Posts made in August, 2013

Daniel Returns to Toloha

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Clean Water, Praise Report, Program Update, Written by Daniel | 0 comments

My trip to Toloha Village this year was quite different than any other trip I have ever made to Tanzania. This trip made me feel more optimistic, encouraged and excited. It brought back all the memories of my vision for my people: To bring them clean water, build a clinic, church, and orphanage, advance education, and make sanitation improvements. Also, this was the first time I was joined by my Christian brothers from the USA who have a strong desire to help my people in the village. They have made a commitment to initiate a long-term partnership with the villagers. They are joining me to share the burden that I have been carrying for almost 12 years now. When we arrived at the village, the whole village was shaken and almost everyone came out to meet us. The people in the village were happy to see me back home again, and even more excited that I was not alone. The villagers were anxious, happy, and eager to meet these Americans who made the journey with me because our USA team had spoken with many of the villagers prior to our trip on conference calls from the USA. They knew of our desire to help them. The welcome smiles in some of the photos can justify my words. The village had organized cooks and donated food, goats, sheep and so many more things that I don’t have time to mention them all here. To me, it was a joyous day in the village. In fact, I couldn’t believe that it was really happening! I wanted to cry, but I refrained from bursting into tears. In our culture, we are taught to be strong in many situations so not to show weaknesses and that it is culturally unacceptable to cry in public. I thanked everyone who came to meet us. It was such a strong and energetic welcome. I will never forget this day as long as I live. Some of the villagers told me, “Now, Daniel, we have believed that you have not forgotten us and your village. We hope many young men and women from the village who live in town and in cities in Tanzania or outside the country will follow your footsteps.”  One older gentleman in the village said to me, “Daniel, it is better if God takes me home first and lets you live longer to help the people in the villages across this country.” What amazing stories from the villagers! Now, I see the rainbow of hope coming up from far beyond the clouds. I pray to God that everyone in the village can live to see this rainbow of hope. The hope of getting clean water in the village, the hope of bringing revival to the village, the hope of a better future for everyone in the village, and this hope will shine like a morning star from Toloha village – the Kilimanjaro region – to other villages in Tanzania and across Africa. May God make it happen someday! “Kumbuka Kijijini” Remember the Village Daniel Makoko is native to Toloha Village and now lives in Greenville, North Carolina. He arrived in North Carolina 12 years ago and began telling the story of his village. Read more of his story here and...

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More than Meets the Eye | The first Trip to Toloha

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Clean Water, Trips to Toloha, Written by Josh | 0 comments

  Why is it that people go on mission trips? Some might say that it is because they want to experience another culture so that they can develop a more realistic understanding of how the rest of the world lives. Others may say their main purpose is to assist our fellow man in his struggles and eventually religiously convert him. I have struggled with this question for a while now and have mulled it over every summer for the past three years. I was raised with a heart to serve and believe that as a follower of Jesus, I am called to serve others for my whole life. Prior to my trip to Tanzania this past June, I thought that I had a basic idea of how most mission trips work. I thought that a good group of Christians would travel to wherever, whether down the street or across the world, and that they would partner with another good group of Christians and help to aid them in whatever way possible. The group might minister to people in their village or provide them with resources they were incapable of obtaining. That kind of mission work really is the most common and well known to me, and I perceived it was what the majority of mission work entailed. I knew that this was not the only way mission work was done, but the other way seemed fairly far-fetched to me and pretty obsolete, at least at the time. This other way was the kind of missions you would only hear about at large conferences and on television. It was someone, or group of people, targeting a primarily unreached people group in order to aid them in some way and eventually convert them to Christ. Prior to this trip, I had been to the Dominican Republic a couple of times and had participated in numerous service projects in the United States, so I assumed that I had a pretty good feel for the mission field as I had seen many different scenarios play out in different kinds of situations. Before this trip our knowledge about Toloha village was pretty minimal. We had one real source of information on life in the village and, therefore, had very little to base our preconceptions of the conditions in which we were about to be immersed. Consequently, as I prepared, I fell back on previous experience to guide my preconception and didn’t think much of it. Well, not only was I wrong, but I was actually visualizing the opposite of the circumstances in which I found myself. I was expecting to be greeted by a large body of Christians, eager to welcome fellow Christians into their village and church body. In fact we were met by a hearty group of extremely grateful people, the vast majority of which were not Christians. Throughout our time in the village, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of thirst coming from the villagers. As we surveyed the water system, people approached us thanking and begging us to repair their water line. I saw their thirst for useable clean water so that they could support their struggling families and just survive. We not only heard stories but also saw with our own eyes people sabotaging the existing system that had been put in during the 1950’s. People hacked the pipes with machetes to divert it and dammed up the source of the water with cement and dirt. I saw their thirst for a solution.  But, despite the hundreds of examples of physical thirst that I saw, their thirst for...

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