The weather here today is reminicent of a fall day back in the US. Amazingly enough, I am actually wearing a little sweater. That will last for only another few hours, until the African sun rises into the middle of the day. But, I am thankful for this breeze & the feelings of well being the cooler weather brings me.
Our house starts to awake around 5:30 am. It's still dark outside as we rustle about, getting school clothes out, making breakfasts and packing lunches. As tired as I am in those wee hours (anyone who knows me can testify, I am NOT a morning person!) I enjoy the quiet & the peacefulness of the outside. In a city where the hustle & bustle is constant, it is a welcomed rest to find those mornings.
So the family is out the door by 7 am & I sit with my chai, my bible, and my journal. I work on waking myself up & sitting in the peace of the Father's presence. Sometimes, I may just doze off, but the Lord's peaceful presence sometimes will do that to a girl!
Today, I have a few meetings planned & will run around gathering some food to make meals this week. I enjoy my weekly rhythms of work & provision, although on any given day, things rarely go as expected in terms of time. But, that's life here.....and as hard as that is for my Western organized brain, I see how it helps me to let go of expectations & rely on the "one foot in front of the other" philosophy of life. (although, it is true, you can take the person out of their home culture, but you can't ever fully take the home culture out of the person!) Eitherway, throughout my days, I am working my way into new ways of thinking & resting.
We have settled into our new home, which is closer to our community & the women we are serving. We counted this was our 16th move in almost 3 years! Let me just answer your question now, yes, we are a little crazy. :) But, we are feeling settled now & basking in some deep thankfulness.
The boys will be at school until about 4 pm. They have futbol after school ends today ( most days) & will come home to do homework, share dinner, rest a bit and then to bed. The weekdays are pretty regimented with this schedule and we work hard to make sure we get enough rest & play.
Most days, I move between meetings, errands, visits in the quarry, studying, meeting with mamas, and preparing food.
We are at an exciting time right now. Our ministry to mother's and babies, to families- is growing more feet & we see God providing leadership and provision for our next steps. This is encouraging to us in so many ways. I will be sharing more as the weeks and months go on, but my time in the quarry with women I am building relationship with has been most satisfying these past few weeks. One of my ministry partners, Holly, has just gone back to the States for a furlough and I am missing her! She would make the weekly visits into the quarry with me and she really was my translator as she speaks swahili really well. So last week, I ventured in to talk with two of the women I normally am in contact with. Well, it was a comedy of errors from my end! Even though I am really making strides in my language learning, I am still speaking like a toddler. But, in my persistance and motivation to learn, I went on the visit without another translator. I was able to hold a conversation and let the women know we were coming in on Sunday to do the Cycle Beads. But, there were so many times when my communication was halted for lack of understanding or because I just didn't have the vocabulary to take the conversation further! I was feeling very insecure! But, still thankful for being there. So to top it off, as I was leaving, I stopped to talk with some young girls in their 20's (the age group I have been praying about making more connections with). They were eager to call me over and ask me about my tatoos! ha! But, once we got past our initial greetings and niceties, I couldn't understand much of what they were saying. So we giggled alot and I finally had to go. As I am walking away and giving final goodbyes, I completely trip over a large rock in the dirt road & fall right down! There are people all around observing this mishap & I just stand up and laugh out loud! Talk about feeling humbled and a bit embarrassed!
As I walked out, I thought " that seemed like a disaster!". Then I heard the Lord speak to me, "Despite what was accomplished, you did it. You took the effort and uncomfortable steps to reach into deeper relationship & it's completely good and well to feel humbled in any way you can." So I left with a huge, dorky smile on my face. I will continue to visit with our without a good swahili speaker, even as humbling and frustrating it is.... I enjoy the relationships being built, even if we can't understand each other at times!
Please keep praying for our family. For all that God is moving in here. For the mothers and babies of Tanzania.
oh, and keep coming back as we continue to try to post more frequently!
Now, off to the day!