Friday, July 26, 2013

“If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through the red tape and obstacles of this world. ” ― Vance Havner

Shaban is spending the day in Musoma armed with piles of documents, pictures, letters, and the like trying to get our residence permits renewed.  We had to do all this in December when the government cancelled all residence permits and just got our new ones back with only two weeks  left before they expired.  I know of no country that is without bureaucratic obstacles to almost everything.  I have a French missionary friend that says that France's system makes this one look like a breeze.  At any rate, we jump through the hoops and dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" and then redo it when they complain.  At the end, we have always gotten what we needed, so we believe that God must want us here.  Sadly, another neighbor died and two of our staff went for the obligatory visits and took money from us to help pay for the food for those gathered.  This also means we can do no work outside for a couple of days.  We have talked and decided to put Lusi back on the payroll as if she was still working here in the hopes that she could be back in a couple of months.  There is no manual on how to help and under what conditions and our three days (yep, three whole days) of training to be missionaries focused mostly on malaria and being able to laugh at your own mistakes (and we have had malaria and have had to laugh at way too many of our mistakes, yet we struggle on).  If there were no red tape and obstacles, I guess everybody would be doing this and that would get very crowded.  It is what it is and we do what we must even without guidance except from God.  He has not let us down even if He doesn't protect us from our own stupidity from time to time.  Faith is indispensable for us and for everyone.

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