Of late – a conglomeration of our activities, prayers and thanksgivings to God, and general musings from my head:
We spent Christmas in Zanzibar. When Christie and I realized health concerns would prevent us making it home (to Geita) for Christmas, we started thinking through our alternatives. All of our “roommates” in Dar were planning on being gone for Christmas, so rather than the three of us spend it alone in their house, Baylor, Christie, and I (in order of bossiness these days) decided to go to Zanzibar, which is a beautiful island just a $15 boat ride away. It was nice to see and experience the island, though it was (in its entirety) without electricity, other than those businesses opting to run generators. So, it was really hot, really noisy, and really smelled like diesel. Baylor wasn’t really a fan. I, however, really enjoyed my Christmas dinner of grilled seafood, caught only a few hours before. And Christie got a few pillow covers.
Interesting note: The “somewhat” autonomous island of Zanzibar gets nearly every bit of its electricity from the mainland in an underwater submarine cable, which is apparently extremely outdated. Recently, it was somehow cut in two, and that’s why the island is without electricity. Also, I have heard (though I haven’t done the research to know if its true) that part of Zanzibar’s deal with “Tanganyika” (making Tanzania) is that this electricity from the mainland is free. Just thought that was neat….
We’ll be able to start the journey toward our home in Geita later this week. We haven’t advertised exactly why we’ve been in Dar for so long after Baylor’s birth, but Christie experienced some minor complications in and after delivery that required more time here. This morning we saw the doctor, though, and were given permission to head back to Geita as soon as Christie feels up to the lengthy and fairly bumpy ride. So we plan to leave later this week, and should be in Geita by Monday or Tuesday of next week. Thank God for answering prayers concerning Christie’s (and Baylor’s) health. And please pray that he will continue to bless them with strength and well-being.
Our monthly budget is raised almost in its entirety. We’ve been short each month by the better part of a thousand dollars in our first nine months here in Tanzania. But God has answered our prayers, and seen fit to send a large sponsor of monthly support our way, so that our budget is met almost in its entirety. We want to thank him for calling us here — and for creating a way for us to be here. Be reminded that our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
My goals for 2010 and beyond. I generally don’t make resolutions in the new year, but I’ve already spent part of our time in Dar assessing where I am in life and where God wants me to be, in order to live life as he intends…. So I am going to kind of formalize that process over the next week or so — and probably post those goals (or many of them anyway) on my blog. I have several reasons for doing so, but I’m sure I’ll share those reasons when I post the goals themselves. If you’re really getting into this prayer request thing, please pray that God will guide my thoughts and decisions in goal-setting.
Is selfishness the root of all sins? A post from a few weeks ago kind of touched on this subject, and it’s been on my mind since. I may come back to this, or I may hope that some of you tell me what you think….
A lot of people ask me for money and help; how do I know to whom I should give, or how much to give — or if I should give at all? I spent a couple of weeks in August or September doing a personal study on this subject, and came to some conclusions. Last night, at dinner with some friends, my conclusions were challenged, so it’s really on my mind again. You can expect some posts on this subject in the near future — and, of course, I’d love your thoughts before then.
Our house in Geita is still not finished. There have been several complications with the work on our house since we left, so we’ll not be able to move in upon our return to Geita. But some German friends have offered us their house for the time being, as they’ll be away — friendly Germans… who’da thunk? As of now we don’t have windows on the house, or at least not all of them. We also still need to build a metal tower to hold a water tank in the back yard. We’re on Geita town water, though we’ve heard it’s available only three or four days a week. I’m hoping I can very cheaply put a climbing wall on the side of the water tower. If you know of anyone who wants to donate some holds (or molds for making holds), let me know…
Bacon is my favorite food.
Other prayer requests:
- a safe journey to Geita
- our teammates, Carson and Holly, will be traveling back to the states soon for the birth of their first child — a safe journey and delivery for them
- continued Swahili language learning
- Bible studies that were supposed to begin in December, and will now hopefully start in January
- a few later-to-be-announced education-based programs that will begin in the first quarter (?) of 2010
- we’re still raising one-time funds to cover moving-in / building expenses and a truck we’re trying to order in the first half of next year