Guns and Thieves and Little Children . . .

This is a tough story to share but one I think I must.  I have always tried to be completely transparent with you, our Tumaini friends and that must continue now.

Three nights ago Tumaini was invaded by armed thieves.  Shots were fired.  Our Tumaini family was terrorized.  All of my technical equipment, Raymond’s new laptop, a laptop Dada Tine had converted for the children, my ID and money was stolen.  Most upsetting is that I believe I have lost all of Tumaini’s earliest photos as they were thrice backed up but all sources were taken.  That, and two very personal chains, one from Francis and one from Mama Korosho. The thieves know us.  Five or six young men, two with guns and the rest armed with pangas (machetes).  They targeted my office only, leaving the main house where our children were, blessedly, untouched.

They burst through the gate and ran to my office grabbing Vitalis and Ayubuwho were studying and slapped them around.  They found my office, tore things apart, snatched what they wanted and departed.  Most of our children watched from the upstairs windows and porch. As terrible as this story is there is a blessing or two.  Nightly, since my arrival in Tanzania,Raymond and I have worked late in my office, but not this night.  Oddo had been sharing stories of his first safari outside Tanzania and we were in the main house celebrating his return, along with Raymond’s graduation, with a cake.  Raymond then went upstairs to help settle the children and I ran across the street to the volunteer house to tend to a sick dada Holly.  That is when all hell broke loose.

I cannot express the depth of pride and gratitude I have in my hero Raymond.  He managed the children upstairs while also screaming for help.  He is sick now, has damaged his vocal chords shrieking until he had no voice.  Nobody came to help. I also cannot begin to explain how incredibly brave our children and volunteers were.  Everyone, to a person, did exactly what needed to be done and listened to instructions.

We marvel and we thank God, that with all of the violence we experienced here that night, not one of us, not a hair was injured . . . except of course Raymond’s vocal chords.   We pray for a peaceful Christmas season and we thank all of you for loving us as you do.  We know we are in your prayers and thank you for that.   God is good . . . all the time.