It seems like we live in a constant flurry of activity. For example, while Amy was in Thailand it was constant work for me. There was always something that needed to be done, or worked on, or prepared. My mind was constantly thinking of what had to be done right then and what I needed to do next so that I would not be behind and not able to catch up. Amy’s training in Thailand was wonderful and it will be a huge boost not only for us in our language learning program, but our future teammates as well.
After she returned, I was hoping to welcome a time where I could relax a bit and let the dust settle. However, that was not to be. We took Donovan to the hospital to have a cyst removed, which went really great. He is fine now and back to his normal, happy, active life. Also, we began our Swahili lessons again, so we are back into a routine, but it is a very busy routine. Another big step in our ministry is that Amy has started putting together all the visa application packages for the future missionaries that are coming this year! It is a long process and a lot of paperwork, but Amy is very organized and is joyfully fulfilling this part of our ministry here. Again, I feel like the dust has not even had a chance to settle but we are continuing on. Here’s a picture of Amy and her very first completed visa application package!
Also, we have taken on two huge projects concerning our house; one is getting the wilderness of a yard under control, and the other is adding on a small washroom and kitchen area for our guard and house worker. We made an agreement with the owner before we moved in that some of the rent money would be used to add on this room, so after planning everything with a builder, they are starting the work. I’m sure the dust from these two projects are not going to settle for a while….4 weeks. Getting the yard under control will allow us the space that we need to have a small garden so we can grow our own vegetables, and possibly a place to raise some small livestock like chickens, or rabbits. Raising our own vegetables and meat will hopefully cut down on some of our expenses and will allow us to bless others more with small gifts of food or an animal. Here is a picture of me prepping the area where the new washroom will be.
In the midst of all this activity (some of which can be extremely frustrating, even maddening…), we feel the joy that only God can bring. I have been reading through Ecclesiastes lately and I have really enjoyed it. In Ecc 3:12, it says, “I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;” and also in 3:22 it says, “I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities,”. I know that being happy in the midst of our activities here and rejoicing in the midst of all that is going on, is really only something that God can grant to us. It is wonderful knowing that He is working through us and bringing us this joy, happiness, and contentment. We know that we are here for a purpose and God opens doors of opportunity for us all the time. This brings us joy knowing that God is continually going before us and demonstrating His providence over us.
For now, we are focusing on ministering to our own family first, and the families in our church, to our workers, and as we become more familiar and comfortable with our neighborhood the people closest to us here as well. Our church recently purchased a building and will begin renovating it soon so that we can use the bottom floor for income (renting it out to families and businesses), and the top floor for church and we can rent it out as well for social gatherings. The pastor and I excitedly talked about, “to whom much is given, much is required.” That means that the church has now been given much, and it must be faithful to do what is required in the future to bring God the glory that He deserves. That’s what we’re here for; to work with the body of Christ to reach those who have not yet heard the good news. It will be a joyful day when each of the tribes of Tanzania are reached with the gospel. We are a part of it, our churches here in Tanzania and America are a part of it, and all of you are a part of it. Thanks for doing your part, and be blessed for all that you do.
Here are some pictures of the kids having fun.