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MOST Ministries
Answering the Call To Serve: Tanzania 
By Heidi Metzger (MOST Ministries Team Member) 

Whether you are a “goer” and have been on one or more mission trips or you are a “sender” who supports and helps the mission, answering the call to serve is deeply rewarding.

For my husband, Jim, and me, our listening to God’s calling to be “goers” to Tanzania was an amazing, albeit short process.  Looking back, everything seemed to align just right for us, which was a miracle in itself.  We were sitting in church at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Hamburg, MI, and saw the announcement in the bulletin that there was a need for a few others for the Eyeglass Clinic in Tanzania just six short weeks away.  We looked at each other and said we should consider.  Our heads swirled with questions like “do we have time”, “what is the make-up of the team, “do we have the finances”, “what about Visas”, “are we going for the right reasons”, etc.  With prayer and contemplation, we said “let’s go”.

This was our second trip with MOST, and as in the first Eyeglass trip to Guatemala, Tanzania was a truly rewarding experience.  To be out of our element and comforts, out of our country, seeing others in need and providing eyeglasses and the ability for others to see better was amazing.

We were blessed to serve with Next Life Foundation in a vocational school they support, that teaches young people carpentry and sewing. The school is located in a very poor area near Mbuguni, Tanzania. In addition to their daily life challenges of limited employment and poverty, these villagers and students face a food shortage due to notable lack of rain for over two years.  Before leaving, the team collected donations from our churches so that our host could purchase lunch and water for the locals – over 800 lunches were served throughout the week.

We saw firsthand the struggle that the students and villagers have.  We were happy to serve but it was very challenging at times.  One day was very hard, and we had several people with such bad eyes that it was a challenge to find anything that worked for them to see better.  The clinic seemed to be going very slow in order to help those with special needs.  We turned many people away at the end of the day as we just ran out of time.  It was stressful for people who walked miles to the clinic and waited so long only to return the next day or not be seen at all.  It was stressful for us because we wanted to help.

At the end of the day, we were hot, dusty, and very tired.  We asked ourselves if we were doing enough.  Scripture calls us to serve, but we questioned whether we were really doing what we should.  Galatians 6:9-10: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  However, that day we were weary.

At our devotions that evening, we talked about the challenges of the day.  To overcome our weariness, our team took the time to raise each other up, saying something positive about each person on the team and how they contributed to serving those at the clinic.  We had true leaders, organizers, supporters, optimists, we had motivators, technicians, those with great compassion, humorists, effective communicators, quiet doers, those that multiplied their energy, and kind and calm teammates.  We would not have made it through the day (and week) if it weren’t for our entire team’s individual talents that together, made an awesome team.

It was then that I realized that Jim and I didn’t really “answer the call” to serve.  God put this amazing team together. He sent us as the “goers” together in a perfect team where we could serve others and also to support each other.  Lin, Kelly, Loretta, Deb, Patti, Jan, Penny, Jim, and I - all were “goers” according to God’s plan.  Whether a “goer” or a “sender”, God has a plan.  It was a proper time for us and we seemed to “reap the harvest” just as it said in Galatians 6:9.


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