Sunday, July 28, 2013

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston Churchill

It would be a lie to say that I wasn't deathly afraid.  You have no idea how bad a Tanzanian jail can be.  Seeing my name as the only thing I could read on the arrest warrant almost did me in.  Having Shaban at my side as well as Pastor Nyansa (our General Secretary, teacher in the St. Caryn pre-school, and friend) helped a lot because otherwise there was only the nun bringing the charges (that if true deserved to be brought) and the man who was ultimately arrested.  It took quite a while to finally get to the truth--nothing Tanzanians love more than talking a lot is talking a lot mixed in with a lot of yelling and there was much of this.  My Swahili wasn't good enough to keep up with all the excited talk but happily, the nun who had brought the charges had also spent fifteen years in school in the U.S.A. and translated for me.  She was mostly angry at me because she believed we were friends working together and was hurt.  Eventually, it became evident that we were of one heart and she asked my forgiveness over and over, but if it wasn't for her passionate defense of her albino children, who knew how long this evil may have gone on?  She and I will be working on several projects together and the money that had been being stolen will now be going to her program (with much oversight) because the need is so great.  We will also be giving a sewing machine to her program that was a gift from an Anglican missionary in England (now retired) in one of those God bumps instances where the need and the gift coincided.  I cannot thank those enough who kept and are keeping me in their prayers.  I can't reprint all of the wonderful words I have received but Rev. Chris Hemund (who has never met me but is pastor of the church that raises the money for the teachers scholarships wrote, "I am grateful for your ministry and for your divine protection in this, and I am sad that you have had to deal with such a difficult situation. You are a good man, and you are doing a great God-centered work. Keep the faith and look forward...God is not finished with you guys yet!"  Another friend and former parishioner from Central UMC named Nancy wrote, "So grateful for answered prayer. Praise God for this wonderful news. Prayers for protection for you, Karen and all the people in this ministry. May God give you much discernment and wisdom as you watch over these children and spread His word throughout Africa. May God protect you and keep you as you continue to serve Him faithfully. God Bless my friends. I will be praying!"  With folks like that supporting us, how can we fail?  It will take a while for the anger/hurt/sadness/betrayal/loss feelings to get sorted out, but it will happen.  Need your prayers as much now as we did last Friday--it's thanks to you that our work here gets done.  Our staff had to be restrained from beating the man, bless their hearts.

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