Monday, April 4, 2016

“But I give best when I give from that deeper place; when I give simply, freely and generously, and sometimes for no particular reason. I give best when I give from my heart.” ― Steve Goodier

We struggle all the time with decisions here about how to spend the money we get.  Sometimes, the decisions are made for us because we have to keep things in good repair.  Our generator “Lil’ Mikey’ (named after the man who gave us the money to buy it) has been serving us faithfully for eight years with only oil changes and occasional new spark plugs, but nothing runs well forever.  We are putting in new rings today and are bringing down a mechanic from Musoma who is very good with these things.  Wish we had David Poulter here who is great with small engines, but we do with what we have.  Once it is fixed, it should be good for many more years.  We also have no choice when it comes to resident permits, electricity bills, and paying the vet who looks after our dogs.  The hard decisions come when we look at the problems the people here face and how we may help.  We always make sure we have food for our orphans every day and propane with which to cook it.  We also have to set aside money for petrol (gasoline) for the generator as we run it an average of twenty to fifty hours a week.  We always help with the food for funerals of neighbors and neighbors of our workers.  If one of our workers doesn’t attend at least one day of the neighbor’s funeral and contribute to the food fund, the community will come and punish the worker and take money from her.  We know we have more workers than we really need, but if one is sick or out for a funeral (which happens almost every week) then we need a back up on hand.  We will not be replacing Juliana which was at the request of the other workers. They say she did so little, they would rather see us spend that money on goats for widows or food for orphans.  Our people are really good.  People come to us for help all the time, help with medical bills or food or medicine.  If they ask for a hundred dollars, we may only give them ten, but they always leave happy for they are thankful for whatever they get.  Even if all we can give them is bus fare back to their village, we never have anyone leave empty-handed.  Of course, as people living on a fixed income, we have no control over rising prices for food and other staples and occasionally have to ask the One Book Foundation for special help, and, so far, they have always been able to get us what we needed.  We are what is known as “faith missionaries” because we have no church denomination or missionary society funding our work but rely completely on the grace of God and the giving hearts of those who know of our work.  There are times when knowing the source of the funds coming in makes us cry because we know what a sacrifice those folks are making just to send us a little.  We came here eleven years ago with two suitcases, $8,000 in American money, and a whole lot of faith.  Our faith has held up although the money is long gone.  God has always sent us what we needed through children of His, whether it was just a one-time gift or more regular giving.  We are so very grateful that we have always been blessed so that we have always been able to help, even if only for a little of what was needed.  God has guided us well, as He will you if you but let Him.  I guess this is a follow-up to yesterday’s blog, but nothing wrong in that.  God bless each of you who carries us in your hearts and who prays for us and helps us with gifts.  We couldn’t do anything here without you helping from where you are.

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