Saturday, May 20, 2017

“Things change everyday. With each new dawn, it is not the same world as before, and you’re not the same person you were, either.” ― Haruki Murakami

            Finally, after almost two years of red tape, Karen has her new labor permit in hand.  It only cost about $2,000 to get it all done, but we’re told we won’t have to pay again and can renew it in two years without having to go to Dar Es Salaam.  The important thing about Karen’s and John’s labor permits is that they are both certified as independent of me.  John is registered as a “computer tutor” and Karen as a “volunteer teacher.”  Before, if something had happened to me (and a lot did, but I didn’t die), their status would have been questionable, and they might have had to leave the country.  Now, no matter what happens, they are each independent of me and can stay on their own—which is a good thing.  Of course, we still have to get Karen’s residence permit before the end of July, but that should be relatively easy and will only cost about $250 (used to cost $500).  Some of the other missionaries have all their paperwork handled by their denomination or supporting society, but we are on our own.  We had a lot of financial help from the One Book Foundation and from some individuals for which we are very, very grateful.  Most don’t realize what it is to always be wondering if we will be allowed to stay and do God’s work, but we have just trusted in God (and Shaban) and things have worked out.
                Hopefully, by next week sometime, Karen will have the finished new uniforms for Santa Caryn’s Academy (our preschool), so we should have some new photos next week—stay tuned.  When my sister, Penny, is here, we have planned a trip out to the preschool that bears her name, St. Penny’s in Karikakari about an hour and a half away.  We have seven preschools now operating with Karen-trained teachers.  We provide food for two of them, and the others take care of the kids themselves, and we are very proud of them.
              We are still in the rainy season which usually stops about the middle of this month, but things are far from usual these days.  At least the drought is over and crops are growing, and we are not having to deliver sacks of corn to some of our churches to help keep people alive.  Thank you, God.
To get ready for his Aunt Penny, John put in a small-gravel path directly from our house to the guest cottage (see picture at right).  Then he put up solar security lights, so she won’t even need a flashlight.  After that, he and Shaban replaced the ceiling tiles, redid the wiring, and the plumbing to make sure the whole place was ready and welcoming.  She and my son, Chris and his wife, Brenda, should be arriving in early July.  We can’t wait.  
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