Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AGAIN!?!?!?!

March 22, 2006 Move to Temporary Housing in Arusha from Indianapolis, IN.
April 7, 2006 Move to Apartment in Arusha.
October 2006 Move to larger house in Arusha to prepare for coming roommates.
April 2007 Move to house down the road because of constant water problems.
November 2007 Move to an apartment in Arusha.


Yep folks. My 5th move in 19 months. I must say that with each move I can remember saying, "this is the last one." "never again." "I'm staying put this time."

And as I write this I am procrastinating the packing process that is required for the move to take place this weekend.

Sometimes, working, living together, and having all of the same friends isn't a necessarily a good thing, it hasn't been a bad thing, but Kendra and I decided that it is best for both of us and for our ministry and our team to find apartments and live on our own...

So starting tomorrow I will again, pack things into the Toyota Prado, and a borrowed truck and move into an apartment. I am excited about the move, not the process. I think it is going to be good for both of us, and will really help us to enjoy each other more. I also am excited for my own space, (I really am selfish about my space.) I am not excited about giving my dogs to someone else to care for. Thankfully they are friends and teammates so I can come visit them whenever I want...mind you I am still sad cause I know it won't be the same.

In addition to packing, I got to fire my second employee since I have been here. He's been sleeping on the job. I have a hard time letting people go, as I know their family needs the money to survive, but I also have a hard time with warning and warning and warning and not following through...today I had to follow through. It was hard. I grieve for his wife and kids...if only he would not have slept repeatedly on the job...

Well, time to stop procrastinating, and get packing again.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brick Update

About a month ago, Donnie did an update to the initial Buy a Brick Video. I should have posted it as well.

A few months ago...

Donnie made a video as a way for us to share what God is doing on our training center and also share some needs...a few months ago I should have posted the video on the blog...



Just so you know...buying a brick is still an option...

Confessions.

This season, has been a painful one, but it has been filled with many lessons. And revelations...some of them re-revelations (is that a word?)

1. I like to be in control. (duh) Although I know that everyone around me has the best of intentions and wants the best for me, it is very difficult having them call the shots...which leads to number 2.

2. I have a hard time trusting. And the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that this isn't just with people, it is with God too, cause if I truly trusted God with ALL of me, then I would trust the people He puts into my life to lead and guide me.

3. I don't like being told what to (or not) to do. My mom is probably sighing in relief that I realize this...she has known for years.

4. I don't like painful processes. They're painful. (another duh!) and the word process...insinuates a LOOOONNNNGGGG time! I would much rather rip the band aid off than pull it slowly, I don't care how hairy my arms are.

5. I am blunt. too blunt at times, and that causes people (most often those closest to me) pain. I really must master the art of telling the truth in love.

6. I am forgiven. When I accepted Jesus, I was forgiven for everything, not just everyone else, and I really should start to live that way.

7. I am loved. I mean really, He gave His life on a cross for me. Why wouldn't I realize I am loved beyond measure.

8. Life...it hurts sometimes...and its OK. And crying, i hate to do it, but it is a good thing...maybe that should be number 9.

9. Those who read this blog..especially this post won't believe it...but I am an extremely private person, at least with all the hurts, sins, past etc. I don't like to share my failings with others...but then...really...can I be in community with others if I don't?

10. I NEED the body of Christ. Another re-revelation. Which attempts to squash numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. We're working on this one still.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flip flops.

I wear them daily. I like them as shoes but don't necessarily like the flip-flopping of my life. Last week was a week of flip flops. But I am taking it in stride.

Last week we had our bi-annual team meeting, where we all gather for three, full days of evaluating, planning and developing strategies for the future. Those of you who know me, or have worked with me in the past know that I don't do well sitting in meetings for that long, but I got through these, even with flip flops.

Monday was a review of the last 6 months, and awesomely I am on track, having completed the goals we set at last years meeting for 2007. That felt good. It was encouraging. We had actually accomplished a few more!

