Tanzania, an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas, has roughly 47.4 million highly diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. You may recognize one of Tanzania’s more famous attractions – Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Also, over 450,000 tourists make it to the country’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area to enjoy wildebeest, zebras, rhinos and hyenas.
These exotic attractions have captivated thousands, but away from the wayfarer’s gaze patiently waits 2.5 million orphans, according to Unicef and other humanitarian organizations statistics. Chris Coleman, FranNet of Missouri & Southern Illinois, decided to save the mountains and zebras for another time and focused instead on the children without a place to call home.
Chris recently traveled on a mission trip to Tanzania with a group of 16 others to a new orphanage where 40 recently relocated children lived. Their mission was to assist with projects that would help the orphanage become self-sustaining.
“We have the opportunity and responsibility to do more,” said Chris. “Experiencing the poverty of a third world country has helped me to truly appreciate how blessed we are here in the U.S. and how we can use those blessings to help others both here and abroad.”
Chris first heard of the opportunity through a close friend, who was leading the mission trip. He knew he had to seize the opportunity, especially since he and his wife have always been passionate about the care of orphans.
Seeing first hand how small financial donations can significantly impact the lives of others was eye opening to Chris. The chance to spend time with, love on, and care for children that have lost or never known a mom and dad is important. He soon knew it would be an experience that would change him forever.
“There are so many things I learned from my time spent in Tanzania,” said Chris. “A couple words of advice I would like others to know is to get outside your comfort zones. That’s usually where real growth happens. Also, when you serve others who are in need, you typically are the one who will be blessed.”
After his trip, Chris was inspired to become an advocate for orphans in the country of Tanzania. For individuals interested in continuing to help orphans in Tanzania, Falco’s Children’s Village is a long way from meeting their goal of providing homes and care for 350 children. Support is needed from other teams willing to travel to Tanzania to help, and donations are greatly needed and appreciated in the goals of building homes on the 70 acres they’ve been given.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
Take a look at the video Chris and his team put together from the trip.
For more information on FranNet services contact Chris Coleman at (636) 728-9430
or visit www.frannet.com/ccoleman.