West Lawn UMC Mission Team

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Four weeks ago we were so blessed to have a church team come from the US and spend a week with us in Magambua. My parents and my Uncle Bob from Virginia were also part of the team, so that was an added blessing for our whole family!
They came from one of our supporting churches, West Lawn United Methodist Church, in Pennsylvania, who raised funds for the new patient ward that is being built. The team members were Pastor Jeff Raffauf, Al Wicks, Peter Sellgren, Bob and Stephanie Mays, Joyce and Mick Eager, Bob Harman (my uncle), and Blasto and Machaa from Kenya. During their stay they worked on the interior of two of the rooms in the new building. It was impressive what they accomplished in the six work days they were here. They painted 51 ceiling boards, built a frame to hold them, and then mounted the boards in two rooms. Then they painted both rooms and window frames with two to three coats of paint, and mounted one of the doors.
The team worked side by side with our local foreman and other builders and were a blessing to all. Besides the construction work, on Saturday they also did a puppet show and games for a bunch of the local kids. It was a blast!
Pastor Jeff got an opportunity to share during devotions at the clinic and also preach on Sunday morning. The team even got up and sang some songs and my Uncle Bob played the trumpet in church. Many in the church told us how much they enjoyed these American guests.
Our two Kenyan friends Blasto and Machaa were an integral part of the team and such a huge help with translation, getting their luggage to Magambua, the construction work, and playing UNO with our boys! Liz Lampen jumped in as well that week and worked right alongside the team, painting, puppeting, and taking some of them around to visit some of the elderly Sandawe people.
Melissa did a wonderful job organizing the hosting of the team, orienting them, and arranging Tanzanian cuisine for lunch and having the team over for dinner at our place each night. She even set up a cook-out in the bush off the airstrip, and a ‘safari’ brunch in our front yard.
We thank the Lord for all the safe travels, the great example of partnership the team was, the work that was accomplished, and the experiences the team had while in Tanzania (like learning how to fit a non-square door into a non-square frame, and how to kill a five foot spitting cobra!). My dad (an OBGYN) and I even got to deliver a baby together while he was here!
Thank you so much for praying for this team, it is exciting to see this new ward coming along so well. Not that a building is something in and of itself, but it is a tool for ministering to patients and caring for them with Christ’s love. It’s what happens inside the building that counts. Exactly one week after the team left Magambua, we were able to use the two rooms they completed, filling them with eye surgery patients. The eye surgeon was able to do 31 surgeries, and we would not have had room to admit all of them if it wasn’t for the work the team completed on the new ward. Thank you guys! – Jon

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