Friday, August 7, 2015

“Dedication is writing your name on the bottom of a blank sheet of paper and handling it to the Lord for Him to fill in.” ― Rick Renner

It took three days, $550 dollars American, and two access fees, but Karen now has a resident permit for Tanzania for another two years.  I say “access fees” because it would be unethical of me to pay bribes, but to offer a little lunch or a soda to an overworked civil servant is to me just an access fee.  It allows us access to smoother and easier handling of our paperwork while helping a poorly paid government worker to eat.  It works in my mind and that’s the only place it needs to work.  Karen, John, and Shaban are all in Musoma today (Shaban finishing up the residence permit procedures).  John is trying to unscramble a computer mess at the solar company and Karen is shopping for fabric and other stuff she likes.  I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Karen is having the entire inside of our house repainted.  She picked the colors and is doing some of the work, but most is being done by Francis and Charles.  The hall, both bathrooms, and one bedroom are finished and the others are prepared.  Of course, repainting requires new fabrics for curtains (John’s disintegrated when taken down) and then the cushions on the footstools in the living room need to be redone to match the new curtains.  It’s a slippery slope, I’m telling ya’ when redecorating begins.  I’m not complaining, it looks great and I have not been inconvenienced in the least (except for when they were painting my bathroom, but hey . . .) or had to do any of the work.  I just pay for everything which is my job anyway.  I do need to have at least one reason to still be alive besides my church work, blog writing, goat giving, biosand filter work, and other things that will keep me from ever being able to quit.  I searched the Bible diligently and couldn’t find a single scripture that would allow a Christian to quit before God decides it’s time.  I was especially distressed to learn that Moses was eighty years old when the Hebrews left Egypt.  He had to work another forty years after that—whew.  I’m hoping that what I’m doing here isn’t quite as big a deal as leading all of the Hebrews from slavery into the promised land.  Don’t mistake me, giving a pair of breeding goats to a grieving widow with small children is like delivering them from bondage into the promised land, so we will keep doing that even though we are both in our seventies now.  The harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few, so no respite from our promise to God.  God does send “Thank You” notes, though, and you can never convince me He doesn’t.  We are very grateful when we get them, like the money to buy lots of goats that came out of the blue.  A “Thank You” note from God if ever there was one.  If you are doing what God has called you to do, you will be getting them, too.  Just look with different eyes at the good things in your life and maybe you’ll see a thank-you note or two.  Can I get a witness?
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