Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Champions Needed.....

What is a Champion?  Of course, I have my own ideas of what a champion is as I am sure you do too.  So let's see what the dictionary says.

1.  a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.
2.  anything that takes first place in competition: the champion of a cattle show. 
3.  an animal that has won a certain number of points in officially recognized shows: This dog is a champion. 
4.  a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed. 
5.  a fighter or warrior
It is this 4th definition which I want to talk about today.  A person (or persons) who fights for or defends any person or cause.  I have found the "cause" and I am hoping to convince many of YOU to become CHAMPIONS for this cause.  The cause is Chimala Mission.  The hospital and outpatient department here serve over 2,000 people a month!  They deliver over 200 babies per month!  It is a busy facility.  And the next closest facility is at least 90 minutes away.
As many of you know, in order to keep a business/facility running, money is in great need.  Unfortunately in Tanzania, as with other countries, the government provides the insurance and promises free healthcare.  Then the hospital is waiting for the government to pay their bills.  In this particular case, the payments are not coming......(As I am writing this, it occurs to me that some American hospitals may be in this type of situation some day).  Anyway, there are several needs at this hospital in order to continue to provide good medical care to the many patients.
So this is what I am praying for.   I am praying for "Champions for Chimala".  We are in needed of Champions to help raise and/or donate money for the up-keep and continued growth of Chimala Hospital.  What would it take to be a "Champion for Chimala?"  Really not that much at all.  Say for instance, you go out to dinner 3 x a week.  You could decide that once a month, you would send the money for one night out for dinner as a donation to Chimala Mission.  Or maybe you make $10 per hour, you could donate one hour of your pay per month to Chimala Mission.  If you were really industrious, you could have a neighborhood garage sale and donate part of the proceeds to Chimala Hospital.
There are so many ways in which someone could be a "Champion" for Chimala.  Remember all donations are tax deductible and should be sent as follows.
Make checks to:  Chimala Mission
5371 New York Avenue
Arlington, TX  76018
Please put a note with the donation stating the money is for the Cheryl Bode Workfund or the Chimala Hospital.  Currently, we are attempting to raise about $3,500 for mattresses for the beds and charts for the patient files which will run us about $2,000/month.
So CHAMPIONS FOR CHIMALA let me here from you!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Church with the Masai

Yesterday, the Wagner's and I attended church at a village called Matebete.  This is a Masai Village.  The area was very pretty and the church was really nice.  Church started a bit late because many of the church members were still milking cows, but it filled up very well.

This little one cried the first time one of us attempted to talk with her.  Now she is beginning to get a little curious.

This is a picture of all who attended church.  I really enjoyed the service and the visiting afterwards.

One of the young girls allowed me to try on her tribal necklace.  It was actually a little heavy.

One of the attendees was the "chairman" of the village.  During our visit, we were informed that we could stay for a small lunch and then the masai would dance for us!  WOW, what a exciting surprise.  What will follow is several pictures of them dancing.  You won't  get the full effect without hearing them chanting, but I hope you will be able to appreciate the pictures.

This was lunch.  Chips (french fries) and some type of meat which had been cooked until crunchy.  I was afraid I might break a tooth on it.  All in all, not too bad. 
I shared my lunch with one of the ladies from the church and in return she gifted with several masai bracelets.

I hope you can see how the man in the center is jumping high.


Twice one of the warriors picked me to come dance with them.  I declined both times.  Just didn't have the courage to show my inabilities.
At the end of our time together, these three wanted their pictures with us girls.  We were honored.

It was a great day and as friendships were made, I am confident that we will have many more days with the Masai.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Let's Go Down to the River.......

Today is Laura Wagner's birthday.  She is the second-born child of Renee and Chad.  Today is number 16 for her.  A Big day for anyone that age.  But Laura decided today would not only be her sixteenth birthday, but her NEW BIRTH day!  She decided to put on Jesus Christ as her Savior in baptism.  Hallelujah!!

She and her sisters picked out a place in the river where they though would be a good place for a baptism.  Laura invited me to be join them in this important event.  The girls informed me that we would take a short hike to the river and back.  It would be fun!

So a few minutes after 11am, we took off down the path which runs along the water ditch which supplies water from the river to Chimala.

Since it is rainy season, the water ditch was full to the top!  In places, the water was actually breeching the ditch a little and the ground was soggy mud!  So gooey to step in and I am wearing my good tennis shoes! (actually, they are my only tennis shoes!) 

