Safaris of Various Kinds

Dear Friends and Family,

This last month has seen us on various kinds of safaris. Safaris with cars, safaris on foot, safaris on pavement, safaris on dirt, safaris with family, safaris with patients…….. the list goes on. A frequent question from Tanzanian friends is “Habari za safari?” (How was your trip?) and also “Where were you? Where are you going? And who is with you?”

6TH GRADE SAFARI AND SAFARI FROM ONE GRADE TO THE NEXT – Melissa really enjoyed being the cook on Drew’s 6th grade safari that they all did as a class, camping at a wildlife place and learning about the various animals and habitat. One of Drew’s favorite parts of that trip was a llama walk through a forest.
A week and a half ago the kids all finished up the school year at RVA. Drew graduated from 6th grade and is now officially a junior high student! We enjoyed hearing him play the trumpet at the 6th grade celebration. Josh also finished up 8th grade and is now moving on to high school, wow! The eight grade class and their sponsors and parents threw a fun Glow Party in honor of finishing junior high. Josh liked rugby this past term and is striving to eventually make the Jazz Band in coming years at RVA. Rachel finished third grade, and is making real strides in her reading. She loved ballet and skating parties at RVA. Because of the make up of the 4th grade next year, Rachel gets to live with the Hoods again next school year, which we are all thrilled with.
Needless to say, it’s wonderful now having the kids home in Magambua with us! You know what we’ve noticed……….. we are going through a lot more milk and cereal, and hot water for the showers! We love it!

SAFARIS CAN TAKE THEIR TOLL – Please pray for our car. On a recent safari, it overheated and now has some decreased power. We’re so grateful for our neighbors, the Hunzikers, who lent us their car to get the kids at school while ours was getting worked on. A new clutch plate and radiator have helped, but it will eventually need an engine overhaul likely. Our car is running fairly well right now, pray it gets us through the next few weeks before we can schedule time to open up the engine.

DANGEROUS SAFARIS – On our trip to pick up the kids in Kenya, we were blessed to be able to connect with a couple dear MAF missionary families who were evacuated from Juba, S. Sudan. Fighting intensified two weeks ago and most all of the expatriates in Juba have been evacuated. We heard their stories first hand of the danger they were in, and the ways the Lord brought them through and out. Pray for them as they process what they just went through. We’re grateful our friends got out safely, but our hearts still are concerned for the Sudanese brothers and sisters who are still in danger, and are fleeing internally. Keep praying for S. Sudan, pray for peace, and pray for resilience and deliverance for believers there as they continue to face the trauma and uncertainty of civil war.

FOOT SAFARI IN THE BUSH – A recent foot safari I went on was a three hour hike with a neat Barabaig neighbor named Shikali, who lives about seven miles north of us. We’ve built a relationship gradually over time, I’ve treated his mom and others in his family. He invited me to come see his watering hole and ask advice about his plans to dig it out more. Lets just say my relatively short legs, compared to his long ones, got a decent work out that day! During the walk we talked about lots of different topics, matters of faith and traditional beliefs and customs. Please pray for an opportunity share THE good news about the Lord with him and his family.

SAFARIS WITH PATIENTS – Recently we’ve had a Sandawe grandmother from the village of Msera admitted for one month to treat a chronic draining wound. I drove her to the District Hospital a few days ago for more testing because even though it has improved some, I’m concerned about a possible bone infection. We’ve also had a spat of burn patients, children of various ages, but thankfully they are healing up well during their stay at our health center.

EYE SURGERY SAFARI TO PAHI – The last time I was in Pahi, I discussed with the team the idea of hosting an eye surgery clinic. This last week the Mvumi Mission Hospital Eye team made a trip to the Pahi Dispensary among the Rangi people. I spoke two days ago with Cloud, the school and clinic manager, and he said the eye clinic was a big success, with over 90 patients treated, and 28 surgeries done. Dr. Kirumbi was the surgeon on the trip, and so it was a huge encouragement to me to see the local Pahi team partner with the Mvumi team to bring care to a people group who need to see and know the love of Jesus. It’s a privilege to be part of seeing nationals partnering with other nationals in reaching the community.

FIRST SAFARI TO AFRICA – In just a few hours, my brother Matt and sister-in-law Alli and three of their kids will be landing in Tanzania for their first trip to visit us and Africa!! We are so excited to see them, it’ll be great having cousins around and sharing Tanzania with them! Please pray for their jet lag, tummies, and travel as they come all the way to our place in Magambua.

So, it’s fitting to ask……… “Where were you? Where are you going? Who is with you?” Think of the places the Lord has brought you from, and the places He is taking you. Think of those who are with you on the journey, and those you wish were with you on the journey.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms, if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4

Thank you for being with us on the journey with Jesus.

Love in Christ from all of us,

Jon

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