Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello Tanzania

It's happened. The unthinkable. I'm finally at Heri hospital:) We've been here a couple of days now and have started to settle in. The area is really pretty. It's up in the hills only a few kilometers from the Burundi border and also fairly close to the Rwandan border. The weather's nice and it's started to rain some each day as they say we're going into the rainy season.

The job description that we've acquired is that we're going to be helping a contractor who's coming from Canada soon, working with the hospital's computer system, and getting a chance to watch and then hopefully help with surgeries taking place. The other notable thing that has been happening is Neil and I buying, cooking, and eating our own food. Quite the experience. We've been trying to remember just how our mothers used to cook stuff. All the times I should have paid more attention while living at home:)

So far we've just been organizing different areas in the maintenance department and helping sort out and organize the medical supplies in their storage room.

Well I've been sitting here a while (oh that's another thing, the fact that we have internet is amazing) and should let Neil on. You can probably read more about what we've done on his blog.

kwaheri rafikini


caitlyn brianne said...

Hey Justin!!! what is up? well yeah your in tanzania! lol it is amazing that you have internet! i hope all goes well! i talked to luke yesterday it was like old times! lol i miss you guys! have fun and be safe!

Sheila May garrow said...

Dear Justin,
Wanted you to know we had special prayer for you and Neil at Turning Point this morning. I was the coordinator for church and we had a praise and prayer time.I am happy to hear that you made it safe and sound. Sounds like you will have an interesting year there. How fun!!Talked to Valerie Kinman at Roseburg church and she is starting at UCC on Monday.
Just wanted to say hi . Have a great day. Mrs. garrow

aunt ann said...

You made it! Great about internet. I am sure that soon you guys will be cooking up banquets for others... When i first arrived in Cambodia, it was the two ADRA volunteer guys who invited themselves over for Sabbath lunch and made spaghetti - it was good and very nice of them... :)

dale&anne said...

Hi Justin, Welcome to Heri. We are so happy that you made it there safely. We wish you a great year and wonderful experiences. It will be fun to read about them on your blog. Take care. Our prayers are wtih you,
anne Lamberton

Anonymous said...

Hi Justin!

I just got this story in from Union College today... I thought you would enjoy reading it! Love, Auntie Cindy

Pastors and friends,
Here is my Union College announcement for this week’s church bulletins. If you have room for this to be included I would appreciate your willingness to keep Christian education before our people in this way. I want to tell you the story behind the three sentences that will appear in your bulletins, because I believe we witnessed a miracle at vespers last Friday night.

We have a new student from Ghana, West Africa at Union this year. He came to me last week and said his mother needed heart surgery right away but they have no money and the operation would cost $4500—could I help. Where am I going to come up with that kind of money? That was my first thought. I had already been contacting my friends to seek financial assistance for other students who needed help getting into school and felt I was all tapped out with that asking.We prayed and I promised I would keep thinking about how to help. He came back every day wondering if I had any ideas. I kept saying no and he politely thanked me for trying. Friday night when we were standing in the hall giving last minute instructions and praying with the participants before vespers he came again. I have to admit, I sort of shuffled him aside because I was “too busy” getting ready for worship. Little did I know what kind of worship we were in for! I sat in the front of the church while the students led us in praise and worship through some beautiful music and during that time I was thinking, and praying, and felt “impressed” that we should at least do something for Seth, so after the music I got up and told the story briefly to our student body and suggested that we pray for Seth and let him know that we are his family here. I invited him up to the front and asked if there were a couple of students who would come up and surround him as we prayed. About 30 students jumped to their feet and engulf that young man. I asked that we all pray silently and then I would pray corporately, and that we all put this in God’s hands because I did not have an answer to how we could help in this situation. After prayer I was thinking it was over when someone in the back yelled out, “Pass the hat!” I said, “OK, does anyone have a hat?” Immediately about 8 guys, also in the back stood up and started walking around in the crowd, ball caps in hand. I have heard from others who witnessed it in the crowd that “it looked like EVERYONE put something in those hats.” I told them to go out and count it and bring us a report at the end, and the program went forward. At the end those guys in baseball caps came to the front, beaming and carrying a huge wad of money- over $1800 in cash!! While I was sitting in the service a student passed a check up to me and it was for $1000! We were half way there from one offering that we had not planned on taking and the students had not come prepared to give! Another student came up afterwards while we were cleaning up and said he had some money that he had felt needed to be given to God and he would bring it to me in the morning—Sabbath he gave me an envelope with 11 $100 bills in it! More students kept coming, apologizing that they didn’t have money at vespers but wanted to help. By the time we finished Sabbath evening Vespers I had over $4400 dollars! From the students!! More money was on my desk Monday morning and by noon we had surpassed our goal of $4695, the invoice we had received from the hospital in Ghana as the actual cost of the surgery! One girl wrote a check that she said she could not afford because this week she needed to get her car fixed and go to the doctor but she wanted to help. When we counted the money officially on Monday some of the people who were helping count the money saw the girls note and they “took up a collection of their own” for that girl so she would still be able to take care of her needs!Advent Source, the place where Seth works on campus, heard about this and asked if they could help and I told them that we had all we needed but because of the difficulty of getting the money to Ghana in time we needed $215 to wire it there. Maybe they misunderstood what I told them, or maybe God just set up another miracle, because later that day I had a check from Advent Source for $213 and as I was looking at the check a student came in almost apologetically and said they didn’t have much but they wanted to help—you guessed it—they gave me $2! It’s the talk of the campus right now and everyone believes that something very special happened. Seth told me that he had been talking with his father in Ghana on Friday afternoon, Friday night in Ghana, and he had told his dad, “Today is Sabbath dad and I think maybe God has a miracle for us today!” That was before vespers—I think we saw that miracle!! That’s the whole story- now, here is what you can put in your bulletins!!

Did You Know that the students of Union College raised almost $5000 last weekend to entirely pay for the heart surgery of the mother of one of our students from Ghana, West Africa? A spontaneous miracle on our campus united our school family around this need as we watched God use us to demonstrate His love (and ours) to this hurting student and his family. THAT is what Christian education is all about—creating an environment and giving students the opportunity to see God work and to be His instruments in giving His love and care to others.

Thanks for listening!! Have a great day.
Pastor Rich

Rich Carlson
Vice President for Spiritual Life
Union College
3800 S. 48th St
Lincoln, NE 68506