From Rice Bowls Boxes to Soybean Fields: #CRSMedia Mission to Tanzania Begins Tomorrow!


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 Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. Lisa this is wonderful. I will be praying for you for a safe journey. Can’t wait to see pictures.

  2. Pingback: Tech Talk: Lenten Inspiration from CRS Rice Bowl |

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