Monday, October 5, 2015

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” ― Pascal Mercier

It is impossible to put into words my feelings about being back home where I will be until God calls me to His home. Not that everything here is wonderful, the generator had to be rebuilt while I was gone, but is running fine now.  Edina, one of our most beloved workers who has been with us for eleven years, is very sick in the Catholic hospital, Bugando, in Mwanza, and we are getting daily phone reports from a family member, but she could use a few thousand prayers (we are adding ours several times a day).  Francis, another of our valued workers is at his mother’s funeral today and will be away for three more days.  Waking up to birds singing, hearing the laughing voices of the children at school in the morning, even the daily small problems of running out of soap or needing to deal with a neighbor’s need for extra food, all feel very good, normal, and are things I both love and know what to do about.  Jet lag is a real thing, but I’m getting back to normal today (not wearing my shirts inside out for one).  We will be planning our annual conference for the church which will be held here in the first part of November, I am looking forward to helping with that.  Feeling so relieved now that the High Court of Tanzania has ruled in our favor on every single issue and has warned the Kenya church that if they bring another suit, they will be arrested brings mixed feelings.  Glad we won but sorry it had to come to five court cases over something I still think we should have been able to work out.  What I have learned is never to underestimate the effect greed can have on people.  Happy that we have four pastors in the Methodist Seminary in Arusha who will all graduate next year and hoping we can find more willing to go.  God is at work here.  Seven Christian preschools meeting in our churches every day.  Still giving pairs of goats once a month after every goat market to widows with small children (so very many, and we can only help about twelve to fifteen a year, but you do what you can).  Also, so very happy I can see like a normal person now with two new pairs of glasses (gifts from my son, Chris) and knowing I will not need cataract surgery.  My old glasses will help a man whose vision is almost as bad as mine was but will be able to see again.  At this very moment, I am watching a small boy drive a herd of goats past our fence and our dogs are letting them know they are not welcome.  I hope you saw the picture of the elephants that were just ten miles from our house as I returned home from the U.S. near the main road I posted on Facebook and Google+.  I know they live here, it is just rare that they visit in large groups.  There is just something about being home, knowing where things are, knowing when things normally happen, being in my own bed, and being with the woman who has loved me longer than any other person in the world—and still does.  John is in Dar Es Salaam for three days working on a computer project that will involve using almost 500 little Raspberry Pi’s (Google it) meeting with a company from China who flew him down there as it seems everyone in Tanzania knows that John’s the man to call.  Proud of that boy.  The solar project is really taking off as well.  The main thing is that I have Karen to talk to every day about anything.  We have learned to quickly pause the tv no matter what we are watching because our talk is more important to us than anything.  She has always been my mirror of morality, and she is also a wonderful sounding board and even pretends to like Formula One and will listen while I prattle on—that’s real love.  Wherever we are together, doing what God has called us to do—that’s where my home is and always will be.
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