This is my first time going overseas and my first mission trip ever. So far, I missed a flight connection (extending my travel time from 26 to 40 hours) and arrived without either of my checked bags. I have seen things, smelled things and tasted things I never have before and I’ll admit it’s been a struggle. I have had a hard time “getting past myself” and focusing on our work here.
Until this morning…
We visited a local ministry engaged in outreach to a community that lives in an abandoned part of a rock quarry near their church plant. They are teaching the women about their own body cycles and how to have safe pregnancies and deliveries.
During the day, these men and women work all day in the hot sun in the active part of the quarry, using hand-held hammers to break large rocks into smaller rocks to make gravel and sand. Many of the women have their children with them while they work. They do not stop for lunch.
One woman, who is six months pregnant, told the missionary women that if she could have a mandazi (small Tanzanian doughnut) and a juice box sometime during the day she could work all day and not need to eat anything else. So we were taken in small groups to the quarry to offer this small meal to the workers.
As I did this I forgot all the temporary discomforts and struggles that I had been having. As I greeted them, distributed the items and looked into their eyes, I didn’t see frustration or anger that I’m sure I would have had in mine if the situation had been reversed. Instead I saw hard-working men and women, created by God for His glory – beautiful people for whom Jesus died.
And I realized what a privilege I had been given to serve them.
Sarah Sola | Retreat Volunteer