Humbled, Just humbled
by Karen Wiggins or Mama Africa
This last week end was just a joy. Not sure why in five years it has not come to me as a need. I give sanitation and hygiene workshops for churches, health workers and even pregnant women. They were very successful but this week end was just a touch of heaven.
We are here, among other things, to grow the Methodist churches in Tanzania. I invited the wives of the ministers and lay ministers to come here and have a workshop for them, thinking that the information would be helpful for them and in-turn helpful for their village.
While I took the training for this workshop in the U.S. before we sold everything and moved to Tanzania, I laughed. The information I was learning was so simple and so well know I could not imagine how it could help anyone. I have lost count of the seminars I have given, but in each one, I have had mamas tell me that I have saved her children’s lives. Learning how to clean water, make a drink to put back water into the body when it is dehydrated, how disease is transmitted and how to block that transmission are all priceless information in third world countries. I am not laughing now.
This workshop is done in a non-threatening way sitting in a circle. Everyone is looking eye to eye and no one is better than the other. Because it is done with pictures and not print, even those who can’t read learn and think and solve problems. All talk and feel good about participating. I see even the shy ones begin to get confidence as we go.
It is always a happy and rewarding to see the eyes of the men and women who learn these simple things. When I go to a church where I see babies with flies on their face, I say to my son, we have to come here for a seminar. We do not see it in the places we give the seminar.
This seminar was very different. I knew these women were the back bone of our Methodist Churches. To continue Methodism in Tanzania, we must love these women. Having them come here for three nights and days was the best way to do it. Doing it this way is much easier than John and I to going to each village. With three days and three nights for them to get to know each other, turned out to be a very good idea and I did not have to rush. I could give them the whole lesson. I was so happy.
Not all the mamas were able to come but the ones that did learned so much. We served three meals a day. They eat one meal a day. We cleaned their rooms. They are used to cleaning their own house even with some having dirt floors. We gave them time to pray in the chapel or have a free rest time. They work all day long at home. I had no idea how wonderful this was going to be for them. I remember listening to a radio show called Queen for a day when I was little. Women were chosen Queen for a day and they were given wonderful things that they needed. This week end was far better than those gifts and prizes. They were made to feel special. They did not have to work or cook or wash or collect water. They were Queens for three days. I had no Idea where God was going with this, but it was well worth digging into our future car repair envelope to make this happen.
Sunday Morning after breakfast, we reviewed, rejoiced, and even marched with joy before we went to the Bunda Church worship.
When I went into the cottages after church, all the beds were made and the cottages were spotless. In each room I could hear each, mama say, “Thanks for my vacation.”