Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Countdown is On - 3 Weeks to Departure

Is It January Already?
Happy New Year! We hope that our first 2014 newsletter finds you well and that your year is off to a great start. We have been blessed to spend the last couple weeks with family for the holidays and feel the Lord's favor on us as we start this new year.

One by one, we are knocking things off our list and our departure on January 28th is going to be here sooner than we probably realize. We really ask for your prayers during this time. There is so much to be done, we've been battling different colds, coughs and sicknesses and the pressure of moving our family of three back to Tanzania is palpable at times. We press on. Just as Christ resolutely set his face to Jerusalem, we have resolutely set our faces to Tanzania where the Lord has called us.

We are currently in Paso Robles for about a week and afterwards we'll be back in SoCal for one last stay in mid-January. We hope to see you as we travel!

As we are now in crunch-time and our date is set, we want to be transparent about our needs and what we are trusting God and the church around us for. We have not reached all of our financial goals for fundraising, neither for our month-to-month or the sum that we planned for our return. We are still in need of $5,000 in returning expenses and another $1,000 monthly. We are trusting in God to provide and it's our honor and joy to serve and love Him through this ministry and through our family. More than looking forward to January 28th, we are looking forward to the 29th when we arrive in Moshi!

We love to give specifics in what we're praising for, needing prayer for and needing financial provision for. So here you have it:

Praise Reports

  • We were able to get our health insurance squared away despite having a unique living situation that numerous people at Social Services said there was no category for Californians working for a non-profit overseas. Promise had an appointment with the pediatrician this week and has a clean bill of health.
  • We've been blessed to spend the holidays with family and received some wonderful useful gifts for Christmas. Including a Kindle Fire which is a lot easier to move than filling our carry-on's with books like we've done in the past!
  • We've had favor processing our driver's licenses both California and International
  • Living like the lilies and the birds over the last few months has shown God's gracious provision through some incredible partnerships. We have had our daily bread and have grown to trust and love God in ways that we've never experienced. All of life is to know and love the Lord and we're grateful to be learning that everyday.

Prayer Requests

  • Our director, Ryan, has taken in our immigration forms this week. Pray for favor with the immigration office in Moshi. Our hope is to have a two year residence permit ready for us when we touch down in Kilimanjaro and don't have to pay for the tourist visas at all. This can be a sticky matter, pray for divine favor!
  • Pray for packing and storing as we near that plane ride. We've already begun (check the photo below) and it is a hard process. We have six containers we will take with us to Tanzania. Packing can be stressful, pray for divine mercy!
  • We still have more funding that needs to come in as noted above, pray for divine provision!

Hard to work at packing. Lots of stuff to organize, pack, store and sell!
Remaining Needs
There are still several needs that we have in returning to Tanzania. If you would like to give towards any of these, it would help us out so much!! Here are some of the big needs followed by some smaller needs (but still important).

  • New Computer. The one computer that we are using is getting old and has begun to give us issues. As we wish to remain in continuous contact with family and supporters, a new computer is crucial. A new computer would also be very helpful in growing Melissa's design business which would bring in additional income as support for us on the missions field. A new laptop would serve so many uses!
  • Furniture. The home that we are moving into in Moshi is beautiful and will easily become a home that we will enjoy for years to come. However, unlike the home we were living in before, this home is not furnished. Just like anyone, we need beds, a dining room table, chairs, bedside tables, storage shelves, a couch, etc. This is a need that we have once we get to Tanzania. 
  • Appliances. Like I described above, along with having no furniture, our home has no appliances either. We need a quality fridge and stove, especially as we will be doing so much of our ministry out of our home; hosting dinners, worship nights, and Bible studies. 
  • Cooking and Baking Supplies. These are items that we hope to purchase once we are back in Tanzania.
  • First Aid Kit. We'd want it well stocked, especially with medicines for Promise. A year and a half's worth of first aid products would sustain us till our next furlough.
  • Flea Medicine for our dog, Dodger (the fleas and mites in TZ are quite bad)
  • Personal Hygiene Products (a year to year-and-a-half's worth of feminine products, beauty products, razors, hair products, etc.)
  • Electric Candles and Lanterns. With a very active little one, having lit candles around when the electricity goes out is no longer a very wise option. Not to mention the amount of bad fumes and smoke that we would inhale are especially unhealthy considering the frequency of their use. Since the electricity goes out often, we hope to be able to purchase electric candles, lanterns, and head lamps, that way we all remain safe and healthy.
  • Large Plastic Kitchen Storage Containers (to be used for holding flour, sugar, rice, oats, etc.) Because we have to make almost all our meals from scratch, having good kitchen storage would make life so much better. This would be a huge blessing!!


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