December 2016 Newsletter
Monduli Moments from Tanzania Christian Clinic and Alpha Omega School
Make a Way for the Sleigh
The distance from the North Pole to Monduli is precisely 6683 miles as the reindeer flies. The only problem is, most reindeer cannot quite travel that far without a little help. While most Americans bask in the luxuries and blessings of gift-giving at Christmas time, Tanzanian breadwinners are struggling to make it on $1.25 per day. So it is no wonder that Santa is a rare sight for the 24 million children of Tanzania. A simple “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree with a few strands of tinsel is a unique phenomenon in Monduli. Kids will line up to have a photo opportunity with such a tree. But, do not expect any gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. Due to financial reasons, Santa usually does not make visits to the kids of Monduli. So at Christmas this year, think about making a special gift to a Tanzanian child who needs a chance to become a student ($50 a month will sponsor one student at Alpha Omega Christian School), or help provide medical care for a child who is sick ( $10 will treat a child suffering from malaria).
Hoping for a Christmas gift
Who Are You Voting For?
On almost every one of my recent trips to Arusha for buying medical supplies, a stranger would stop me and inquire about the U.S. presidential election. It is intriguing to me that a group of people who live 8280 miles away from my Alabama home seem to take so much interest in the American political election. The phenomenon became a little more understandable when one Tanzanian explained it to me this way. “The American president is the most powerful person on earth; therefore we follow your election closely”. Several times my Tanzanian friends would give me suggestions as to whom I should vote for and why. The impromptu political discussions were always good teaching moments to explain the sovereignty of God who gives power to all political leaders. I would always walk away from the conversation thankful to have been born in America, thankful for the privilege of voting, and thankful that we Americans can play a role in being salt and light in the far reaches of this world.
The Class of 2021 Has Its Dreams
Remember the class prophecies that were handed out by graduating seniors back in the day? They were interesting, and sometimes self-fulfilling. The Statler Brothers even wrote a song about the phenomenon. In their song it was the class of ‘57 that had its dreams, but at Alpha Omega Christian School (AOC) in Monduli, it is the class of ’21 that is dreaming. Our first class to enroll in the new Christian high school will hopefully graduate in 2021. They are dreaming of finishing high school with an education that will allow them to pursue higher education. But between now and then the school’s leaders dream of finishing all the needed construction. Sometime during the next 18 months we will need to build a dormitory, classroom block, lab, and administration building. In October of this year our second class, the class of 2022 was enrolled. AOC now has grades eight and nine with a student body of eighty.
The AOC Class of '21
Alpha Omega has been so blessed to have had Janet Allison as the inaugural head mistress. In January, 2017 Janet will begin to focus more on classroom work while Mr. Emmanuel Peter, a local Tanzanian, will take on the duties of headmaster. Please pray for all of the AOC teachers. And pray for the dreams to become reality.
Tanzania Christian Clinic has been blessed with several visiting doctors over the past six months. Each visitor brings a unique perspective to the work. One visiting surgeon suggested that we convert our minor theater into a surgery suite. An anonymous donor has made a substantial donation to make a “surgical wing” on the clinic. There is not a firm timeline for this yet, but there seems to be genuine interest in expanding the services at TCC.
The Water Reward
It was Christ who said that “anyone who gives a cup of cool water to one of these little ones … will certainly not lose his reward.” Mt 10:42 Several donors recently stepped up to help us solve a water crisis at TCC and Alpha Omega. As a result, we have been able to build two cisterns capable of storing 100,000 liters each. During rainy season water will be harvested from the roofs of the school buildings and stored in the new cisterns until needed during dry season. Special thanks to all of you who have given for this project.
An Innocent Cause
Innocent Mashayo is a clinical officer at TCC who also happens to be one of our board members. From the beginning of our work nine years ago Innocent has been a catalyst for evangelistic, medical, and educational work. This month Innocent is in India at Apollo Hospital where he is being treated for multiple myeloma. Please pray for his favorable response to a bone marrow transplant. And if anyone would like to help with Innocent’s medical bills, he and Hilda would be so appreciative. (send to: Innocent, c/o D. Smelser, 6630 County Road 41, Florence, AL 35633)
Danny (and Nancy) Smelser