One of our cooks at courage house has six kids and also cares for her two orphaned grandchildren. This past December, during the short rains, her mud hut got washed away in a storm. For the past few months, she and all eight children have been living with neighbors, shifting back and forth all the time. For about six months, Mark and Jordyn Jones had been planning to come volunteer in the village, with no real idea of what type of project they would be doing. So, back in December, when we heard about Mama Dina’s situation, we thought it could be God’s perfect timing. We figured out it would cost just around $2,000 to build a simple brick home for this precious woman. Mark and Jordyn agreed it would be worth their time and money, and so the plan began.
When we showed up at the empty plot of land, with a view of the lake in the distance, we were full of energy and excitement. Within a few hours we had neatly stacked all the bricks beside the house. Oh man, building a house in the African heat is hard work. Even with so many of us, the progress seemed slow and the sweat seemed to multiply. By the second day we had already poured the foundation and set the first row of bricks. At that point Mark started to do a few calculations and realized we had way more bricks than we would use for the simple two room home we had planned. We quickly revised a few things and pinched a few more pennies together to add a whole extra bedroom. Now Mama Dina has a room to herself, her kids have a room to share, and they have a living room to relax and enjoy family time. Most families save for ten years to build a house similar to this one.
Of course, word gets around rather quickly in such a small village. Within an hour of our arrival, people were gathering to watch the progress. The pastor came by on the second or third day and said everyone was talking about this blessing Mama Dina was receiving. People who have been avoiding Christianity for years were beginning to question their hesitation. Sometimes the most powerful sermon is just to obey the Lord, give generously, and not say too much. Actions do really speak louder than words, and sometimes they change a whole village. Thank you Mark and Jordyn for volunteering to come to Courage House Tanzania and help us change the world!
-written by Lauren Edens about Volunteer Mark Jones and his teenage daughter, Jordyn Jones