In April of 2007 we set our goals for 2008, this meeting we were just to evaluate and make them firm. On tuesday, I had to remove a few, because they had been accomplished, and then add a few new ones to take their place. Again it felt good, and it was fun to dream about the future of Unga. I got excited thinking about the work we could get done in the beginning of 2008 before I went on furlough. In my mind I was going on furlough in July 2008.

On wednesday we restructured our team, which is an awesome thing for me, in that on our awesome team I am have been the only one pressing in for Unga, my teammates were on the rural church planting side of things, and lets just put it out there, I felt overwhelmed, and like I was carrying the burden for this ministry on my own shoulders. With the reconstruction, I now have a team of people who are carrying the weight with me.

On wednesday we discussed furlough, and my furlough dates were changed for me by the team. I got excited and switched my thinking, instead of being here the beginning of 2008 thinking I would be in the USA.

On Wednesday night I got confirmation that it probably wouldn't change after all, or that I wouldn't be heading home as early as the team proposed.

On Thursday I was offered another option.

And I still have no idea when I am going on furlough, just that I will be in the USA sometime in 2008. Most have asked if I am angry, hurt or frustrated that I am not going on furlough early as suggested earlier last week. Honestly I am not, I am just frustrated by the flip flop. I would just like to set some plans forth, and know if I should be thinking about ministry and planning and for what months.

Another flip flop. I am moving. When? I haven't a clue. Sometime in November. I have found an apartment that I like, but at the same time I am me so I have to check out all the other options first, to make sure I don't find something that suits me better.

I can take the changes in stride, and handle the ups and downs, but I am learning that the flip flops, do cause some tension, as I like to dream, and it is hard to dream when on one day you are told you will be somewhere and the next you won't.

Don't worry though, I am still dreaming. Dreaming of walmart, my family, my friends, and smooth roads, and people who speak my language and understand my culture. sweet bliss.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fans, Internet, Refrigeration, Security Lights, and Hot Water

This was the dilemma last night.

Long story short, we are having power problems. Somewhere in our system there is a problem, mind you no electrician in Tanzania can seem to figure it out. We have another one coming tomorrow. In the meantime, we have the dilemma of trying to figure out which is most important...especially at night.

You see, I can't sleep without a fan on, I have become rather accustomed to blocking out the barking (of my own dogs, not the neighbors) with the fan, so I would really like to have the fan on.

Internet. It is on another switch. Is it necessary? We determined not necessarily while we are sleeping.

Refrigeration...seeing as I bought several chickens a few weeks ago and they are in my freezer this is a necessity. But can we keep the fridge and the fan on? You never know. Really.

Security Lights. We can keep half of them on. Turning on the other half shuts down the whole house.

Hot water heaters. Lets face it, we all like to take warm showers.

Last night, after much trying, we somehow managed to have the fridge, my fan, security lights and the hot water heater on all night without the breakers flipping. I think it was the grace of God.

Tonight we won't have such a dilemma, as this afternoon while I was looking at a few apartments (read on) I got a message that the hot water heater sprung a leak, and our hallway was flooded. So, now we don't have to debate about hot water, as we have had to shut off all the water coming into our house to stop the flooding. Hey, at least I get the fan!

Typically these nuances would seem to be much more than nuances, but after the accident, court, the guy on the bike and other such incidents of the last week, these things are minor details. Of course it does help that I will be moving in a month or so, to a safer, more secure apartment. Where that is I don't know yet, but, God does. That is a long story in itself, lets just say God has plans, and I am resting in them, and I am thankful that today someone did commit to taking my two pups, as I won't be able to find an apartment in Arusha that will allow me to keep them. Sadly I grew too attached to my "guard dogs" so it will be hard to part with them. There were thoughts of a fish, however, they don't cuddle so well.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Getting Lazy

I am frustrated with myself. When there is pain, sorrow, heartbreak and I feel like I am drowning I put all energy possible into getting better and seeking God, but once things start to feel better, I get lazy. This is where I am now.

