It’s up early for Trey, Grace, Judy & Patti, Lord, so they can make the hour-long drive to the airport, fly about eight hours to Doha, Qatar and then hang out. They have about nine hours to kill before they head back to the States. It’s a little exciting though because Godlid is traveling with them. She’s never been out of Tanzania before so this is a whole new experience for her. Everyone will have a chance to get to know her and ask all the questions about Arusha and Mbuguni that are popping into their heads after time to process. Stay close to these travelers again, Lord. So many people in this airport, so many cultures but all created by you. You designed each person intentionally with specific plans for their lives. Forgive me, Father, for not always looking to you and following those plans. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you through prayer, Bible reading and worship. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:11-12
This is the last day for Judy, Grace, Trey and Patti to tie up loose ends with the “loom hat” mamas, the students and to say their goodbyes. God, thank you so much for this glorious experience for the team. Thank you for letting me be a participant through prayer. As these short term missionaries get themselves organized and put things back into their suitcases remind them of the experiences you’ve given them, how you’ve shown yourself to them in new ways and continue to conform them into the image of Jesus. Praise to you, Lord, for all good things in life. You bless us beyond what we deserve and more than we can imagine. Thank you for loving me so much. Help me to love you more. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
Today, Lord, the team is going to the Ngorongoro Crater. This is another one of your marvelous creations, God; a collapsed volcano that’s 14 miles across and 1.24 miles deep. Such rich soil is found here which has attracted a host of diverse animals to thrive in this area. Lions stalking wildebeest, ostrich frolicking around zebra, warthogs playing here and there, hippos floating the day away in the ponds and all kinds of other animals, birds and reptiles. In Psalm 50, Lord, you say that all the animals, cattle, birds and insects are yours and you know them. Then in Luke 12 you tell me that you know how many hairs are on my head. This is just so much more than my mind can comprehend! Obviously, your thoughts and ways are much higher than my thoughts and ways. You are much, much bigger than I usually think of you. Please Lord, help me to love you in a bigger way, have more faith in you and dream to do bigger things in Your name. I love you, Jesus. Amen.
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24
Your ways are so wonderful, Lord. To give us a day to worship you and rest in you is definitely what each of us need. Thank you that Grace, Trey, Judy and Patti have an opportunity to worship with people from all over the world at the Arusha Community Church. Then as they travel to Tarangire National Park for safari, be with them. The wonder of your creation is awesome. The stripes of the zebras are unique to each animal just like our fingerprints are all different, the long necks of the giraffe in order to reach the leaves they need to eat and the sensitive nerves in the trunk of the elephant. It’s remarkable the details you’ve worked out in everything you created, God! How can we keep from praising you for who you are and what you have created for our enjoyment? Help me to open my eyes and see your hand in my surroundings. It’s there, plain as day, so don’t let me overlook it. I give you thanks and praise for your blessings in nature, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! Psalm 92:5
My loving Savior Jesus, thank you for watching over my friends in Tanzania and watching over me. Again, keep them safe as they travel out to Mbuguni from Arusha. People and animals are always walking along the road. I just ask that you keep everyone safe. The roads are so rough and dusty and there are always flat tires. Please Lord, keep the single mamas safe also that will be traveling from quite a distance to learn how to make loom hats. Help the team be efficient in teaching and the mamas receptive in learning. Let this stocking hat endeavor be fruitful for these single mothers so they can support their families. Let your praises ring out as this hat making group shares songs of praise to you as they teach and learn. Remind me, Lord, that I can sing and pray during my daily activities also. You are worthy of all praise. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30
What a special day Fridays are at Next Life Foundation’s campus, Lord. Judy, Trey, Grace & Patti continued to work with the students on their projects in the morning, they play games over their lunch time then Pastor Elia comes for devotions. Wow Lord, do they know how to worship you! Their singing and dancing are so full of joy and sincere love for you. Help me to find joy in worshipping you through singing and studying the Bible. Help me to know you more. Help me to love you more. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
So many things I take for granted, Lord. Forgive me. None of the students at Next Life have running water, electricity, a car, enough food, and on and on and on. Forgive me when I complain about such stupid things. Help me be content in you, Lord. Trey, Grace, Judy and Patti have been helping the tailoring students make reusable feminine hygiene pads. When the girls have their monthly periods they often have to miss school and/or work because they don’t have any products to use. Again, what a blessing that we’ve taken for granted here in the United States! The team has also been working with the carpentry students making stools and chairs. With no electricity it is a LOT of work to plane the rough boards until they’re smooth. It’s like ALL day long that they plane and plane and plane! This is probably how you worked in your carpentry shop, Jesus, when you were on the earth. It’s hard work! Thanks for being an example for us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
God, people are the same everywhere and yet we’re different. You made us all so beautiful in our own way. Some of us have a lot materially, and in Mbuguni and its surrounding area, people have absolutely nothing. Many people have deep spiritual happiness and others seem so empty inside. The “stuff” we have doesn’t really matter, does it Lord? What really makes our lives purposeful and worthwhile is if we have Jesus as our foundation, our truth. You, Jesus, give our life meaning and purpose. Some of the students at Next Life get this and others don’t at all. It’s the same with our friends and acquaintances everywhere. When Trey, Judy, Grace & Patti have lunch with the students in Mbuguni, they’ll have fun playing games with them. There are a few students that are just sad on the inside. Help them to find you, Lord. Help them find the purpose that you made them for. Show me what you made me for so my life can bring You glory and honor. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
Thank you Jesus, for the rest that Judy, Grace, Trey and Patti got last night. It is a struggle to overcome the jetlag when there’s an eight-hour time difference between Tanzania and Iowa. Keep their bodies healthy and strong as they carry on, even with fatigue. Today will be the first day they get to go out to Mbuguni and meet the staff and student at Next Life Foundation, the vocational training center. Help them all to communicate despite the language difference and tear down any elements of intimidation. Let your love and joy flow through Your children, Jesus. In your delightful name we pray. Amen
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
The team made it to Tanzania this morning, Lord. Thank you for keeping watch over them. They landed around 7:30 local time which is 11:30pm Sunday night Iowa time. Wow, that’s a long time to travel, but Lord, you made a very large, amazing and wonderful world and they are pretty much on the other side of the world now. Continue to hold them close to you. The sights, sounds and smells are all very different. Help this special group of missionaries acclimate to the surrounding and the time change as they rest today and do some shopping for supplies they’ll need for the work they’ll be doing. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen
Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. Jeremiah 32:17