January 2014 I visited Green Pastures Orphanage with God’s Tribe church. One little girl, Resti, quickly stole my heart and I stole hers. Maybe two months later I was able to return with a team from HOPAC. Resti came running up and grabbed my hand. “You are my friend!” She stayed close to me my whole time I was there. I returned one more time before I went home for the summer. This time, her friends greeted me at the gate. “You must come see Resti!” After only two visits, even her sisters knew there was something special between Resti and I. I try to get there about once a month. She cries every time I leave, asks if I will be back soon; but the last time I was there she broke me. “You say you love me but you always leave”. Oh my little love, I so wish there was more I could do to change the situation.
In Tanzania, after three years of residence, non-Tanzanians are allowed to adopt if they are married. So, I will never be allowed to adopt in Tanzania unless God makes some major changes in the adoption process or places a husband in my life. Most children at Green Pastures come from situations where their parents can’t adequately care for all their children so the parent (usually a single mom) gives at least one up. Sometimes after a time the parents are in a better situation and can come back and get them, but regretfully that is not often. It is very likely the children will never see their parents again. As long as their is a living parent, it can be very complicated to impossible to adopt the child. Now, I don’t know if I would ever be able to adopt from Green Pastures without guilt. It is no longer just Resti I have a special connection with. As soon as I walk in the gate I am tackled by 20 little ones, “Rebecca! Rebecca!! Teacher!” A little piece of my heart is left behind each time I leave.
So what can I do? I can be thankful they are in a safe, loving orphanage and support Pastor Douglas and Mama Naomi. I go as often as I can which isn’t often enough because of the distance and not owning a car. I was able to go again yesterday with a couple friends. We sat and talked with Mama Naomi for awhile about school fees, one the little one currently in the hospital after being bitten by a dog, and their new home they are building.
Will you help me support this special place?
1. I am thankful Pastor Douglas and Mama Naomi feel education is very important. They want the best education for the best future for their children. There is an international school they would like to be able to send the kids to but the school fees are not possible without people who are willing to help pay school fees. Would you be willing to “adopt” one of the kids by paying for quality education?
2. The building they are currently living is a rental which is costing them a lot of money. They had land donated and have plans to build and be able to increase the number of kids they are able to care for from 30 to 100. The plans have been slightly changed because their landlord wants them out of the house this year so they have downsized their plans and have laid the foundation for a new home that will fit about the current number of kids (30ish). At this point, they have only been able to lay the foundation. They can only build as far as they have funds so the building is currently stalled. Would you be willing to donate towards their new building?
3. Pray for Pastor Douglas, Mama Naomi, the three dadas (caretakers) that live with the kids and the 30 kids that live at Green Pastures. Pray for their health, safety, and God’s provision. The faith of everyone there inspires me. I mentioned to one of the kids awhile ago that if I had a car I would come more often. His simple response, “God will provide”. That is how they live with a deep faith knowing they are following God and He will take care of their needs.
4. Pray for little Katherine. She is the littlest one at Green Pastures and is FULL of energy! You can’t come and not know who Katherine is. She was bitten by one of their puppies. It tore up her ear and also bit the back of her head. Thankfully she will be ok. Please pray for full healing, no infection or long-term effects. Thankfully health care costs aren’t as out of control here as they are in the states, but the hospital stay and care will be an additional cost.