July 2011 Progress Note
A whirlwind of activity has occurred this month at Tanzania Christian Clinic (TCC), with five guest workers (Dr. Bobby Beasley, Dr. Jason White and Lauren Smelser White, Stacy Tipton, R.N, Beth Gould, Physical Therapy Tech), numerous patients, several mobile clinics held in remote locations, and many Bible studies. All this work was carried on amidst Tanzania’s severe drought, with little electricity and water. Thanks to all of you who endured many inconveniences.
Other good news: we recently discovered that a man named Elifuraha (God’s happiness) gave his life to the Lord while we were still in the US, thanks to our Good News-sharing Tanzanian Christian brothers and sisters. Another excellent Maasai man walked 8 hours from the bush this month to study the Bible with Innocent (TCC’s chaplain and chief financial officer); this same follower of Jesus gave his life to the Lord and was baptized into Him the same day! That same individual described lions killing and eating eight of his sheep due to the severe drought and lack of herbivores that lions usually seek. And, two more folks with whom we have been sharing the Lord informed us today at church that they plan to be immersed into Jesus next week following more Bible study. Another young Maasai Christian leader, Mika, led several songs at church today after he had been absent a few weeks. In a village two hours away by car (Mfaruka) Mika had been sharing the Good News of Jesus with several receptive people and asked that we go as a group to teach more in this location. As our amazing Master claimed it would (Mt. 13:33), God’s Kingdom-yeast seems to be working “all through the dough” of Northern Tanzania!
Yet, it is with a troubled heart that I write this latest installment of the TCC News. In the last few weeks Danny and I have spent over $500 for four truckloads of water we have been forced to order to supply the clinic and houses, while today we are carrying buckets of that much needed liquid to flush our toilets. No water is being received in our tanks, even on the rare occasions when the rest of the small town of Monduli receives it. Obviously, we have another leaky pipe (although we have repaired numerous leaks and replaced most of our pipe already) or someone is blocking our water and subverting it to his house. At least for now we have the luxury of ordering trucked-in “maji” instead of carrying it from a wilderness hole in buckets; however, we much better understand most of the world’s daily crisis of finding enough of that life-giving liquid to sustain them for one more day. Sincerely we ask your continued prayers that we find the problem or thief that continues to rob us of water.
As you can imagine, a clinic cannot be run without “maji,” and we cannot continue to pay these exorbitant prices for it. Even in these conditions, some of the patients this month have amazed us. One had an arterial bleed due to being cut by razor-sharp sheet metal while working. Another Danny diagnosed by signs and symptoms (no CTs or MRIs available) with a right cerebellar brain tumor.
A further complication is that Tanzania is providing us electricity 12 hours a day or less due to the drought. This situation leaves us running our generators frequently at the clinic and houses, while fuel for these machines costs double what it does in the US. Please join us in earnest prayer for rain for this country and all of East Africa. In addition, speaking of mwezi (thief), this month we found another Christian employee who was stealing and lying over a long period of time. Of course, it is particularly distressing when a Christian brother does this. When the Maasai guards discovered who was stealing, they took matters into their own hands, stripped the man’s shirt off and began to beat him behind the clinic. Thankfully, Danny and Innocent stopped the beating and a council was called for administering justice. Later we heard that the same man had also been beaten for stealing in town. As you can see, we at TCC need your prayers–thanks, friends!
Kwasababu Yesu ni jibu (Because Jesus is the answer),
(Danny and) Nancy Smelser