Saturday, September 10, 2016

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” ― Seneca



      We are now using a phone service as our internet provider and I got a hold of some counterfeit vouchers.  When I tried to use them—thinking they were legit—the phone service suspended my account, so NO internet.  It was a complicated problem, but our son, John, came to our rescue and sacrificed his internet so we could get ours back.  John went to Mwanza yesterday to work on his rural solar projects and then will fly to Dar Es Salaam today to continue work for a hotel owner who is going to put free computers in the public schools.  John will be gone a week, but this may be his last trip to Dar Es Salaam for a long while.  We’ll see as we are always open to the follow the paths that God reveals to us.
     Shaban is taking his two sons to his home village so his boys can visit with their grandmother who is almost 80 years old—very, very old for here.  He’ll be gone until next Wednesday, so Karen and I, both septuagenarians, will be on our own for almost a week.  Happily, we have workers and a cook who will be here every day, a taxi driver we know and like on call, and a doctor who will come to our house if we need him.  We should be fine as long as our computers don’t fail, our internet stays connected, and we can remember how to turn the television on and off (not guaranteed by any means).  We can always use prayers especially to keep us healthy and malaria free while we are on our own this week.
      Some of the watchmakers on my internet watch forum made a watch like one the German military used in the Sixties and Seventies while our allies.  They then put these 200 handmade watches up for sale to the forum members.  The men who made the watch wrote me last December and said they had chipped in and bought me one as a Christmas present.  The months went by and no watch appeared.  Other folks on that forum have told me they were sending me a particular watch that never made it here, and I never heard from them again, either.  I thought this was just another case of good intentions that didn’t work out, but last month I got an email saying my watch was in the mail and had a tracking number.  Yesterday, my friend in customs called to say I had a package from Hong Kong to pick up.  Sure enough, there was the watch, as promised.  What made it really special to me was that the men who made it were the ones who chipped in to buy it for me and their initials are on the face of the watch (see picture at the right).  There is a Tag Heuer version of this Bundeswehr watch that sells for $5,000, but the one these guys made is less than $500—still too rich for my blood, so had it not been a gift, I would never have had one.  The gift I got will be worn daily and treasured forever.  Karen and I both got choked up that these people whom we have never met wanted to do this for me because of the work we do here.  I’ve told you before I am convinced that God sends “thank-you” notes.  I am convinced that I just got one that I can wear on my wrist to remind me of God's love and of that of His children.  Kindness is always good.

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