{let’s go on a walk ~ journey with me to Gidioni’s home + family in Tanzania.}

if you’ve clicked over here from facebook or instagram or twitter you may have noticed i’m in africa right now {soooo crazy cool!}. with my husband. and a group of bloggers, including my real life friend nester, and a giant bottle of anti-malaria pills.

we’re here with compassion international — MY FIRST TRIP traveling with them! — and i’m having the strangest feelings. every morning i wake up i’m like, we’re in africa! last night i went to bed in africa and this morning i woke up in africa! the sunsets are beyond gorgeous and the sun is beyond-er hot. and the details of the neighborhoods we visit are so unbalanced. so unbalanced.

every morning our group meets near the lobby ~ we step onto the bus that takes us to a new child development center + neighborhood to visit. did you know each center is run by the local church? i think that’s pretty amazing — compassion international serves as a partner to each house of worship, assisting them with meeting the children’s basic needs.

it takes about three seconds for things to switch from serene to something totally opposite for serene, i’m not even sure what to call it. earlier today we went on another home tour {where we visit the home of a child sponsored through compassion}, but this time we were welcomed inside the home.

oh, my eyes saw so many firsts.

monica was the mother of gidioni, the sweet boy who’s home we visited. when we arrived, monica was bathing outside with rainwater gathered from a puddle near the edge of their home. i think we surprised her with our visit by arriving early, although i’m not sure how she would have known what time we were coming because i didn’t see a watch on her wrist or a clock in her home, or a cell phone in her purse {like i use for my watch}.

she dashed inside to dry off + get dressed, and then our visit began. we learned that gidioni has been sponsored for two years now by a family that lives in germany. gidioni’s father was out finding work. this was the first home visit we made where there was father active in the home; the other two homes the father had left long ago. do you want to sponsor a child? click here

our walk to gidioni’s home was like the other home visits we made. it’s hard to describe, and while i captured some video of our home visit, i’d like to try to find the best words to use. here i go…

we head out on foot and the road is pot-holed and bumpy and decorated with rain run-off cutouts. pieces of tarp show through the worn sections of the dirt road; food scraps and trash and perhaps a shoe left behind. chickens are seen a few meters back. laundry is hanging from nearly every home and babies are off playing while their mama’s work in their garden or wash dishes in a basin near the open front door.

it smells like dirt.

fresh dirt, raw dirt, dirty dirt.

you can tell by the smell of smoke in the air that a fire is burning nearby.

women walk past us wearing beautiful wraps and flip flops — some are even barefoot — most walk with a tall basket on their head, water-filled or banana-carrying.

we walk through grass and skip around another stream running down the road. muddy sections of ground appear and then we’re back to more grass, tall grass.

most homes we see don’t have windows or solid doors. instead, sheets of fabric dart in the wind and little ones appear in the door frame with their hands near their mouth, watching us as we walk by.

we wave at them…

they smile and wave back.

my heart feels inspired to share more + more.

if i stop describing what i see right now, does that leave you at a turning point?

do my words so beautiful and lovely, or do they sound poverty-filled and hope-less?

or how about both?

i know there is a lot of poverty here but i also know there is a lot of beauty here.

and hope.

there is always hope if you have a heart. and ya know what ~ these people have hearts, which means they have hope. i think this hope can burn silently but i believe it’s there, in every persons heart.

while visiting gidioni i took some video {see below}. you can see us walking to his home, meeting his family, chatting inside their home, looking at the letters and stickers and coloring pages his sponsor family has mailed him.

take a peek — let’s go on a walk ~ journey with me to Gidioni’s home + family in Tanzania ~

do you see the hope that i see? click here to sponsor a child from the development center we visited today.

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  1. 2

    Hayley says

    If you have a heart, you have hope. Yes. Love that Compassion gives tools to fuel their hope. Oh! And, ps–it doesnt look like you will be able to meet Nathan. :( I looked at his dev center number and it’s not one you’ll visit according to Shaun’s post.

  2. 5


    Thank you for such an awesome description of what your days have been like – it really helps us here understand what you’re going through and what it’s like over there!

  3. 6


    Thank you for sharing your journey with us through your words and pictures. I feel hope and Compassion Int’l is such an amazing organization. Blessings on the rest of your trip. Thank you again for going and extending Christ’s love.

  4. 7


    Thank you so much for sharing this Gussy! You painted a perfect picture before I even watched the video of it. I do see the hope you see. I’m curious though, sense I’ve never been to another place and been in another culture. Are they happy, even in poverty? I promise I have a reason for asking I just would prefer not to share it in a comment. :) Thank you again for sharing this!

