Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Time for another trip!

It's time for another Compassion Bloggers trip!

For those of you who haven't followed here long or who may have forgotten, a couple of times a year, Compassion International hosts a bloggers trip. This means that Shaun Groves (yes, the singer... he works for Compassion) brings six (or so) regular, ordinary people (who happen to be regular bloggers) along on a trip to some area of the world where Compassion works. The bloggers every day go back to their hotel (such as it is) and share their experience from the day on their blogs! (Yes, I'd LOVE to do it some day!)

I love following along on these, for God reminds me and shows me so many things.

I am reminded of what is really important. I get to see the power of Jesus' name bringing hope to people on the other side of the world. I feel connected with members of the body of Christ that I'd never get to otherwise meet this side of heaven.

I love seeing this:

...the joy Jesus puts on the face of a child who has not much more than Him. Do you see it?

So this week's posts will all most likely be about the bloggers trip. For those of you who want to read about past bloggers trips that I've followed here, you can click up there on "Compassion International" and then "Bloggers Trips" and it will filter out only those posts. For anyone who wants to see the non-Bloggers-trip posts I've shared recently, use the other links on the menu.

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This week is a Bloggers trip to Tanzania. Actually, it started Sunday, but I got my days mixed up, so I'm jumping on board a tiny bit late.

For those who may wonder, Tanzania is right there (in the image), on the west coast of Africa. It's a decent sized country... and half of their population is under 15 years old.

Wow.

Here are some other facts about Tanzania:

Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.

It is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. The country is also known for Tanzanite, a type of precious gemstone that is found only in Tanzania.

2006 data show that 55% of the population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and 33% had sustainable access to improved sanitation. (That means half the population does not have access to "improved" drinking water!)

The under-five mortality rate in 2010 is estimated to be 76 out of 1,000. The leading cause of death in children who survive the neonatal period is malaria. Other leading causes of death in under 5’s is pneumonia and diarrhea.

Tanzanians pride themselves on living together with their diversity.

Tanzanians see themselves as having two "official" languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between different tribes, who each have their own tribal language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her tribe, with Swahili and English learned thereafter.

Tanzania has considerable wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain.

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It seems to me that Tanzania is both a poor nation and a rich nation. Rich in resources and culture, but poor in the wisdom needed to use those resources to care for its people.  (Are any of us any different, though?)

Usually the first day of these trips is spent touring the Compassion project... the church/school that is working with Compassion.  The bloggers get to see how, though Compassion is a world-wide organization, in each-and-every-location, it is individuals who usually volunteer their time life to share the love of Jesus with the children around them. It is a handful of volunteers there with the grace and love and access to these children, paired up with hundreds of givers volunteers/prayers/writers here and around the world who have a bit more money and love and time enough to write, who make such huge and life-changing differences in the families whose children are sponsored.

Every time I think about the fact that this simple partnership is happening over a million times around the world for over a million children and their families, the more awesome and amazed I am at how God works. It's so simple!  But it's so miraculous... 1.2 million times over. (Wanna be a part of it?)

This post has gotten long enough, and I'm still going through two days of blogger posts.  I'll have more later today, most likely, but in the meantime, feel free to read the first-day thoughts from the bloggers:

The Nester's Well I didn't expect to meet HER in Tanzania
Kelli's On Turkish Fish and Hope
Jolanthe's Sweet Songs of Praise ~ Compassion Tanzania Blogging Trip {Day 1}
Maggie's {let my purpose be stitched up by Him.}
Scott's Jesus Loves The Children and A Trip To The Motherland
Amy's Compassion Blogging Trip: Day 1

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