And it is sad that I don't treasure this time with Jesus as much as I should. I mean, most people I know would love their employer to remove them from work to get well, and I am completely appreciative of it, but I also know that I could be doing much more, pressing further in, digging deeper with Jesus with all this extra time, but alas, I grow lazy, or get distracted in the kitchen (which shouldn't be so bad as it brings nourishment to many and cooking has always been a stress reliever...but I digress.)

As I think about the last three days, I realize the going got good, I am feeling free again, joyful, content, and therefore, I am not screaming out to my God to be near me...

will I ever learn? I need His nearness today just as much as I needed it six weeks ago. But then I realize, my distance is also an avoidance technique. Allow me to explain...

I have some hard questions for God, some that I know He may not answer, and although I know full well that HE is GOOD, He is Mighty, He is Loving, Gentle, Patient, Compassionate, Slow to Anger, Just, and well so much more...and I believe that He does know what is best for me and I am in now way having a major crisis of faith...I still find myself asking some tough questions:

Where were you?
Why didn't you intervene?
How could you let those men take advantage of their authority over me?
Why did I have to go through this?
What am I supposed to learn from this?
Where were you? WHERE WERE YOU?

And even, on occasion throughout the day, "where are you now?"

I am thankful that I serve a God who allows these questions, and I am thankful that He is comfortable with me asking them. I will be thankful to, to discover the answers, and I trust that He will give them, when I am good and ready to hear them, or when the time is right, or both.

Lazyness and avoidance, two reasons why I need you to keep praying. I know God has so much more of himself to reveal through these circumstances, and I know He has some precious time set aside for me and him each day, and I have not taken full advantage of it.

Going Public

I have a suggestion for the folks at blogger...to create an option where you can have your blog pubic, but if you want, have certain posts private...

This private blog business has been difficult for many, including myself. This is a major way of communicating to those praying for me, and keeping in touch, and well, having to put it under lock and key (or password) like the rest of my world, well, I don't like it..It wasn't helping that feeling of being trapped, or controlled by my circumstances or experiences.

But I also don't want to invite trouble by some of the controversial stuff I posted during the events around the car accident and court appearances...

So...those posts have been removed, and all of you who read, can read again without the extra step of entering a password. You will just be in the dark when I have strong feelings about corruption and using power in a way God didn't intend.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Back in the saddle...

or drivers seat.

Today I drove, and it felt good. I have to admit, it was a little bit stressful, and I got nervous when I got into the drivers seat, but I drove. And I drove well.

It felt good. Really good.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Coming Home.

I returned to Arusha Friday night, and I can't explain the joy that gripped my heart to be home. It is beyond words.

I am still not working, and still not driving, but still getting some counseling and much needed debrief from the last 6 weeks or so.

My fears of driving are quickly being out-weighed by my frustration with being so reliant on other and my annoyance at my lack of freedom. I hope to get back behind the wheel in a couple of weeks.

I got news that my car was finished with its repairs over the weekend. My teammates were nice enough to pick it up and take it to the other mechanic to have the brakes checked. Yep, they needed repaired/replaced. They were to be done yesterday. I haven't heard yet, but really, what's the hurry, I can't drive yet anyhow!

I also had another homecoming of sorts yesterday. I got to go to Unga with some guys sent by CMF (who also happen to go to E91.) It was a joy to share my heart with them, to and let them get a glimpse and also take tons of photos for CMF. It was even more fun seeing my friends and embracing them after such a difficult time.

So that is the update. Life is progressing, and I am growing, healing and being restored. I am ready to head back to life, but am cautioned about doing it too quickly. God must know my tendencies pretty well, as I now have a killer cold and that is helping to keep me down and resting.

Thanks for praying. I eagerly look forward to sharing with you what I have learned in this season, when I figure it all out and can put it into words!