28 Apr

Trip to East Africa

In preparation for their June 2013 trip to Tanzania, CompassioNow Board members Anne and Lee Kennedy, and Pastor Mitch Ribera and his wife Jamie from New Harvest Church in Clovis, CA, packed up medicine and supplies that were collected through generous donations from medical non profits, individual donors, and funding from Compassion Tea. They managed to fill 4 duffel bags, each weighing about 50 pounds, to distribute among the clinics in East Africa.

            One of the clinics that we visited was the Tanzania Christian Clinic in Monduli, Arusha, Tanzania. Located in Northern Tanzania near Mt. Kilimanjaro, people of this medically underserved area suffer from a myriad of tropical infectious diseases, including malaria, typhoid, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, and amebic dysentery. Tanzania Christian Clinic provides primary care under the direction of Danny and Nancy Smelser, both specialists in their respective fields.

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The team was overwhelmed by the work that they saw being done here and found it hard to imagine how one couple’s dream has lead to such great achievement in a such a short period of time. They experienced the warmth of the native tribes. They learned of the differences in their cultures and were humbled by their deep appreciation. Particularly moving was the sign displayed near the entrance of the clinic, proclaiming, “healing for the whole man”, referencing John 7:23.

TCCVisiting the doctor in all her finery at Tanzania Christian Clinic

            The Smelsers have much more in mind for this clinic and the surrounding area. Following the completion of a new church, they intend to build a school for the local children, as well as continue to sponsor adults completing their education at higher learning institutions.

DavidClinical officer David at Tanzania Christian Clinic

            They had the privilege of seeing a different world in East Africa. The wildlife was incredible, the scenery beautiful, and the people radiant with their smiles and hugs. They were inspired and, at times, saddened by what we saw and experienced. They returned home with many thoughts and questions as we continue our mission of “helping the least served” in Africa.

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