After leaving the airport, we dropped our bags in the rooms and were off of all places, to a funeral. We were in the procession that was to walk by the casket. Well that is not done like it is done in America. This was basically the person laid out on a table, no embalming fluid, no clean up except for nice clothes, and tissue in his nose, the smell was horrible. Outside we stood around while they loaded him onto a bus so they could drive him back to be buried in Kigoma. He was related to either Joseph or Ezekiel one of our friends and interpreters. That was Wyatt’s introduction to Africa, he had never seen a dead person before, there were many questions to answer.
After a few hours we were on the boat to Zanzibar we were finally able to rest. Wyatt and I went outside the boat to the shady side. It was really nice there, the breeze felt wonderful. There was a young man there asking why we were there. Wyatt started to explain to him that we were missionaries and we were there to tell people about Yeshua. He smiled and said YOU? a missionary. Wyatt said, yes God uses everyone not just adults. He laughed and agreed. We discovered that he went to a church in Lindi. I remember because I kept thinking he was saying Linda at first. And I thought it wasn’t in Tanzania but it is. He was traveling to Zanzibar to meet with friends and work for a while. He was Christian, but I always wonder if he truly knew what that meant. So, he was a part of Wyatt’s and mine prayer for the next few days. He had lots of interesting things to talk about, then came along Mike, who stood close and then joined in the conversation. That was okay, I know he was being our watch dog for the moment and that was a good thing.
Getting passports looked at and stamped in Zanzibar was a HOT long wait. I wished I could have kept Wyatt cool but to no avail he thought the air around him was hotter than the air around me. Silly boy! Finally we were through with checking passports and on to an air conditioned bus/coach YAY that was such a wonderful feeling. We were dropped off at a motel. At first I looked around and although it was fancy, I didn’t like the “cold feel” it gave me. Too much like being on vacation and not on a mission trip. We waited for what felt like forever for the rest of our companions to arrive. Then we were transported to the place where we actually stayed. That place was awesome. It was like a private neighborhood with bungalows, I called them huts because of the grass thatch on each roof. The beds were nice and the showers were a welcome relief after such a long day.
We most enjoyed early mornings and late evenings when the air was cooler. Once wile there we all sat outside watching such a wonderful lightning show. We watched the sun come up, sang praise songs and then before you knew it we were in the water, getting Baptized in the Indian Ocean. It was so awesome. An experience I will never forget. Especially Wyatt’s being Baptized. Once he had risen from the water all of the men who were there tossed him to one another. He was only 12 years old. That was wonderful and he talked about it for months afterward. It was an experience that he will carry with him for the rest of his life.
Then we were off to the Orphanage, that was nice, the children were so happy to see us. Some of the older girls talked about how they were looking forward to leaving. The director, left a lot to be desired. I didn’t care for him at all. While waiting to go inside, Wyatt was able to get his picture taken with a Masai Warrior. He thought that was super cool.
Then it was on to the spice tour. That was exciting. I learned quite a bit there. I never knew that the Cinnamon tree had roots that were used to clear stuffy noses and with hot water breathing when congested. I learned a lot about the Pepper tree and so much more! The coconut tree climber was fun to watch. And I think banana leaves were used to make our baskets if not then it was coconut leaves. Come to think of it I believe it was coconut leaves.
From there we went to visit a resort, they wanted to show us that not all of Zanzibar was poor, dirty and well ugly. They were right, they had a resort area where all the “la tee dahs” could go and visit and never have to look at what lays behind them in the dense forest. The beach was beautiful, white sand, clear water, such a beautiful aqua green color you could see all the way out and see the bottom of the ocean. Little fish were swimming by, and they had the most amazing tree’s I’d ever seen. I so much wanted to go out and swim, but we were waiting for a table to be made ready. The water felt so good on our feet. That place was awesome, but I still preferred our little place, it felt more homey. I remember two women coming up to talk with Wyatt and I, Wyatt was telling them we were missionaries and why we were there, they were listening and then a Masai came up to them and told them to move along. Wyatt looked and asked why, he smiled at Wyatt and said they are not good women. Later I found out they were prostitutes. How kind of that Masai to think of Wyatt and I in such a manner as to shoo them away. I can only pray that the small amount of time they did listen to Wyatt that the Lord was able to speak to their hearts.
While riding through Zanzibar we could smell death everywhere. The air would be fine then suddenly the smell of death. Once you smell it you never forget what it is. Wyatt recognized it right away. Every time we smelt it we said a silent prayer for the people left behind. We were there during Malaria season.
Back to Dar Es Salaam: That boat ride wasn’t too bad either. At least there was a shady side to the boat and a cool breeze. We didn’t stay sitting inside because of the fumes.
