An update is long overdue! You would think I’d have more free time between raising only three children, doctors appointments, selling nearly everything we own, and trying to spend as much quality time with friends and family as possible before we leave–but nope, hardly any downtime!
Five weeks from today we will be boarding a plane to take us across the Big Pond. My dad will be joining us for the first three months and this, I believe, will save my sanity and be the biggest blessing we could have asked from him. THANK YOU, DAD! So, not only will we NOT be outnumbered by babies on the airplane, we will have their favorite babysitter taking care of them while we are in language school. I think this will greatly ease our transition and we are forever grateful already.
Jonathan has just three more weeks of work, then we plan to visit all of our friends and family in Tennessee for about a week. When we get back to Texas we plan to wrap up our goodbyes for a few days and head for the airport (We are not ready to think about all these goodbyes yet so that will have to wait for another post).
Everyone asks if the kids know what is happening and the answer is kind-of-but-not-really–no. Tylee gets it a little bit. Whenever she hears an airplane or we talk about going somewhere, she asks, “Aw we gon to Afica today?!” And when you ask her what we’ll be doing there, she says, “We aw gonna help Malikia and get more brothers and sisters!” (Malikia is one of the big kids at Neema who Jonathan got really attached to, and she is blind so we’ve been trying to teach Tylee what it means to be blind). So yes, Tylee gets it a little bit, but obviously she cannot quite comprehend what all this adventure will mean for us. But you know what, neither can we!
Our previous plan was to do language school in Iringa. This would have meant a 12 hour (at least) road trip the day after we spent 24 hours on airplanes. Luckily, some things didn’t work out with that Swahili school and now we are set to do school in Arusha! From my limited understanding, the school will be only about 20-30 minutes from Neema and that is great! Unlike the school in Iringa, this new school actually has scheduled classes that must be registered for which means we have to only take classes when they are available. Fortunately they had a beginners course available at the end of March! Unfortunately it’s the intensive two-week course for fast learners, hahah *nervous laughter. Jonathan will do great in said class. I, on the other hand, will be like a cat holding a brick and trying to keep my nose above the waves of a Swahili ocean. So, in all seriousness, please join us in praying for the gift of speedy Swahili learning.
Another thing you can pray about is our vehicle situation. We have applied for a grant which, if acquired, would fully cover the cost of a 13-seater, 4-wheel drive vehicle! We won’t know the status of this grant until just about the time we are arriving in Tanzania. Other than the cost of a vehicle, God has totally provided all of our upfront costs! This means plane tickets, visas, language school, house set-up–totally covered! Praise God!
As far as monthly commitments, we are still about 30% funded. This means, we have enough in our budget to buy groceries and save for health care visits. But if we’re ever going to come back to visit the USA, or have gas to drive anywhere, or buy home school curriculum, or have cell phones, we need more support!! So if you believe in the work we are doing and want to support us, please reach out (or click here)! And if you don’t like the work we are doing and you want us to come back to America as often as possible, you too may reach out and we will gladly accept your support! 😉
For now, this is our update. I will keep you posted as things progress and we walk through the many emotions of packing, selling, crying, goodbyeing, flying, and arriving. Thanks for “following” us as we follow God.