the search for stability

I’d planned to post today about worship and Sunday gatherings, but something great has come up.  We’re moving into our house!  …kind of.  Yes, the house we were told would be finished in September is finally (close enough to) finished (to put our things inside).  The welding for the water tower will be completed today, and we’ll set the tower late this afternoon or tomorrow. A few days for concrete to set and a day or two of plumbing work, and we’ll actually be living in the house.  And not a moment too soon.  Baby Baylor’s first visitors from the states arrive a week from Saturday.  We just hope Christie’s family’s first night in our home is not also our first night in our home.

There are no cabinets or drawers in the kitchen, no shelves in the pantry, nothing at all in the closets, no doors on those closets, and several bats that need to be permanently exorcised from the “attic.”  But other than that, our house will be finished in four or five days.

Christie and I moved to Tanzania in March of last year, and have stayed nights in over 25 different homes, bandas, or hotel rooms.  We’ve lived for multiple weeks in seven different locations.  Baylor has never stayed in the same place for more than three weeks, and has slept in at least ten different rooms in five different cities.  She’s never slept in a crib, and most of her nights have been spent on a mat on the floor (with its own little walls and mosquito net).  Next Tuesday will mark eleven straight months of living out of the suitcases with which we arrived.

We are more than ready for some stability.  Though we appreciate the lessons we’ve learned or of which we’ve been reminded:

  • Being content in all situations
  • Flexibility
  • Sharing
  • This world is not our home (nor is this house or room).
  • Patience
  • Quantity of possessions is not an accurate measure of joy or happiness.
  • But you should see how much stuff we can fit in a few suitcases.
  • Baylor loves riding in the truck — and the bumpier the ride the better.
  • Everything takes longer in Tanzania, and two weeks might mean five months.
  • Although we plan to use cloth diapers here, we’re extremely grateful, in all our moving around, for the disposables we were sent from the states.
  • We have to be in our house before my parents-in-law arrive, because Sukuma culture requires that, upon their arrival in my home, I slaughter a chicken for them on the first day, and a goat on the second.  And they would be very sad if I didn’t show my respect for them by doing so.
  • In an ever-changing world, we’ve been reminded that God is our only true constant.


Filed under family, updates from geita

6 responses to “the search for stability

  1. I am praying for you!

    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

    Let it be so, Lord! Bless Brett, Christie and Baylor by letting them move into their house before Christie’s family arrives. Give them all a wonderful time together. Bring great joy through their fellowship.

    Use this family and this team to shine the light of your glory on the Sukuma people. Reveal yourself to this people group. Give them a redemption testimony that impacts all of Tanzania. Raise up harvesters from the harvest. Use persons of peace you have been preparing to allow the gospel to be planted into the core of these people. Let the morning star–your Son–shine brightly upon them.

    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  2. Brett, I love hearing about your work in Tanzania, and am so happy to hear about how well things are going, and the completion of your house. May God be glorified as you continue to reflect his light there!

    Also, I have just started a blog, and wanted to share the website with you –

    Thanks for all ya’ll are doing. God be praised.

  3. David Robinson

    Thanks Brett. So excited that you can get some roots. Suitcase living is over-rated! We miss you guys. We think of your family constantly!

  4. kevin Linderman

    Sukuma culture also dictates that you give one leg of the goat to someone else in the village (though some have told me that it isn’t a sukuma thing, but something mandated by Nyerere). Make sure you give the leg to the right guy, though (and maybe the favor will be returned!)

  5. john, thank you for your prayers — that one and all the others.

    justin, thanks for coming by and for the kind words. i added your blog to my feed reader, so i’ll get all your updates. and congratulations on being able to teach bible in a second language — that’s awesome.

    david, i don’t guess i can compare the time i’ve lived out of a suitcase to the time you have… when are you guys coming to visit?

    kevin, i haven’t heard this yet. very, very interesting. do you know any of the background on exactly why nyerere instituted this leg of goat thing?

  6. Jim Wade

    Just so everyone knows, we did not receive a chicken or a goat on our trip to visit Brett, Christie, and Baylor. As for stability- just read Brettts comments about experiencing Africa in a week. If Brett found stability in that then he is truly culturally accclimated. However at the end of that blog he acknowledges what we probably all felt- A break would be nice.
    We did receive much much more than goats or chickens, or even coffee.
    We experienced the bond of family, and new life, and hope, and promise.

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