Where does one start after so many weeks have passed by with no post. First off to explain we have been without reliable Internet for weeks. When we first arrived the connection with the USB modem sticks we use was decent. Not great but decent. Now it is terrible. Even now I am writing this post on a word document so that I can hope to post it when the Internet is slightly working.
We are doing….. fine. Its been a rough transition. We have been moved into our new house for about 5 weeks now. The workers have slowly been finishing up and vacating the premises and we have finally gotten some shelving built to help with our storage and well.. just places to put our things. We now all have beds and decent mosquito nets. (The ones you don’t have to tuck! The others are such a pain). We have a dining table and enough chairs for all of us to sit and eat a meal together. We have a small love seat and 2 small chairs and a coffee table made of coconut wood. The classroom is coming along and we are still waiting for some furniture to be built for it. There are lots of projects to finish the house up and make it feel like a home but for the first time this last Friday I was feeling like it was coming together!
We now have refrigeration after 8 weeks of nothing. We have one that is powered by solar power, which is very helpful since we lose power pretty much everyday, and sometimes for large portions of the day. We are still needing to work the kinks out and actually its not working perfectly yet. We are trying to figure out if we need another solar panel as it seems like sometimes the battery doesn’t stay charged enough to run the fridge all the time. It’s a work in progress.
I (Heather) stepped on and got stung by a pretty large scorpion. (Thank you power outages) Thought it would last as long as a bee sting or a jelly fish sting.. hours later and even a day later it was still unbelievable how much it hurt. Lets just say I never want that to happen again to me or anyone else. I killed about 10 more scorpions in our house in the days following that incident. Thankfully we are staying pretty scorpion free, as long as we keep the doors shut and do not leave piles of belongings lying around. I make everyone wear “house” sandals now.
Two weekends ago we went for a night away to relax. We left Saturday morning in the rain with hopes that it would stop just long enough for a quick walk on the beach. This is rainy season after all. We had a nice but wet evening away and the place we stayed had a covered porch so we were able to hangout and relax a bit as a family. The trip home on Sunday after all of the rain was“interesting”. Thankfully we were borrowing the YWAM 4wd vehicle because the way back was much more challenging. It was filled with a flooded bridge, rocky steep inclines and flooded dirt roads. The 4wd handled it swimmingly. Pun intended.
Forty minutes into our hour and 15 min journey back we decided we were going to try to go to Dar (the city) to run some errands. After waiting about an hour for the ferry (one of two ways to Dar) we decided that we should head for home instead. We got within about 6 Km of home and we were turned away because the bridge was (translated from Swahili, GONE or FINISHED. The rains had risen the river to the point where the bridge washed away. We then got word from the base that the only other road to home also had bridges that were washed away! We turned around and headed back to the ferry to Dar. We waited 4 hours in a queue to get on board and headed to some friends of ours that live in Dar to stay the night. From the time we left the bed and breakfast to the time we finally arrived at our friends for the night we had been in the truck for close to 8 hrs!! We stayed a total of 3 nights in Dar. (2 additional nights at the same guesthouse where we lived last year when we were here for the Birth Attendant School.) After the 3rd night we got word from the base that they were letting people over the Kilwa Rd. bridge a few cars at a time. We left at 530am to brave the bridge and avoid the massive crowds of people who would be trying to return home. We made it home with no problems and rather quickly. Thank the Lord!
We have been battling lots of fuzzy white and black stuff these days.. Yes the inevitable of living in a extremely humid climate (80-90%) with no glass windows and no air-conditioning. We find it everywhere. The bathroom ceiling, the nice woven baskets we thought would be great to store clothing in, computer cases, hats, belts and on pretty much everything. I need to remember to wash behind the kids ears because I am sure that’s next.
We celebrated Easter here at the base on Saturday and then on Sunday went to celebrate with the church we have been attending here in Dar. It was a good celebration and we made it home before the rains started again. We’ve also celebrated 2 birthdays this month. (Mine and Bruce’s)
We have all been healthy thank the Lord other than minor things and we are settling into life here. We have definitely had our moments of homesickness and spiritual attack so prayers definitely appreciated as we continue to find our place here and start ministry.
SO there is my attempt at filling you in on what’s been happening with us over the last few weeks. Hopefully we will be back on the schedule of updating you every other week if possible. Pictures are very difficult to upload with the current internet but we will do our best to get you a few.
This post has been packed full and a lot of what we are sharing is the hardships that we are encountering trying to settle here. I am not going to say its not been that bad because it truly has been difficult. But it has drawn us to our knees and drawn us closer together. We are so thankful to celebrate the risen Lord this month here in this place of struggle because it gives us another opportunity to get our eyes off of ourselves and our struggles and set our eyes on the most amazing gift we have been given. It helps us to see that although the physical may be difficult our hearts are alive and despite what happens around us we can still go to sleep with joy in our hearts knowing that indeed His mercies ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.
Psalm 34: 1-5 ” I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak of His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord and he answered me. He freed me from all of my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”