Oh boy. It has been entirely too long since I last have written.
Some cool things have happened since October. 1. God continues to work in our hearts as we learn to trust Him in new ways. 2. We have watched Him provide more partners – we are currently 1% away from being 50% funded – Wahoo! And 3. We now have been to Missouri and back!
So, why did we go to Missouri? Good question!
The main reason was for team building. You see, our dear friends, John and Asmara, and their 2 precious boys, Judah and Elias, will be heading to Tanzania the same time we will. But, I am sure you have already heard us talk about them, because they are near to our hearts.Their family actually stayed an extra year at the Missionary Training Center so Asmara took the additional Linguistics training and John could take a Greek class – both which could be very helpful for Bible translation one day! Very exciting stuff.
In just a few days, John, Asmara and the boys will be packing up their van and driving westward to Washington State where they will officially begin Partnership Development. Chandler and I realized that if we were going to see them before we both arrived in Tanzania, then December was our only option. We thought it would be very valuable to spend some time on this side of the ocean talking, praying, preparing and simply enjoying time together!
On top of that, we got to see some very dear mentors and friends – which was another great incentive to make the 2 day road trip!
We started our journey on Wednesday morning. Our kids struggle in the car – but 7+ hours cooped up at a time is not fun for anyone. My good friend, Sarah Michael and her family, happen to live just about halfway in Indiana, so we were blessed to be able to stay over night with them and share some meals together! A year ago they adopted sweet little Elliott. What a joy it was to meet her and to watch our children play together.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday were jam-packed with yummy meals, great friend and even a little shopping for things we will need in Tanzania. We were able to purchase a water filter and 2 different surge protectors that we will need. We also ordered knives! John and Asmara will actually be visiting Tanzania in January and have offered to take an Action Packer full of stuff for us. We were excited to be able to add these items to our box.
Chandler enjoyed playing soccer with the students and staff on Friday afternoon. That has been something he has really missed since returning to Virginia. He was pretty sore afterwards – a gentle reminder that we are getting older. Haha!
We were so thankful for this opportunity to go back to a place where God did so much in our hearts. Honestly, we went back and forth about going as we knew it would be an added expense and a stretch for our kids. We tried to see about making the trip about Partnership Development, but that didn’t seem to really work. However, God was so faithful to us (as if He isn’t always!). During our time away we learned of 4 new partners, one of which is a family who is finishing up training at the Missionary Training Center and another a fellow missionary! Talk about feeling overwhelmed by Jesus’ love for us.
One of those new partners is my good friend, Stephanie! Steph sells essential oils and one of her dreams in doing this was to be able to support missionaries. While we were at the training center she asked if we could come over for a few minutes. She went on to tell us about her goal to support missionaries. She told us how she asked God to show her who and He made it clear that it was to be our family! On top of that, she had been saving up money to bless our family with this Christmas. Wow, God, you are so amazing! So thankful for this dear friend, and now partner!
So, yeah. We went to Missouri and back. Thankful we did!
Thanks for taking this journey with our family!
Making Him Known,
Jamie (for the Sharpes)