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

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Rejoicing! The Boys Lost are Home!

It was February 22nd, over seven months ago, that Walter and Baraka went missing. They are the two sons of our guard, Thaddeus. The details were not clear; all we knew was that they had run away from their boarding school in the northwest of Tanzania. Thaddeus travelled to search for them, he tried the police and various contacts. But nothing. Here there were no surveillance cameras, no missing children alerts, and really, the outlook was bleak. It has been a long and worrying time for the whole family.

But this week Thaddeus heard news of his boys and travelled to Musoma and he found them! They were thin, but otherwise fine! They were being mistreated in the home they were living to attend school and ran away. But then needing money to travel home, they ended up working for someone who basically took them hostage, forcing their labour and never paying. To make a long story short, Thaddeus was able to get them out of there and bring them home. We bought a chicken which we gave to Thaddeus and the family to celebrate the miraculous homecoming! Those who once were lost now are found! A real miracle!


Thaddeus (sorry, we don't have a photo of his sons!)
This wonderful news encouraged us immensely in the midst of this week. Tim has spent endless time at the infamous TRA getting his drivers license renewed. Rather than recount the whole story, just read about my experience a few years ago (I laughed out loud reading this again!) and that almost sums it up for him! He has also been to Immigration, working on getting our residence permit renewed. Again, it is hard to explain how a single job can take so much time, paperwork, trips and effort, but that is the way it is. And that is why sometimes you get to the end of a day feeling like you really haven't accomplished anything at all.

Sometimes it seems people think our life is rather exciting or full of feelings of fulfilment. But that feeling of accomplishing "nothing" over a long period of time is not so exciting. This week, in the daily, unexciting routine of school runs, homework and music practice, my kitchen drawer collapsed in a heap of termite destruction. The kitchen drain clogged back up. Our waste pipe burst and bubbled forth in a foul mess in the garden. The quote which came to mind was from Cyril in Nanny McPhee: "We're in the land of poo!"

When it settled down. Gross!
Feeling under the weather with a cold, I managed to drop a glass jar full of precious jam (it is precious here!) and the following day a full jar of honey and was brought to tears by the sticky, sharp mess on the floor! I was missing the extra help with Lucy absent at meetings and wedding parties. And then Lucy's return from family was delayed when her sister was hit by a motorbike. She was thankfully ok, but there were hospital and police visits to sort out. All the time, we watched helplessly as our electricity leaked at an alarming and expensive rate whenever the power did actually come on ... and we waited for an electrician to stop praying. Yes, the good man had three days of prayer and was thus delayed. And then with our power out during the days, he was long unable to do anything. A great relief when we had a day of power and he could pray on the job! All is fixed now, but we have yet to enjoy it because the power is out again as I write, with the disappointing news that this state of affairs will last yet another month!

So when I look at what I have accomplished this week, it doesn't add up to much. But thanks to the prayers of friends and of course the wonderful news about Walter and Baraka, it was possible to be encouraged! And that's with the assurance of where my joy and hope comes from ... what a relief it's not from whether kitchen cupboards stand firm and waste pipes hold fast (although I wondered for a while!) or even our attempts at accomplishments! And as for accomplishments, I did manage to make some bio-fertilizer (very smelly) for our crops, but rest-assured, nothing to do with the burst sewage! But more on that next time ... 

3 comments:

  1. O Rachel, sorry to hear it has been so difficult for you, but so grateful that God has encouraged you with the amazing return of the boys. ..what a miracle! !!! Recently I have been encouraged by psalm 143 v8 which says let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
    Bless you all for your courage, determination and steadfast love for the work you are doing xxxx

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    1. Thank you, Carolyne! Thanks so much for sharing and encouraging! Our troubles are very small and all the smaller in light of the wonderful answer to prayer and when holding on to Ps 143! Thanks! Love to you all!

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  2. I love your attitude - it seems that often the troubles you encounter are not small, but rather overwhelming. I love the positive way you walk through life.

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