We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

What's Cookin' in Tanzania for 135 Days

I have not updated the blog for some time basically because I haven't known how to start or what to say. This blog has been going now since May, 2010 which was 101 days before our life in Tanzania began.
Just arrived in Tanzania!
It started as a way of keeping connected with friends and family far away; it opened up to share our lives and stories and lessons learned with others. Many times it became an outlet for me to find a better perspective when things seemed tough. It has unfortunately in recent months been very neglected, which probably isn't a good thing! I am missing that time these days to sit down with a blank blog page and re-focus again on what is important. As life tumbles right now in a rather overwhelming current, I am feeling more than ever now, the need to sit down with a blank page and focus on what is important.

In 135 days we will be leaving our home here in Tanzania which means this blog will sadly come to its end.

We always knew that when Amisadai turned 16, we would need to think very carefully about future education for both her and Louisa. And when Tim was denied a visa to live and work here, we knew the time had now come. Tim is currently on a grace extension period and we are preparing to move to the UK. Knowing we have to leave is difficult to come to terms with; it certainly feels like a piece of our heart is being ripped away to stay here as we go.

We have started the process of "transition" and it is feeling a much bigger mountain to climb than when we "transitioned" here to Tanzania ten years ago! We are reading the books on transition. We are talking about all that it means to each of us ... and it is different for all of us. We are working on handing our work over. We are avoiding thoughts of goodbyes. But we are clearing out our house and have started to sell and give away our belongings. And doing this practical job in a different way forces us to think about what is important. How important are "things?" What qualifies as important enough to put in a suitcase to take with you?

We are thinking about all the things that are "important" to do before we leave. And it feels a little like we are carrying a time bomb and there is a sense of urgency in figuring that out. But at the same time we are so thankful that we have this time to prepare and make the most of the time we have.

And so this next journey of faith is beginning. Feeling a bit like Abraham setting out without knowing where he is going. (But I'm thinking maybe Abraham had more camels to carry his belongings than airlines allow these days.)

There seems so much I could say here … so much has happened in the past month or two and I feel like I am spinning with all that is going on right now and coming up, so I can't quite reach that point of figuring out what is important to write here! Sagas with line-ups and lessons in patience have featured highly! So has rain and floods and muddy roads. The Upendo wa Mama group is a true Hive of activity right now … but this is a big story for another day!

So I will save more stories and photos for another blog! And as we pray for a new place to live, to work and to go to school, as we prepare to leave a place and people that have meant so much to us, I know we are learning more about what is important. I am needing to practice and focus on finding that place of peace at the feet of Jesus right in the eye of a spinning tornado. A place of peace and trust as we journey on in faith.

(If this had this been hand-written, the ink would have run off the page!)