Spilling tea cups

Dear praying friends,

We are in the midst of a difficult season. Some of you have heard me (Melissa) say that whatever our “cup” is filled with, is what spills over when we get bumped. It seems we are getting bumped a lot these days. Our hearts ache along with our home church in Hershey with the loss of one of their children; the struggle of weighing the options for Rachel’s schooling; the fact that there has been significant deterioration of relationships in our local church and it affects the clinic, specifically amongst leadership; always the pain of separation from loved ones, especially Josh and Drew. And then last week Jon rushed up to the vet (six hours away) to try to get help for one of our dogs who was sick, but it was too late and they had to put him down. Porter has been a good friend to our family since we got him as a puppy more than 8 years ago.

So amidst all this jostling, we have spilled over a few times. For me, it has been a time of brokenness, testing, temptation but also of trusting. Some days, anger spills over. (The other day I was thinking about how I am partly like Christ. He was full of righteous indignation at times. Well, I have the indignation part down but the righteous part… hmm…not so much). Some of things that make me angry are justifiable but a lot of it is just pure selfishness. So I press on toward the prize and pray that what spills over more often than not is joy and faith and peace. In the midst of my own struggle, I have truly been able to count it all joy as I absolutely know that God is working in and through all of these situations and that He will have His way. So please continue to pray with us during this time. Thank you!

There is some disunity in the local body of believers affecting not only the church and the clinic but it is also having a negative impact on the larger community. Please pray for conviction and for reconciliation, including us in that. Please pray that we will have wisdom and that we will not contributors to the problem but that we would be used of the Lord to help bring healing.

Having said all that, we are thankful that the new president of Tanzania known as Dr. John Magufuli was inaugurated peacefully last Thursday. There are still some political struggles on the island of Zanzibar, but on the mainland the country has been very peaceful. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of this country that we love so much.

We continue to wait on the LORD for a solution for Rachel’s schooling for the rest of the year. It is not as simple as just meeting her educational needs but has caused us to evaluate not only our responsibilities as parents and how ALL of our familial relationships will be affected by various options, but also our calling to serve here in Magambua. We do not feel that we should be elsewhere at this time but there is a possibility that a temporary move will be necessary. We are still hoping and praying for a home school teacher but again, are just trusting the LORD to work out His best for everyone who will be affected. We don’t always understand His ways but I am helpless in this situation in a way that I have never been before, which is good thing.

A truck with 100 sacks of maize was due to arrive a week ago Saturday, but it broke down somewhere out in the bush so it hasn’t turned up yet. The local pastor has been in communication with this supplier, and is starting to doubt whether they are being honest or not. It’s possible that after the supposed breakdown (which would have cost them some money to repair) , they didn’t want to take a loss on their shipment by honoring the agreed price, so they looked for a new customer somewhere else. We’re starting to look for a new supplier in Singida for maize for famine relief. Thank you to all of you who have already given or are planning to give towards the relief!

The rains have started. The landscape is quickly changing. It is beautiful and amazing and a reminder of how our loving God makes all things new. There are predictions of excess rain this year which could be detrimental to the harvest, once again leaving people in a bad way. Please pray that this does not happen. Please ask the Lord of the Harvest to not only continue to work in the hearts of people here, to draw them to Himself, but also to grant a plentiful harvest of food for their physical bodies this year.

Also, please pray for a supervisor visit that Jon will be doing at the Pahi Dispensary among the Rangi people this weekend about three and a half hours away. Pray he’d make it safely through muddy roads and be an encouragement to the staff there.

All for Him,

Melissa

Pics: Rainy season brings chilly days, a muddy yard, and beautiful skies.

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