DR team builds latrines, keeps Tanzania school open

Originally published at Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org

Tanzania—A Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief team finished what they began during a summer mission trip by building two new latrines for a school in Longido, Tanzania, with Baptist Global Response funds.

Ron and Greta Wilson, members of Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown and volunteers with Disaster Relief, took two interns, Emily Bertram, from University of the Cumberlands, and Madison Sawyers, from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, to Longido to minister to the Abernathy Baptist Primary School. The school was begun in 2002 by International Mission Board missionaries Tim and Annie Titenberg.

While there in July, the interns taught music, English as a second language and led the children in recreational activities. Greta spent her time mentoring the staff and being an encouragement to the women and children.

“They were very grateful people,” Greta said. “They gave us their very best.” She recounted a story about how after they had given the students and staff gifts during a celebration, the librarian, Jonathan, knocked on the Wilson’s cabin door later to give them a gift of three eggs from his chicken.

“That is a big deal for them to give food. That was huge. They were just like that,” she said. I fell in love with them. They were very receptive of us.”

“From that project we saw needs that the school had. They just had one latrine that both the boys and girls were using. They were told they had to have two, and they didn’t have funds to build one,” Ron shared.

“Through the missionaries that are serving, we coordinated a request through Baptist Global Response to get funds, and they came through,” he said. “They asked if we would come back and oversee the project.”

Ron traveled back and forth to coordinate things, and in November, he returned to finish constructing the latrines.

Usually December is the start of a short rainy season and they have another in the spring, and it had not rained much in months. “They were praying for rain because they had a lot of cattle and sheep dying because of lack of water and no pasture,” he explain

However, it began raining so hard that the only working latrine that they had caved in, meaning the school would have had to shut down, he recounted.

“God knew this was going to happen,” Ron said. Because the team was there with the funds from BGR, they were able to finish the project and save the school.

“After the project was finished the teachers and the students were just praising the Lord for His timing, because they can start back to school in January,” Ron shared. If BGR hadn’t come through and provided for the project, the school wouldn’t have been able to put in the latrines, he explained.

“It was pretty neat the timing of everything,” he added. “The Lord allowed me to see that.”

“I am amazed at the little things that God does to insure that He gets the praise and glory for our little labors,” Doug Lee, IMB strategist connected to the project, said. “The entire administration and even children are seeing God’s hand in the timing of this project, for sure.” (WR)