We walked for quite a while in the thick trees and then suddenly we opened into a grassy area with this beautiful view of the mountains.  Be mindful that all of this area is on the Chimala property.

As we drew nearer to the river, we could hear the rushing of the water.  My first view of the river revealed a very fast current.  I am telling, you are going to have to hold on to Laura or she will go flying down stream!  What I didn't realize for a few minutes was this was not where she wanted to be baptized.  We all had to get in the river and walk down stream a ways to get to the spot she wanted!  What??!!  Really??!!  All of the r-i-v-e-r....

A side note here for those of you who don't know me well.  I do not like getting wet.  I love to canoe, but I stay in the boat!  And I don't tip over!!  Not only do I not like to get wet, but I am truly afraid of getting my face wet.  It is just a thing with me.  I wont even put my face in the water when I take a shower!!!  And, I fall easily!  Getting into a raging current in a river is not first, second or even ever a choice for me.

But in we went.  The girls, of course, were loving it!  The adults, not so much.  But the girls lead the way and we all followed.  I am in a skirt, so you will NOT see any pictures of me in the water as I attempt to stay on my feet, keep my camera dry and hold my skirt up out of the water!

Trust me, the rocks we were walking on were very slick and the current extremely strong.  Little Jonah is only 5 years old and weighs 39 pounds.  Renee was keeping a "death-grip" on him!

After Anna helped me safely to a place to stand, she attempted to go against the current to help her mom, dad and little brother safely to the area.

We finally made it to the perfect spot and there was a fallen tree for us to sit on while we witnessed the baptism.

What a wonderful day this turned out to be.  A new sister in Christ! 

And now we head back towards home. 

Finally we are safely leaving the raging river and getting back on the water ditch trail to home.
This was a great day for our team. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kapunga -- The rice farm

I took a trip to a BIG rice farm in our area which is run by some South Africans.   It was a really nice trip.  We talked with a couple of the South Africans and then took a brief tour of the plant and farms.  We are hoping they will work out a contract with us for rice at a good price.  As you can imagine the mission purchases a lot of rice each month.

You will see many rice paddies in different stages of development.  The land in each paddy has to be very flat and even in order to flood the field and all areas receive adequate water supply.

This farm has water rights for several miles.  They have a huge irrigation canal which runs along side many of their rice paddies.  Then their are irrigation ditches off of the canal into each paddy which they can open and shut as needed for each paddy.

I wasn't certain why, but some fields were being worked by many people and others were being worked by few.

This is the rice plant and big storage areas.  We toured the plant and were able to watch the rice being sifted, cleaned, polished and bagged.  I did not understand all that was being said due to the loud machines, but it was still interesting to see.


This farm sells all over Tanzanian and also to bordering countries.  They have lots of big equipment like tractors and backhoes.  It was amazing.

This last picture is of a cross which was placed at the scene of the truck accident we took care of a couple of weeks ago.  If you remember 3 people died at the scene, 1 at our hospital and 138 people were treated for severe head and face lacerations.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Watching my "African Squirrels"!!

"African squirrel".  What is an "African squirrel".  Well I have yet to see anything that remotely looks like a squirrel in America.  But I have decided that these are my "African Squirrels".  I could sit for hours watching play.  Of course, I am too busy to actually do that, but I do manage a few minutes here and there to watch them.

The trees in my yard and across the roadway from me are often full, and I do mean full, of these tree monkeys.  Many times when I see them, I do not have my camera handy.  However, this one day I did manage to get several pictures.

The baby monkeys are so cute and soooo fast.!  I have seen some really young babies recently and too many to count.

They roll around and wrestle just like kids do.  Chasing each other around the trees and up and down just like squirrels.  And they can even be a little mean....they will throw things at you and I have also heard they will steal things and take off with them.

You have heard of "Curious George".  He was a monkey too.  And these monkeys are curious.  I actually had one run right towards me.  I froze hopeing to get a good picture, but a lass, when I adjusted the camera he was quickly gone.

Another thing you will find in the trees here are a beautiful variety of birds.  Here are some I saw yesterday.

Aren't they beautiful?!! 

It is such a blessing to be able to live in another area of God's creation.  To see new things, learn about a new culture and live with those who are 1/2 a world away.  I praise God for all He has made and for this opportunity to live, learn, teach and help.