1 thru 10 on my list).

Momma Monica – world news (lame)
”Colonel” Holloway- Milk and his chair!
”Sonny” Curtis- Mexican food
”Futbol” George- Chipolte Burrito and bahama mamas snow cone
”LRR” Ross- Double meat whataburger cheeseburger w jalapenos or a micro waved turkey hotdog w/ mustard (that is sick but he’s serious!)
”Inspector Gadget” Terry- Mexican food
”One and a half times” Bill- blacken redfish or homemade peach bluebell ice cream (sounds good)
”3D” Don- Riding his motorcycle (ok…seems strange since we have been four wheeling everywhere here)
”Buc-ee” Karl- a good tussle with my Rottweiler Addie

Another quote for the ages, as we ate beef and rice for dinner last night Terry, who had been abnormally quiet for some time, finally popped up and said “I think I got a piece of the original Tanzania steer”. We had a great laugh as he continued to labor chewing a piece of meat (maybe it wasn’t meat).

We left Ruaha at 8.20am. Looonnngg drive ahead. One hour down. Yeeow…just had a hyena run across the road!
I can’t begin to tell you what a privilege it is to travel and minister with these guys. Blessing after blessing for me from these brothers. Each is so unique but united in faith and purpose.

Momma Monica who protects us and leads us over here is amazing. She is an American who needs to remain in the background to protect her ministry. She is an example to all of loving God and loving people. She is admirably patient with a bunch of hard headed stubborn men (of which I am ranked numero uno). She has been fun to get to know the last couple of years and every now and then even joins in our childish shenanigans. With only daughters, we try our best to expose her to what having some young boys would be like. Based on what she has seen from us, I think she is quite content with two daughters.

I think the drivers are anxious to get home…we are puttin the petal to the metal and the baboons are scattering as we roll along.
In Dar which means we are close to our destination. Remaining travel time is unknown. Not sure what a red traffic light means as we just ignored one, we did slow down some. Just watched a Mercedes literally nose it way into the traffic stream by denting a white truck’s door.
We are at the cefa house after 11 hours and 18 minutes on the road.

We go to the market in morning to practice our negotiations skills as we buy souvenirs. Anxious to see LRR in action as it seems that at our last gas station stop Ross was found holding several carvings at once saying “how much, how much?” over and over again.

Roady weary in Dar, Karl et al

The bacon wasn’t that good but the message was sent to my fine swine friends – Mess with me and I will eat you!

Day 14
Had pizza last night! Well it sort of looked like pizza and sort of tasted like pizza and sort of smelled like pizza — so we called it pizza!
Dar Es Salaam (House of Peace) is crowded and congested. Small cooking fires everywhere. Smell of smoke everywhere. Sound of roosters crowing in the morning everywhere. Everywhere people. For those readers, get “Into Africa” by Dugard. It is the amazing story of David Livingstone and Morten Stanley is this region of “Africa”. Great history here.

Africa is mysterious, beautiful, and addicting. I have been to Algeria, Benin, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania, Africa should be a must on everyone’s bucket list! (Well not so much northern Africa). For me it touches my soul…the beauty of the land and the openness of the people to discuss spiritual things are unique in today’s world.

The market was as expected. Lots of bartering and haggling. Three times I haggled to a price then gave them some extra — it left them very confused, which as you can expect, I enjoyed! The Colonel and I found stools that were so representative of of the “best” seat that we would be offered as we visited homes in the bush. These stools are very worn and simple but remind us of the great hospitality of the people we lived with.
We hustled back to the cefa house to repack our market treasures, grab some lunch, and head to the airport. Along the way, Ross kept trying to barter our extra water for street vendors’ goods. It was highly entertaining and he finally was able to trade a bottle for a pack of gum (the flavor was “special mint”).

As we board the plane for Dubai, we will be leaving Tanzania after a wonderful blessed trip. We are tired and anxious for home but hanging on to the spiritual high of this journey.

Kwa heri Mungu abariki Tanzania (Goodbye and God bless Tanzania),
Karl et al
This chapter of my life with pigs is now closed. senses.

Day 15
The last report! Your glad and I am ecstatic!

I almost bought some cool Afrikan outfits for Beth…then I came to my senses.

I am your typical take charge type of guy; but the only guy I feel very responsible for on this trip is George (our 17 year old high school sr). I promised his mom I would take care of him. When we got to the hotel at 1.15am, we only had 4 hrs before wake up calls. Of course George was hungry so he went to get a snack that is provided for guests in the dining area. After concluding his teenager hormone induced feeding frenzy, he went to his room…or should I say tried to go to his room. After searching (I am not sure how many places, and it is rumored he ended up in a laundry room) George “Futbol” deducted that 3D Davis had told him the wrong room number. After finally going to the front desk and revealing the error of 3D’s communication, they revealed the error was his not 3D’s and kindly laid out a trail of cookies for him to follow to his room.
After hearing of this adventure, I went to ensure that George was actually up when during breakfast 3D said he had left him awake in bed. 3D maybe has younger kids so he doesn’t realize that most older teens are really asleep in bed even when the speak. Some are able to go throughout an entire day asleep though it appears they are up and about. I think they do it with those new phones and “apps” that can project computer generated images everywhere and make sounds adults can’t hear. I found George was up and awake… because he was hungry…again.
All I have left is to get him on the plane…the plane to Houston. Signing off until this is accomplished. Okey dokey. He is sitting next to me in row 22. I will not let him get up until they shut the doors.

When this email is sent we will be in route to Houston. Tanzania 2010 will not have concluded but actually just begun. While the harvest was rewarding, our fervent hope is that a much greater harvest will be seen from the seeds that were planted. Please water and fertilize these seeds with your prayers. “With this in mind (refers to spiritual warfare) be alert and always keep on praying for the saints” Eph 6:18 Pray for the new saints and the old saints in Tanzania as they will face many obstacles both spiritually and physically.

I have shared glimpses of this amazing trip along with many heartfelt thoughts and feelings. I hope you have enjoyed them. Some of you know me too well, some of you know me, and some of you don’t know me at all. I think MY story is an amazing journey of revelation, redemption, blessing, trial, tribulation, growth, and rejoicing. I have faced death, crisis, and countless challenges. I still struggle as I seek to be more like Him. I make mistakes, have regrets, and often do what I don’t want to do. I am not as good, kind, or nice as I should be, but because of Him I don’t have to measure up to ANY standard. He has given me a gift of grace. I am educated by acclaimed universities, and I have seen the best the world has to offer. I have been in positions of authority, power, and influence. I have traveled the world and seen humanity and its many cultures, religions, and conditions. All around the world, mankind will spend anywhere from 40-90 hours a week working to provide food, shelter, and clothing for a week or two, but most of mankind won’t spend two days evaluating their eternal condition. I can not understand it. At least make a decision. Is there a life beyond this physical one here on earth? If you say no, chase what this world has to offer, best wishes! I pray you have chosen wisely. If you say maybe or yes, invest the time to seek an answer on how to find it. I did and am convinced that through a man, who is the Son of God, named Jesus Christ, my eternity is secured.

To those that may have been included in seeing these updates that don’t know my Savior…you have my email address, I would love to share more of my story of His work in me.

To those that know Him, please go to http://www.youtube.com and search “These are the words I would say” by Sidewalk Prophets. Listen to this song, it speaks my heart to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

God bless you and thank you for your prayers.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Paul wrote this to the Philippians and I pray it over the saints of Tanzania and you.

It is well with my soul, Karl

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