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Stories of Impact Blog

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! 
-1 Chronicles 16:8

“Nanga Imara Na Thabiti”

“Nanga Imara Na Thabiti”

In February 2022, Ends of the Earth Cycling hosted our first ever, all-women’s, Sisterhood Bike Ride to benefit the youth of Tanzania through the ministry of Mavuno Village. The bike ride brought together 14 cyclists who, together, rode 1,731 miles and 14 support staff who empowered them. The tour raised $22,690 to promote and resource the youth of Tanzania.

Youth Camp at Mavuno village

This year at camp, two of our older boys got in a big fight. The fight had to be broken up, and instead of participating in camp the following day, these two boys had to stay back and do chores. In response, the boys made peace, not only with each other, but with the whole community. They stood up in front of all of the kids and apologized for their actions and asked for forgiveness. They were able to move past the anger and the hurt and to enjoy the rest of camp along with everyone else.

These are the moments that remind us of exactly why we have camp. It is an opportunity not just to have fun, but to learn and to grow. In the lives of kids all over the world, camp is special because it is time set aside just for them. It is a time for adults to intentionally invest in youth. It is a time to learn from God’s Word. It is a time to reflect on what God is doing in our lives.

Every year in June our kids at Mavuno Village have a full month off of school, so this is when we have camp. This year our camp theme was “Nanga Imara na Thabiti,” or “A Firm and Secure Anchor,” and our theme verse was Hebrews 6:19 which says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

During camp the students stayed in their own homes but had a very full camp schedule that kept them busy morning to night. Each day they woke up early for morning exercises, and then headed to their first teaching session. After that it was time for breakfast, then more teaching sessions. The teaching topics this year were Salvation, Values, Emotions, Sexual Purity, and Music that Glorifies God. There was also plenty of time for games, worship, verse memorization, skits and songs.

2022 Ends Cycling jersey featuring an anchor and Hebrews 6:19

There were four teams, Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. The teams had the opportunity to gain and lose points during the week for behavior, game scores, recitation of memory verses, etc. and at the end of the week there were prizes for the winning team as well as for “Best Male Camper,” “Best Female Camper,” and “Most Verses Memorized.” Each team wrote its own skit and song with a choreographed dance to go with it, and they presented these on the last night.

Something new that we were able to do this year is to devote one day of our camp to youth in our local community. We invited several nearby churches to choose a number of kids from their congregations to send. The kids got to share with us in the games, the teaching, and a big meal. We received a lot of positive feedback from the churches that this was a great encouragement to them and that their kids learned so much from their short time with us. It was inspirational for our Mavuno Village community, and we hope to have more events like this in future. It was a reminder to us that we have been blessed in order to be a blessing to others!

“Walking With Wounded Children” Training

Picture three chairs. In the first chair sits a little girl. She’s crying? Why is she crying?

In the second chair sits a teacher. The little girl goes to her school. The teacher feels pain in her heart.

In the third chair is the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, both the teacher and the little girl can be healed.

But what is needed between them all?

Relationship.

Recently at Mavuno Village all of our caregivers had the opportunity to participate in a training course called “Walking With Wounded Children.” On the first day, our training facilitators presented an illustration using three chairs, and they talked about how healing happens where there is a healing community, and a healing community is made up of healing relationships, and the true source of healing relationships is God himself.

What a beautiful picture of who we want to be, and how God can use us as instruments in his hands to bring healing to a hurting child! In a children’s ministry where we are working with vulnerable children who have all experienced some degree of trauma, it is crucial that we provide resources and training for our caregiver staff to help them recognize and respond to signs of trauma in the lives of the children they are caring for.

The training course was facilitated by a South African organization called The Petra Institute for Children’s Ministry. They are devoted to “building communities where children are welcome,” and seek to do this by providing training and mentoring to people and organizations all around the world who are working with children and youth.

During this particular training we learned more about the causes of trauma, signs of trauma, and the significance of the connection between children and their caregivers from the time they are born to when they are grown. We also learned how to build a safe, healing relationship, how to practice active listening, and how to use tools like drawing, storytelling, and play to help children communicate their experiences and their feelings.

We are grateful to have caregiver parents at Mavuno Village who are willing to open up about their own life experiences, willing to humble themselves to learn and try different parenting strategies, and willing to draw near to hurting children who often present themselves as difficult children. As we heard in the seminar, a “problem child” is a child with problems! At Mavuno Village, these children are our life’s calling and work.


Scenes from the 2022 Sisterhood Bike Ride
The Lord used you and the 2022 Sisterhood Bike Ride
to help make these stories of impact possible!

Mavuno Village Follow-up Video


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