Wednesday, August 17, 2011
While we were in the U.S. in April of 2011, we went to a church I had pastored, Grace UMC in Rogers, Arkansas. We were presented with five suitcases full of over 500 outfits (dresses and shorts) that had been made by two ladies groups at Grace and at Elm Springs UMC. The first orphans got clothes when we landed in Arusha. Since then, we have delivered more clothes to the orphans at the church in the village of Kabasa, and while the South Carolina Baptist group was here, we delivered more of the clothes to the orphans at the St. Wiggins Academy in Lamadi. That group also left a suitcase with Pete for his orphans in Arusha. We have one more suitcase to deliver to Kabasa. We only had twenty outfits when we went there and there were 60 orphans, so we will make another trip next week. All of the ladies in both groups were well past their sixties but worked very hard on this project. Some of the kids at Grace UMC put on a style show when the clothes were given to us during a church service. There was hardly a dry eye in the congregation. Mary Ellen Gordon (who had been one of my favorites when I pastor there) got up and said that she was speaking for all the ladies when she said that this project was the most spiritual and uplifting thing she had ever done in her whole life. Mary Ellen Gorden just recently joined all the saints that had gone before her including her sisters. She will live in my heart forever and in the smiles of hundreds of Tanzanian orphans who never knew her or the other ladies who cared so much for them to make them the first new clothes they had ever owned.