This year was different. On my second trip, I went to another country. I wasn’t in Malawi. This time I was in Tanzania. I was in Tanzania with little three wheel taxis, with lots of motorcycles and cars and 18 wheelers. I was in Tanzania with road construction and diversion, and some hills.wade-halva2

And more than that. I was in Tanzania with Innocent. Over the winter of 2016, I met Innocent when he and his wife, Glory, came to Marion to have surgery on his leg. This was his fourth surgery on his leg that had been injured in a motorcycle accident in 2012. The hope was that this surgery would fix the leg and give him strength to continue installing wells in some of the toughest territory Marion Medical Mission serves. I prayed with Innocent and Glory before surgery, and checked up on them after surgery, and got to know them.

And so, upon arriving in Tanzania, I got to spend 9 days installing wells with Innocent. We went out in the hills, sometimes three hours out in the hills, and we went up and down. I met Amos, and Ahadi, and Ali, and John. And we went out. We talked about families, and travel. We talked about villages and wells. We talked about long walks and hills. We talked about America and Tanzania. We talked about new presidents – theirs and our potential new one. We talked about the trouble white America has with black and brown America. We loaded trucks and changed a tire.

On my last trip, I installed wells. Last trip, I saw the work of Marion Medical Mission. I saw the wells, the villages, the people that we serve. I saw the workshop in Embangweni, and the school for wade-halvathe death, and the school at Chizimya. Last time, I got to see the physical evidence that Marion Medical Mission is active in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia.

This trip, I built relationships. Rev. Mwasakifwa and Mr. Magwaza invited us into their homes to eat and to meet their families. We talked about more than the work of water and wells. We talked about hopes and dreams. This time, I saw the heart of Marion Medical Mission. I saw the vision and the spirit of Marion Medical Mission that takes on flesh in the world. I saw the love of Christ embodied in those who make us welcome.

This time it wasn’t just a new country I saw. I saw with new eyes what it is that makes Marion Medical Mission special. It isn’t the wells, or the grain, or the hospitals, or the schools. It is the people that God has called together to do this work, and to show God’s love. This time, I saw them more clearly than ever.

~Rev. Wade Halva, MMM Volunteer