Hi Everybody! Well, another month has flown by and we are now in the month of December! At times it’s hard to believe that we have been here for 9 months now. At other times, because of how challenging it can get, we feel like we’ve been here long enough to need a vacation! But through it all, you all have been such a blessing. Thank you for your prayers and financial support, which allows us to do everything that we need to do here. God has certainly shown us that He can do amazing things. We get opportunities each month to see God at work in the hearts of His people. We appreciate having all of you on such a great team to do this work right along with us.
Things overall are going very well here. We feel our language learning is going incredibly well. We just started Phase 3 of our program and we were very encouraged at the results of our end of phase 2 exercises/beginning of phase 3 exercises. The other day, our language helper and I went out to do some language learning and at the same time locate an aluminum trash can. It took about 5 hours and after walking to several shops and taking a couple of city buses, we got to a place that custom-made it for us. It was quite a fun experience, and mostly done in Kiswahili. Here are some pictures of it!
Right now, we want all of you know to know some of the challenges that we are facing.
First, we are in the process of requesting a language evaluation. There are several things that are hindering us from taking an evaluation at this point. One of the tests we could take is provided over the internet. We have to pay for it (which thanks to you all is no problem!), but our internet is very sketchy. We are asking what happens if we lose the internet connection in the middle of the test. Another test we could take we don’t feel is very thorough and might not provide us with an accurate assessment of where we should be focusing in the future.
Second, our employees are requesting a raise. We have one houseworker, three full-time guards, and one part-time guard. (If you want more information on these folks and why we have so many, please ask and I’ll explain more fully.) We have work contracts with each of them, so we don’t feel like a raise is due at this time, and it is not part of the contract. This obviously causes some tension around the house which is not helpful for what we are trying to accomplish. We want to be sensitive, but we also don’t want to be taken advantage of in this way, while at the same time presenting a good witness.
Third, in our hearts we are feeling anxious about getting the ball rolling to establish our organization here (we’ve even been brainstorming a name…such as, “Ndiyo, Twende Makabila” which could be shortened to NTM and which means ‘Yes, let’s go to the tribes’!). We are so far from being ready to do this, but nevertheless we are getting anxious to begin the process. We will be hosting some folks from the NTM USA leadership next month, and we will use some of that time to talk about some of the issues. Also, our first teammates will be arriving at the end of January and we are very excited to have others here in country. They will be able to provide a lot of insight into how to get the process rolling.
Lastly, (but certainly not least) it IS December and we are truly missing being with all of our family and friends. I think a big thing we are all missing this year is the Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant. Amy started playing Christmas music around the house yesterday and it was so funny watching the kids sing and dance to it. We love you all and miss you very much. We pray that the Lord showers you with great blessings at this time for the ways you serve Him and give to His work.
All for Jesus,
Rob, Amy, Shelbyanne, Emily, & Donovan