Thursday, April 5, 2012
Our friends have made it safely to Zanzibar where they are now enjoying a well-earned rest. My friend in Arusha, Pete O'Neal, who some of you know, has always dreamed of having a bus and taking his 22 orphans (Leaders of Tomorrow--he doesn't like the word "orphan") to see the ocean. Well, after three years of fund raising, Pete was able to get a bus and then spent another several months fixing it up so it would be safe and run well. Then he started raising funds for this beach trip. Yesterday, his dream came true. Not without a breakdown and some other small problems, but he got his kids to the beach in Tanga. They are staying with a farmer friend of his. Pete got the one bed and was surrounded by 22 mattresses on the floor all around his bed, but by golly they got there. Many of the kids didn't believe there was such a thing as an "ocean", but know they will know. I praise God for this wonderful man and his dreams. He is over 70 years old now and claims that life for him didn't really begin until he was 67 years old and started his "Leaders of Tomorrow" with little more than a dream and an old house he fixed up. I have been with him as he has been surrounded by those kids who all call him "Babu" which is "grandfather". When he sees them, his eyes twinkle and he can't keep a smile from creasing a face he likes to call "fierce" (mkali in Swahili) but he just melts when they crawl up in his lap and tell him how much they love him. They may never know how blessed they were to be one of his "grandchildren", but I know. Just thinking about it makes me smile. That's a wonderful gift that God has given. Pray for their safe return trip.