This week we have Ezekiel from Magozi staying with us here in town. We picked him up as we passed through on our way home from Kimande on Monday, and he is working on some experimental designs of stoves for testing purposes. Tim wants to see if we can improve the efficiency of the stove even more. So we have had evening rounds of Golf (card game) as many of you who have stayed with us could guess! And last night we all watched (and Tim translated) the Nativity Film which was much enjoyed with POPcorrrrrn!
|Ezekiel at work on the experimental stoves|
|Ezekiel's experimental jiko designs!|
We are going back to Kimande early Sunday morning (after some busy baking and selling with Lucy for the annual Christmas Fayre here in Iringa on Saturday) and this will be our final farewell. The seven of us (Mongers, Jesca, Ezekiel and Mendriad) will all be together in our little house for the last time which is rather sad. But it is good that we have such a team and we pray for them as we go that they, especially Jesca, will flourish in the work after we have gone. We will worship with the Pentecostal Church in the morning and then have a farewell service on Sunday afternoon with the Anglican church. On Monday we will have a farewell meeting (with cake of course) with the stoves group.
We should be back in Iringa on Tuesday afternoon and we will be able to focus on things here in town like finishing school, getting into Advent (unlike what appears to be the rest of the world, we haven't thought about Christmas yet!) and of course, getting ready for The Move.
With four weeks then before we are scheduled to drive to Mwanza, with a houseful of "belongings" in some bags and yet-to-be-found cardboard boxes, no idea how we will get it all from A to B and no house to move into when we do get there, I am wondering if I should start panicking yet. Or at least starting to pack! There seems so much to sort out in a very short time ... and I haven't even thought about what we will do for school after Christmas! I just keep quoting my mom, "Don't worry, it'll be fine!" And I'm sure in the end it will. It's just at the moment, we are so tired and really just want to stop for a while. Stop to-ing and fro-ing between town and village with its packing and unpacking, stop late nights of hurried lesson planning of graphing cubic volume of river water and Queen Anne's contribution to the Stuart Dynasty. Stop busy morning lessons of distracted spellings and maths, stop worrying about how many sheets need washing for the next beds in both houses and how to feed everyone another meal... I said to Tim I feel like one of those ancient computer games, Pac-man where you keep trundling along a narrow maze gobbling the next thing in front of you, unable to see ahead of you and wanting to stop, but the timer keeps ticking and you can't stop until you win or get eaten. I'm hoping for the former not the latter! And I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling like this at the moment!
But now as I write, this has got me thinking about Advent; what was it like for Mary and Joseph at that first Christmas? They also had a long journey to make ... moving to Bethlehem. And they didn't have a comfortable Land Cruiser in which to travel and pack all their belongings. I'm thinking we can't get much in our vehicle, but I know we'll get more than we would on a donkey. Mary and Joseph didn't know where they would stay when they arrived; I'm sure we will do better than a small cave with the animals when we get to Mwanza. And I have the significant advantage of not being heavily pregnant through it all! Mary and Joseph are not thinking about what they will get out of it all for themselves. I'm thinking about myself, what's in this for "me" ... my rest, my time, my... my ...my. Mary and Joseph are valuing something above their own personal comfort and personal security. And isn't that just how Jesus came? He came to creation, giving himself to a people that would not recognize him, that would ultimately kill him. He came as a baby, completely dependent, to share our life and ask us to share his. He demonstrated how none of us are designed to be complete without what others (including Himself) have to give us. It's not about me and my. It's about sharing our life! And that's good news!
And now reading this through, that last paragraph all sounds great, but it still feels rather easier said than done!