Tanzania Journal: From Rice Bowls to Soybean Fields

Tanzania Journal

By this time tomorrow, I will have begun the first leg of my adventure to Tanzania. My first flight, to Seattle, leaves early tomorrow morning. I’m overcompensating on my departure from home to try to beat Fresno’s famous fog. God willing, I’ll have a bit of time to goof off in the Emerald City before my international flights on Saturday.

That means that today is packing day. It’s also laundry day, housekeeping day, market day, and the day to get life generally organized before I leave town for a week.

Ironically, in exciting fashion, our parish’s Rice Bowls arrived at my home this week! The six large boxes you see here contain 1,800 small cardboard containers that have the potential to change lives a world away in Tanzania. A few months ago, before I knew that I would be going on this trip, I volunteered to coordinate Rice Bowl at our parish and school.

1,800 Rice Bowls--Ready to Change Some Lives! Image by Lisa M. Hendey

1,800 Rice Bowls–Ready to Change Some Lives! Image by Lisa M. Hendey

When our shipment arrived, it literally brought tears to my eyes. One of the phrases associated with the Rice Bowl program is “What you give up for Lent changes lives.” While I’m sure that CRS means the lives of the those families who will be supported by the funds raised, I’m also convinced that my life and the life of my fellow parishioners will be forever changed by our faithful commitment to Rice Bowl.

After our trip to Tanzania, on the day before Ash Wednesday, I will be praying with and speaking to the 650+ children from our parish school who will take Rice Bowls home to their families. That day, I hope to share with them a few photos from my trip to Tanzania, where I will have the chance to meet some of the families that will be supported by their love offerings. Families like Gertruda’s:

Next week, God willing, I will be meeting with farmers just like Gertruda and visiting their farms. And of course I’ll be bringing all of you along for this adventure. Today, I’d like to invite you to become a part of this trip in a special way by making the decision to bring Rice Bowl into your home or parish. It’s not too late to order your free Rice Bowl supplies!

I hope you’ll keep all of us in your prayers this week as we travel. I’ll be filing daily Tanzania Journal entries here and via social media so you can join me on this mission.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of Tanzania, pray for us!

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About Lisa M. Hendey

As a Catholic who loves her faith and a frequent adventurer who’s always up for a new journey, Lisa is a wife and mom, a writer, a speaker and an impassioned traveler. Visit her at LisaHendey.com to keep up with her comings and goings.