Sunday, February 8, 2015

“If God gives you something you can do, why in God's name wouldn't you do it?” ― Stephen King

In 2003, Karen heard the voice of God calling her to spend the rest of her life serving Him in Tanzania.  She told me that He had called, and I said, if your answer is “yes” then I want to go, too.  She wouldn’t have come without me (at least I hope so) so I guess that worked out okay.  I had fallen in love with mission and with Tanzania at that time, so it all worked out.  We spent the next two years in the U.S. selling or giving away all our possessions and tying up loose ends.  We would be leaving two sons behind, neither of whom was married at that time.  Our youngest would marry just two months before we left in 2005, and the oldest would marry not long after we had moved to Africa.  We bought a one-way ticket on British Air out of Dallas and came with three days of training as Individual Volunteer Missionaries, two suitcases each, $8,000 in American money, a whole lot of faith, and overcome with joy and excitement at our newest adventure never knowing we would live into our seventies in Bunda, Tanzania.  If you’ve been reading the blog from time to time, you know what we’ve been doing here, our ups, our downs, but also our ironclad determination to serve where we were called no matter what the cost.  The joys have far outweighed the sorrows and continue to do that.  God does send us “thank you” notes, the latest in the form of a small, Tibetan Terrier named Sissie.  Every time we think we have done everything we were supposed to have done, new projects arrive with new excitement, new problems, and with God always providing just what we need to do the job.  Never been as happy, never been as physical unfit, never been as poor, never been as rich, never been as disappointed, never been as filled with monumental joy at what we’ve managed to do (with tons and tons of help from lots and lots of others who are also answering God’s call).  Caesar is reputed to have said, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”  We have said and are still saying, “We came as called, we saw what was needed, we have served and will serve till we are called back to God.”  It’s just that simple.  It’s not that easy, but we have always been given the strength or the help we have needed to plant seeds, pull weeds, move rocks, and every now and then pull a sweet potato from the garden we’ve created.  All we can say is, “Thank you, Lord,” and “Thank you to everyone who have helped to make this possible.”  The world and Christianity have changed here thanks to you.  Keep us in your prayers.  Our work is far from over.
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