  5. 8

    David Brown says

    Ok, so now that the tears have cleared I can finaly write this. Christ said that we are to be an example to the world. We all hope that others would see Christ in us and I have to say that photo of that little hand in yours tore my heart apart. As I look at that photo I see your hand but the truth is what we see is Christs hand holding that precious little childs hand. Love is more than a word. Love is a word that must be followed up with an action that prooves that love. That photo does not only show that Love but it screams Christs Love through you. I too sponsor 2 little angles in Tanzania and with Gods help I’ll be able to visit my little girls and hold their hands just like you held that little angels hand. Gods love is in you and it shows.

  6. 9

    Mama Gus says

    I see a cute little someone wearing Gussy’s sunglasses; too cute! I worked in the garden this evening for about an hour and while on my knees prayed for you and Zack and the CI team. I pray you will continue to be a blessing to all you meet in Africa just as they are a blessing to you. Love knows no boundary like poverty or wealth or location or status. Love flows from the hearts of those who love Christ Jesus. He placed that love in our hearts and He wants us to share it. Which you are doing. And I love you more for doing so.

    Hugs and smooches to you,


  7. 11


    That sweet picture of the brown little hand in yours…
    it makes tears well up in my eyes.
    Sweet sweet babies…
    so proud of you for sharing such an important story for the world to see.
    Babies in need of help.
    I love you and am proud of how you are letting the Lord use your fame for HIS glory.

  8. 12

    Chris Langford says

    I visited Tanzania several years ago. One thing that touched my heart was that these children LOVE sunglasses. thanks for the pictures and thanks for the blog. I pray that someday I can have the experience that you are having right now —

  9. 13


    Thank you for sharing… LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the video! Oh my…..

    thank you for sharing. Praying for all of you.

    My daughter sponsors a little girl named Neema from Tanzania…. not sure it is near you guys!


  10. 14

    Jess :) says

    Another beautiful post. I just want to come love on all of those precious children!! Too cute.

    Reading all of the various posts from this Compassion trip has really been stirring my heart to go on a mission trip.

    And then I read one of my devotions just a few minutes ago…

    Developing Great Commission Eyes
    Rick Warren

    These are exciting days to be alive. There are more Christians on earth right now than ever before. Paul was right: “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives .” (Colossians 1:6 NLT)

    One way to develop global thinking is to read and watch the news with “Great Commission Eyes.’ Wherever there is change or conflict, you can be sure that God will use it to bring people to him. People are most receptive to God when they are under tension or in transition. Because the rate of change is increasing in our world, more people are open to hearing the good news now than ever before.

    As God told Habakkuk, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” (Habakkuk 1:5 NLT)

    The best way to develop Great Commission eyes is to just get up and go on a short-term mission project to another country! There’s simply no substitute for hands-on, real life experience in another culture.

    LOVE that last paragraph and this verse:
    “Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
    For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.
    ~ Habakkuk 1:5 ~

    YOU ALL are experiencing another culture and seeing, firsthand, ALL that HE is doing!!

    Love you lots and still praying for each one of you!

  11. 16


    I’m really really loving your blog posts while in Africa!! So intensely emotional and meaningful. Thanks for sharing, even while probably tired and overwhelmed.

  12. 18


    We just tweeted on the twitter, but I just wanted to thank you again for your post, it inspired me to adopt and sponsor little Beatrice in Tanzania just about an hour ago.

  13. 20


    Living vicariously through all these posts… maybe hooked like a crack addict is a more accurate description. Anyway. Can’t wait to hear more about what God is doing on your adventure!
    Love from Ohio,

  14. 22

    Karen Stout says

    Beautiful words…full of hope…for all! Blessings to your group, Maggie! And to the children of Tanzania!

  15. 23


    Loving reading about your time in Tanzania. Brings back many memories I have of working at an orphanage in Egypt several years ago. The love and joy those children have- despite the fact that they have ‘nothing’- is amazing and I learned so much. I’d go back tomorrow if I could. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Thanks for sharing!

  16. 24


    If you go on a compassion bloggers trip do you get to bring someone with you? I am 13 and have a compassion blog, I would love to go on a bloggers trip except I am not old enough to go alone but if a parent could come in the future I will sign up to be considered for the next trip!

    Thank you,



  1. […] I’ve walked on roads filled with trash, stepped over a muddy dirty bra on the ground, saw a baby crawling in 3 inches of mud (next to some kind of black duck squawking around) and then the baby grabbed a handful of mud and stuck it in its mouth. […]

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