Tuesday, May 26, 2015

YASC: A mission to Tanzania

By Andy Russell, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg

Several weeks have passed since I graduated from William & Mary. Two months to go until my mission to Tanzania.

You read correctly! The Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) has placed me in Dodoma, Tanzania starting next August. Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, Zanzibar: all incredible features of Tanzania. But hardship and suffering are realities in Tanzania as well. During my time there, I will be serving with The Carpenter's Kids, a program run by the Anglican Diocese of Central Tanganyika that provides education to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. In addition, these orphans are provided school supplies, shoes, a uniform, access to emergency healthcare, and two mosquito nets. So far, the program is supporting at least 6,625 orphans across 116 of the 200 parishes. But with an estimated 40,000 such orphans in the Central Tanganyika diocese alone, the need for this program very real.

It is here I would like to reiterate what mission exactly is: the work we all engage in to provide for and bring all of the members of Christ's body closer together. I would also like to reiterate another point: I really cannot do this alone. This is not my mission, this is our mission. And in Tanzania, the need for mission is clear: for most HIV/AIDS orphans, the Carpenter's Kids program is the only thing keeping them off the streets. The schools provide structure and support that would be otherwise absent in the lives of these children.

To financially support our mission, donations can be sent to Bruton Parish Church (memo line "YASC"), P.O. Box 3520, Williamsburg, VA 23187-3520. To prayerfully support our mission via a Prayer Sponsor List, please send a mail or email address to asrussell21@gmail.com. To learn more about the mission and The Carpenter's Kids, please visit asrussell-yasc.blogspot.com.

Already many of you have been so incredibly generous and supportive, and for that I am truly thankful. Let us continue to do God's work in the world!