So, at the rooms there was another battle, I think the enemy was after us from the start. Wyatt and I were to room together, but things didn’t work out that way. He was scared, but when he discovered he was going to be with Pole Pole he calmed down. He didn’t like it in that room. He said it didn’t feel right in there at all. I asked why, he said he didn’t know but it was like the devil was lurking outside and he was scared but didn’t want to say anything. I asked why not he said he didn’t want to seem like a big baby. I told him not to worry about it because Theria was to leave for kigoma and he would be with me. He felt much better. BUT as it turned out Theria couldn’t go. She so wanted to but her feet and God told her NO stay right where you are. We were in our beds for the night, and I laid there wondering what I was going to do. I thought, I wouldn’t leave Wyatt down there again, I had a net so if need be we would just sleep upstairs. It’s not like it was going to get too cold after all!
Suddenly in the middle of the night while I was sleeping I heard someone call m name but it wasn’t exactly my name. He said Paimbia … after a couple times I woke up and asked Theria what was wrong. She said, Nothing Pam, why? I told her I thought I heard her calling me. No, she said and then went back to sleep. I went to sleep too, and I heard it again. ” Paimbia …. Paimbia then very loud almost yelling PAMBIA!” I woke up and said What? Theria are you okay? What? She, annoyed the second time said “Nothing is wrong,” I said “but I thought I heard you call me.” “No, Pam I’m trying to sleep.” So, okay it’s not her. So I went back to sleep. Then I heard people hundreds of them murmuring and saying things I couldn’t understand then that same person called my name, and kept calling my name and then all of them were calling my name, Paimbia … and it kept getting louder. I woke up scared out of my wits and said “WHAT? Theira you keep calling me what is wrong?” She paused, and said “I’m not calling you Pam.” I said someone is saying “Paimbia and they keep yelling it at me, over and over again!” Suddenly Theira jumped up and said “Pam what are you hearing?” I told her what had happened each time. She said, “Pam that is the Holy Spirit .. God is calling you get up.” So we both got up. Theira started praying, I was crying, shaking and praying. Then we started singing. I put on Wyatt’s CD and we even started singing some of Carmen’s songs. Then out of no where something inside me (cause I am never this brave) went to our window and yelled as loud as I could, “IF ANYONE CAN HEAR THE SOUND OF MY VOICE GET UP AND PRAY NOW!!” Yeah yell that to a country that speaks Swahili. LOL Theira and I started praying and singing even more.
Marty said the next morning that he heard someone yell get up and pray NOW and it woke them up so Marty, Larry and Art started praying. Well as it turned out, the next morning there was trouble in the camp. Trouble bewteen the male missionaries who had come to spread the gospel. I wanted to wisk Wyatt out of there but there was no where to go. So he had to witness arguing in his room, and arguing at the devotion area. He doesn’t live with arguing so it was pretty shocking for him. Asperger children don’t do well with yelling and bad “vibes” another new experience. Only some people seem meaner when they are angry and that scared him.
Theria listening to what God was telling her, gave her ticket to Mike. So Mike, Jeffer, Larry, Ron and Kory and Pole Pole were off to Kigoma. I felt dread come over me, what was I going to do about Wyatt? Neither of us wanted to be down there. He didn’t like it down there, while silently praying and thinking of what to do Marty said, to Wyatt “So, I guess you’re gonna be our roomy!!” Wyatt looked at me, I nodded and Wyatt gave his sigh and yell of approval.
He was so happy to be away from down there. I thought he was gonna rush his bags to Marty’s room right that moment. God answered that prayer right away. My son was safe, in the next room. With two men who had only his best interest at hand. Marty knew how to take care of Wyatt because God had blessed him with children, who were around Wyatt’s age at that time. So he just became like Wyatt’s surrogate Dad while he was there. Wyatt was suffering from what was sure to be heat stroke. We put water on him and then Marty came by took one look at him and said here, reached his hand to Wyatt and put him on his back, later he was transferred to his shoulders until Wyatt gained his strength back.
We went from place to place seeing the beautiful parts of Tanzania, they didn’t want us to think it was all ugly. And I totally understand. If most of America looked like that we’d want to show people the pretty parts. We went to the school that we supported, and talked with the children. We talked with the Masai. We handed out salvation bracelets everywhere we went.
We walked the streets and went into neighborhoods and spoke with people there, and through Ezekiel we were able to reach several people with the news of Yeshua’s Love for them. We in America don’t know true poverty. We only have an idea of what it is like. Because our worst poverty level, is a nice place to live for them. The only places that come close are the places under the city in the water shafts that are no longer used but lived in.
We went to Ezekiel’s neighborhood where he was staying, we could only take pictures in his home because it was a police compound. His daughter was such a sweetheart. We did not get to meet his son because he was away at school.
We also went to see the home he was building, and were able to witness to people and yes children there. Wyatt had a goal to reach all the children in Africa, and when he drove past and watched all the children getting off the busses from school on the way to Ezekiel’s, he looked at me and said “Mother Bear who is going to tell all those kids about Yeshua?” I told him all we can do is pray that God sends someone to reach them. Then he said, maybe it will be Ezekiel because he is going to live around there.
