Advent 2023 newsletter
Jaclyn Geyer, Tanzania
The Christmas season is for many of us a period of joy and community. At the same time, a culture of overconsumption and the pressure to create the “perfect” holiday experience has taken away much of the spirit for many. We are also living through a time of such suffering and contention in the world. If living in Tanzania has taught me anything, it is the importance of experiencing joy along with the sorrow.
This year I have welcomed you to Musoma, Tanzania, and the community of St. Justin’s Centre for Children with Disabilities. Your help over this past year has already brought so much good. Things started with two boys who were brought to our center, Juma and Ramadhani, both suffering from hydrocephalus. You all came through above and beyond to get urgent surgery and medical care for these boys.
With the extra money raised, we were able to intervene for many more children, such as little Elias. His mother brought him to us during one of our outreach trips (funded by you!) with a distended eye he’d had since he was born. The cause of his condition was unknown, and there was a concern it could be cancer. We were able to immediately take Elias to Bugando Hospital, seven hours away, something his impoverished family never could have afforded.
I want to take this time to thank you all for your continued prayers and support of my ministry here in Musoma, Tanzania. I am only one piece of the work done here. People often tell me, “I could never do what you do”, “I could never move so far away”. That is what’s so wonderful about the gifts of the spirit. You don’t have to physically be here to be on mission with me in Tanzania. The prayers and financial support from my partners in mission are what make this work possible.
What can we accomplish together moving forward into 2024? These are the St. Justin’s Centre’s priorities, which we hope to accomplish with our partners in mission:
- A medical and community outreach fund
To continue the critical work of reaching children with disabilities in the rural areas of the Mara region. There is a 12-year-old girl in Tarime who had to drop out of school and needs a prosthetic leg, and 8-year-old David has cerebral palsy, malnutrition, and jiggers. At the moment we do these outreach visits as funds allow. Our goal is to set up an outreach fund so we can conduct regular visits with the funds for immediate intervention as needed.
As I was preparing this newsletter, I received an urgent request for help from the small clinic in Tarime: another little girl with hydrocephalus, already so severe she can no longer open her eyes. Only through your continued support can these children continue to be helped.
- Tutoring and educational support
Our new seventh-grade deaf students have their national exam this year. This exam determines whether they qualify for secondary school or not. The deaf students are already at a significant disadvantage. We wish to do intensive tutoring and educational supplementation over Christmas break.
- Christmas celebration and gifts
For all the kids who stay at the center over Christmas break, we hope to give them a proper Christmas celebration. This would include a full dinner and gifts of new clothes and shoes for the children.
From Musoma, Tanzania, I wish all of you
A merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Please consider supporting my mission work at St. Justin’s Centre with a donation through the link below.
I invite you to walk with me as a “COMPANION IN MISSION.” Companions in Mission are friends and generous donors who give financial gifts on a regular (usually monthly) basis. For more information, visit Become a Companion in Mission. Thank you so much for your generosity!