Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Stivers in THE USA! And back to Tanzania...


Our hearts are full as we reflect on the last four months that we got to spend in the states. God ordained many things that we can now look back on with fondness. As these times allow for transitions in life and ministry, we wanted to update all of you on where we've been and where we're going. 

Wisconsin to California and Back Again
Our time in the states was bookended by two stints spending time with family in Wisconsin. Aside from Brandon's parents and sister, we don't really know anyone in the area which gave us ample opportunity for REST, something that we've needed very much. Between the busyness of Tanzania and the busyness of California this was a great place to take a break and enjoy the company.

Once we were in California, we got progressively busier as we traveled around meeting many friends old and new. We're grateful to the family and friends that hosted us between Los Osos, Paso Robles and Long Beach. We are always blown away by the generosity of the families, churches and individuals that we get to interact with. Thank you all so much. 

There were a number of things that we got to do in the states that we don't get chances to living in Tanzania. We enjoyed public libraries and zoos, beaches and lakes, and best of all got to go to a few baseball games (Go Dodgers!) 

The biggest thing though was getting to spend time with family and friends that we are normally disconnected from. This was Moses' first time in the states which was very different for him. He did great and enjoyed meeting so many new loved ones. Shepherd was only 12 weeks when we returned to Tanzania, so it was also very new for him.

A Dodgers win on Father's Day
Partnerships in the States
During our time in the states, we were able to focus and get the word out more about Kingdom Families and the importance of family-based solutions to the orphan crisis in Africa. We were given four opportunities to preach in various churches and it was a great time connecting with those believers. One of the churches that Brandon preached at was The Garden Church of Long Beach, which is our sending church. You can watch/listen to that sermon by clicking here. Or you can also get it from the church's podcast.

In addition to our churches, we were also able to connect with videographers, other non-profits and Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). CAFO is, by far, the largest network of Christian orphan care ministries and they span the entire spectrum of ministry. As they state "CAFO unites 180+ respected organizations and a global network of churches. We labor together in shared initiatives that inspire and equip Christians for effective orphan care, family preservation, adoption and foster care. We work to see the local church in every nation known as the primary answer for the needs of vulnerable children in their midst." We'd love for you to check out their website and see ways that you can get involved with orphans and foster kids in your own neighborhood, even as you're supporting and praying for the orphans here in Tanzania.
community activists with the message of family based care. Among the new partnerships for Kingdom Families was joining the

Preaching at The Blessing Center of Moreno Valley
Kingdom Families Website
We'd love for you to take some time and check out our new website for Kingdom Families. It's another way that we're moving forward to strengthen our ties with partners in the states as well as recruit others that will advocate and support the ministry. Click here to visit kingdomfamiliestanzania.org

Looking forward
We returned to Tanzania almost two weeks ago and are feeling nice and settled back in our own home. Moses and Promise have resumed classes at Hope International School and we're looking forward to progressing the services of Kingdom Families. 

This year we are aiming to bring on interns that have a heart for orphan care and wish to enhance the work of Kingdom Families here in Tanzania. If you or someone you know is interested, you can learn more and apply here.

We'll also be moving into our in-town office that we'll be sharing with another Global-Effect project called Mosaic Community Development. 

Lastly, a big prayer request is about our residence permit which ends later this month. Please pray for favor as we are applying for a new one. This will be our first time going for residency where papers have to be filed with both labor and immigration. 

Thank you for all your prayers and support. We're grateful for all God has been doing in our lives both here and back in the states. We look forward to staying connected over social media and we also welcome your emails.

Love,
The Stivers in Tanzania


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