For our time spent in Dar Es Salaam we did a lot of street ministry, and going places, like to HOFUMI, seeing Joseph’s and Mama Sophia’s homes and neighborhoods. We got to know John and Ezekiel very well. That was an honor to know such a man on fire for the Lord as Ezekiel.
I remember being on the paito talking with Ezekiel and the woman caddy corner from us had a baby that had been crying for a couple of days. I was telling him that I wish there was something I could do to help the baby. He said it might be crying but the mother can’t help it when there is no money for doctors. He said she probably lived there because either her or her husband works close by.
I asked him what that sign above her door said. He told me it wasn’t her door is was a little store front. I asked him if he would take me over there and speak for me. He said sure lets go. So we walked over there. She had the most beautiful scarves. We were there for what seemed like an hour, it was during our down time so it may have been an hour. I talked with her and her daughter while Ezekiel translated everything for us. I bought 8 scarves from her, and paid way more than the asking price.
She did not want to just take the money, and that was fine with me. It told Ezekiel that I was not there to be a hand out, and that I loved the stuff she had, I would not offend her dignity and I would buy but only if she let me pay my price. She looked a little worried but agreed. Then I paid her and she started crying. I was so blessed to see those tears because they were tears of joy. I told Ezekiel to have her be sure and take the baby to the doctor.
I kept telling her that Yeshua was the one who spoke to my heart and it was Yeshua that she needed to know was blessing her. She and her daughter just kept crying and talking with us. That was a moment that I know as a mother, wondering what her child will eat, and how to keep her well … I know what that meant to her. I never wanted anyone to know what happened over there, I wanted it to stay between us and Yeshua. But, I know that God says to let someone else sing your praises. When people asked Ezekiel where we were coming from, he told them. Before you knew it some of the other ladies had gone over there to purchase something from her. So that mother, with many children and a baby in tears, was blessed by Yeshua and I hope that she forever knows it was Yeshua to first spoke to the missionaries across the way.
We went to the soccer field and the school. We weren’t able to really tour the school because it was in session at the time. But we were able to see the soccer players practice. It was very interesting to see how they practiced, almost in rhythm with a cool beat to it. We were able to sit and listen to the kids sing and we were able to share with them.
And that’s where it happened. Someone touched my hand when we did the “fancy” hand shake and I kept thinking something was different about my last hand shake. I looked around and didn’t see anything unusual. But it was like electricity. I thought someone was playing a trick on me so I checked my hand to see it there was a pin prick on it., but there wasn’t. Silently I was praying that I wasn’t just given a deliberate disease. From the field we went to DYOC to see where some of the boys were staying. We took pictures and talked with the boys. Wyatt stayed in the living room with the boys and they talked and joked around. When we finished the tour one boy came to me and said “Mama can I give email to your son?” I smiled and said yes you can, and I asked him if he wanted mine, and he said “Oh yes please mama thank you” So he tore a piece of paper in half and gave Wyatt his email and I gave him my email. I told him that when I got home I would put his email with Wyatt’s so they could write to each other. He smiled at me and laughed and said “Okay, okay Mama that will be good” As we left the boys all hugged Wyatt good bye and the one boy smiled at me and said, “thank you mama” as we left. I heard those words in my heart, off and on and I thought about him often for the rest of our trip.
Just to let you know, that boy was Haji, and to day I believe that the electricity that I felt was possibly a note from God saying this is the boy I am giving to you. Haji has been a part of our lives since March of 2006, he is our son, and Wyatt’s brother. This will last forever.
Off to Arusha: the bus ride there was the best time ever, We laughed and played jokes and sang songs all the way there. Kory was harassing Cowboy the whole time, joking with him and convincing him that he needs only ONE woman not and she’d count on her fingers and laugh. It was so funny. Ezekiel and Joseph would sing. We stopped at a place so people could grab a bite to eat and the bathrooms were something to behold!!
Very much like the bathrooms in Italy except these didn’t have a window for people to look in and see if it was empty or not like Italy does. A bucket of water tossed in the drain was how you flushed it. too funny!
On the way there Wyatt had Ezekiel write in Swahili what he wanted to say so he could practice it and be able to speak to the kids in Swahili. He did such a good job.
Kurwa fell in love with Wyatt and had her picture taken with him several times. She wasn’t the only girl to fall in love with Wyatt during our trip.
Some girls at the church we went to I think it was called New Life Church fell in love with Wyatt, Ezekiel said they were arguing about who was going to marry him the next day. How sweet is that?
We were honored to see a Masai dance. And all of this only covers the tip of the ice burg … or fire pit, it’s hot in Africa LOL But the Up Side of Africa, was awesome, far out weighs the Down Side of Africa and I would go back in a heart beat!
Tanzania, is my other home! Part of my heart is there. I left another portion of my heart in Israel but that’s another long story.
God Bless all who take the time to read this, and God Bless My Fellow Missionaries. The ones who were on this trip and the ones around the world!