family and life: work report, may 2013

familymar?2013

I sent out our family’s email version of the May work report a couple of days ago.  And it was really long.  So I’ve decided to break it up into sections here on the blog.  Today’s installment is the “Family and Life” segment. 

Also — and because I’ve shortened your reading for the day, my friends — I’m going to add in a few extra of life’s anecdotes. Continue reading

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Filed under family, living in africa, updates from geita

children processing death

slaughter

Last week I published a letter from Nathan Jernigan, a licensed psychotherapist who attends our sending congregation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In it Nathan offered advice as to how we ought to help our children through trauma and tragedy; this was written in response to the Sandy Hook shootings.

I mentioned in that post I’d like to share some of my thoughts on children dealing with death.  So today I am.

Here is the letter I wrote Nathan in response to his advice (I’ve bolded a few thoughts):

Nathan, this is Brett Harrison writing from Geita, Tanzania.  I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you having written this for everyone at Stones River (and even their missionaries abroad).  While the shootings in Newtown aren’t something about which we’ve heard a great deal — and while the oldest of our children is only three — your words are very much appreciated.  

Our daughters regularly are witness to sickness, sadness, and tragedy here in Geita; and navigating these situations is difficult for me at times. Continue reading

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Filed under family, just thinking

merry christmas from the fa-muh-ly (feliz navidad)

familychristmas2012

4 Comments

December 26, 2012 · 7:39 am

helping our children through trauma

The tragedy in Connecticut is not something that made headlines here in Tanzania.  We didn’t hear about it on the radio or see it on our televisions.  I’m sure it’s all over internet news sites which we do see here (I scan the world news every couple of days — but generally once I’ve read a report on a particular subject, I rarely return to read more on that subject*).  So we’ve not read a great deal about the shootings in Newtown.

[Don't worry, though.  This is not going to be one of those posts in which an expat living abroad points fingers at all the Americans who are upset about a handful of people dying in the land of plenty -- while thousands die every day at the hands of malaria and corrupt regimes where we are.]


What I am getting at is that while I’ve not read a great deal about the shootings themselves, I have read massive numbers of bloggers on the subject.  Many were quite political, making the tragedy which occurred seem as a stepping off point for the anti- and pro- gun agendas, a springboard for discussions on the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill, and a grounds on which to base arguments for or against Calvinism (or Christianity in general).  [I am not against these discussions -- I rather enjoy them, actually.  But I'm not sure it seems the time (the place, yes, but perhaps not the time).]

I do want to offer you, though, two written pieces that came out of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Neither is an attempt at politicizing what happened and both are hugely practical. Continue reading

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Filed under family, guest posts, practical advice

brett’s morning blend (19dec12)

A few days ago I asked Baylor for a good morning hug.  She slowly backed away and responded, “But… you see… I’m really so pretty.  And pretty people don’t give hugs.  [Long pause.]  You know… I only give kisses to everybody.”

She then leaned in and gave me a kiss… without a hug.

Where does my daughter learn these things?!  Does Dora teach that the attractive among us don’t embrace?  “Yo soy hermosa. No hay un abrazo para ti, Boots!”

And since when is giving kisses to EVERYBODY an action that can be qualified with the word only?

Your links: Continue reading

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Filed under morning blend

geita summer internship 2013

childrenatwork

The Geita team desires to train others for mission.  We recognize we have a responsibility to disciple others who would be involved in foreign mission work and/or cross cultural ministry.  For this reason, each summer we invite college students to Geita for a missions internship.

During summer 2013 Christie and I will be the only Geita team family here, and so we are hosting the interns on our own.  We have two spots remaining for male interns.  Are you interested in spending your summer in small-town Tanzania?  Or do you know someone who is?

Internship Overview

The Geita internship is an 8-week program in which the college student’s primary roles are observing and learning.  The goal is for the intern to experience and understand cross-cultural ministry and everything it entails. Continue reading

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Filed under missions, updates from geita

top 12 list (of top 10 lists) on 12-12-12

It’s December 12, 2012, and we ought to celebrate!  You know we won’t experience the good fortune of a matching number month-day-year again until next century (and I fear I won’t be around to enjoy that one).  So…

  • Eat a dozen donuts for breakfast.  
  • Use the word twelve in every conversation you have today.  
  • Run twelve miles… or twelve minutes.  
  • Spend twelve dollars on a gift and give it to the twelfth person you see today.  
  • Memorize the names of the twelve apostles — or if you’re Jewish perhaps the twelve tribes of Israel (are Jews any more likely to have memorized the twelve tribes than Christians are the twelve apostles?).
  • Have a moment of silence at 12:12 (the one that hasn’t happened yet) in order to reflect on this rare occasion.

I don’t care much what you do.  But do something!  Celebrate this twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year in this century.  And if you do indeed decide to celebrate, leave a comment telling us all what you’re doing.

Oh, what’s that?  What am I doing on 12-12-12?  Well, for starters I’m offering you guys… Continue reading

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Filed under slightly humorous or amusing?, top ten lists