Aggies Visit Neema Village in Africa

Aggies Visit Neema Village in Africa

January 19, 2023

After our Christmas break in Texas we arrived back in Africa on Thursday night and the Aggies For Christ from Texas A & M University arrived Friday Morning. That began a grand, rather breathless two weeks.
With Amy Miller and her two girls here as well, we had a full breakfast table again at Neema Village.

The breakfast Quiche always has spinach from our garden, eggs from Neema chickens and milk from Neema cows. God is good!

There is never a dull moment with the Aggies! I thought you might like to see what volunteering at Neema Village looks like through the eyes of these young people.

Aggies are always ready to jump in whether its painting tables and playground equipment, walking babies, moving chairs or holding babies in church.

Although Texas A & M University is no longer just an Agricultural and Mechanical University, there were some Ag and Pre-vet majors in the group this time. We love showing off our beautiful gardens and farm.  We use a drip system to water the gardens to conserve water.

GodListen is our farmer and with an agriculture degree from a local university he has made a huge difference in our vegetable production. We should have a bumper crop of coffee this year after GodListen bought blight resistant coffee plants.

For our squash, pumpkins, egg plants and carrots, he created a cold storage room, with walls made of coal and chicken wire and a water drip system to keep vegetables fresh longer. It’s pretty cool!

We water our gardens with a huge aerobic water system which cleans our sewer water just like we have at our house in Belton, Texas. I would imagine it is the only aerobic sewer system in Tanzania!

A few years ago we had a wedding at Neema Village. Rhiannon and Austin met as volunteers at Neema, fell in love here and later decided to come back to Neema to get married. It was one of the most fun days we have ever had in Africa! And instead of wedding gifts their guests bought a bio gas system for Neema.

 Two of our houses on campus now cook with methane gas from cow pooh! Our vet, Dr. Ben described how that bio-gas system worked to some of the A & M students

Dr. Ben takes care of our big Holstein milk cows and Missy our little Jersey cow who gives us butter. Did you know that cows do not have top teeth? Only bottom teeth and if you grind their food they live longer! Interesting huh!

Ben also showed the students our Rhode Island Reds who feed us about 80 to 100 eggs a day. And with 150 baby chicks raised every six weeks for meat we can supply the campus with fresh chicken at a much-reduced price from buying chicken in the stores.

The seven Aggie guys taught a men’s bible class at lunch, the students met with the MAP moms to encourage them, they sang with the nannies at night after the babies were all asleep and they played soccer with the local village boys. They had some time for fun at the local Maasai markets and toured a Maasai village and danced with the Maasai.

You can’t come to Africa and not see the animals so they took a day and toured the closest game park, Tarangire. The elephants will occasionally come right up to your car in that game park.

The Aggies come to serve and sometimes it is just plain hard work, right girls?

It’s a village and we raise a lot more than just babies around here, but babies are at the top of the food chain for us. They are what Neema Village is about and every program we do centers around the babies.

It is always hard to let the Aggies go.

We have lost count of how many students the Campus Ministers, Brian and Leslie Miller, have sent to Neema Village over the last few years but it’s a lot.

Hayden Liebl always leads the groups, getting them up for breakfast, directing traffic, doctoring the sick, making sure they get the jobs done, have some fun and always make it back in one piece.

They love well, work hard and are the hands and heart of Jesus whether in Arusha town or at Neema Village with the babies.

With young people like these our future is in good hands!

Neema means Grace and any good done is done by the Abundant Grace of God,

Michael and Dorris