Hujambo! Karibu! That means Hello! Welcome! These are two phrases we have become familiar with since our arrival in Tanzania. We have taken a ride from end of the spectrum of emotions all the way to the other end, and it hasn’t even been two weeks yet! We got set up in some temporary living quarters at a convent, which has been so helpful. They clean and cook for us while we look for housing, take our Swahili language sessions, and attempt to keep our kids occupied. All they want to do is play in the dirt, but we quickly found out that there are several things in the dirt that their bodies are not used to and they broke out in rashes. So…no more dirt which is kind of hard to do since it is everywhere. Nevertheless, we are all doing excellent! One very cool thing is that we are all growing in our walk with the Lord. As we spend time with Him in His word and experience Him new each day, we grow closer to our loving Father.
The house hunting has not gone well. The places we have been shown are either insufficient or still under renovations (“it should be ready in 3 weeks” is the standard answer but you know how that goes). Anyway, the search has been called off for now because….get ready for it….we are heading north to attend a 3-week Swahili course. We are so excited about this since diving into the language in the area where we will be living is much more difficult than we could have expected. We need a basic working knowledge of the language in order to get around and buy food, furnish the house, and take care of our family. This language school will give us a big head start.
We will resume the house hunting when we return in mid-April.
Please pray for our housing. We are praying that the Lord will not only meet our needs, but also some of our wants. We need space to make sure we are not only able to minister, but to thrive and enjoy our ministry here. Also, the way that rent works here is that you pay 6-months of rent up-front, so that is an expense that will come out of the money that we have apportioned as set-up costs. In order to furnish our house we are trying to raise about another $8,000. If you would like to give toward this, please contact us or go to www.ntm.org/rob-ellis/give. We thank the Lord for providing for us, and thank you for being a part of that.
Nothing could have prepared us for the differences that we have encountered here. The Lord really knew what He was doing when He gave us a heart for the people of Tanzania. It is not natural to want to be here with all the differences. We are definitely enjoying it, even with the drastic differences in the culture, food, and tempo (all of which could be summed in the term “worldview”). Pray that our time here results in a world of difference for the people of Tanzania and our family.
Another thing that has been on my mind lately is that our church in Fort Lauderdale is around 2500, while our church here is around 25. Praise the Lord for the Body of Christ and how He designed it to function together.
Keep lifting us up in prayer and thanking God for the opportunity to be a part of what He is doing here in Tanzania!