Tuesday, July 14, 2015

“Friends come into our lives and friends leave our lives. But friends never leave our hearts. And best friends always get to stay in the best places in our hearts.” ― John M. Simmons

Christmas came in July, yesterday in fact.  We got two packages in one day.  Sometimes, I buy things on Amazon.com and have them sent to my son who now lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  His lovely wife, Brenda, waits for several things to arrive and then packs them up and sends them on to us.  One of the packages yesterday was from Brenda with stuff we had ordered and then waited a month or so to get here to Bunda.  There is no overnight or same-day shipping here.  If we get something in less than three weeks, well that’s usually a record.  Most times, it takes a month or more.  Still, we love to get the stuff that we only saw as pictures on a website.  Karen got some good needle-threaders, John got an oven thermometer, and I got a pair of pants and a hat, so I am styling.  The other package was from our friends, Cami and Chris Smith, in Charleston, South Carolina.  This was a gift package from two very nice people who have been here with mission groups twice before.  Chris is a professional photographer in Charleston who does weddings and is usually booked up a year or two in advance.  He is very good, and he took the picture of Edina at the right.  We just love them both and get very excited when we know a box is coming from them.  They have sent us several boxes in the past as well as contributing financially to our mission.  They always include tee shirts for our staff in the boxes, so the staff are also excited when a box comes.  The workers also got flip-flops and Edina (who works outside all day long) got a pair of Nike tennis shoes.  She was over the moon—squealed, jumped up and down, and is wearing them right now with a big smile on her face.  We also got over-the-counter medicine for digestive problems and headaches, as well as sugar-free gum and candy.  Cami always includes mixes for cornbread, muffins, and other yummy things.  There is a candy called a “Charleston Chew” that John really likes, and there it was in the box.  Karen got a bunch of gluten-free stuff, and there were two tee shirts that John claimed and is wearing one of them now in Musoma where he is working today.  There were just too many things to list them all, but every single thing was something we love or needed.  We just love getting packages whether we ordered the stuff ourselves or if things come as gifts.  We have a very good friend in Boston who will ask us for a wish list of things and then will include every single thing we asked for (like garlic salt and taco seasoning) in the next package he sends, and he has sent several.  We are so blessed to have family and such good friends back in the U.S.  We could probably do without most of these things, but they are the things that keep us connected with our past and that keep our daily life here more enriched.  Thank you so very much, all who pray for us, support us financially (some through their churches), those who have come and done work here, and those who have sent us gifts over the years.  We are so very grateful and happy that we are remembered.  With our Australian friends back home for seven months we are the only three non-Africans in about a 60 mile radius, so we can feel very alone.  That’s why we love to get emails, Facebook posts, and packages.  You make us feel worthwhile and appreciated, and we thank you very much.
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