HomeMissionTanzania 2011

The Last Blog

We are home, back on Aussie soil and strangely enough it feels like we never left. Yesterday after a mammoth effort by some good mates to get our furniture back in the house we had our first night in our house and in our beds. We also enjoyed the best tasting sausage sandwich I have ever had in my life; the smell of the BBQ cooking was sensational. We all slept incredibly well and it was a mad dash to church this morning.

We are overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ we have and not quite sure what to do with it all. The boys are loving opening up boxes and finding old books and toys that have been stored away for 12 months. Rob is dazed and confused by the number of boxes marked study stuff and cords and leads and we are struggling to find homes and a need for them all. I am staggered by the number of clothes we have, after surviving on 5 shirts and two pairs of pant for a year. I keep finding more and more boxes of clothes. However in our defence the weather doesn’t change much in Murgwanza so there is no need for seasonal clothes, also no need for school uniforms and ‘work clothes’ for Rob and I.

The boys are enjoying their cousins and their bikes and scooters and rediscovering the neighbourhood. I am wondering how tight a leash they need after having free roam in Murgwanza for 12 months, how to reintroduce stranger danger and traffic awareness. Jake is amazed at the amount of food and choice available.

We have been hugely blessed over our time away and are so thankful for all your support and prayers of us. This blessing has continued on our return with basic food stuffs being supplied on arrival and helpers ready and willing to take our kids or lend a hand with a couch or a box and so on. It was so lovely to go to Warrawee Anglican this morning and enjoy a very brief 1 hour service, all in English and good coffee after the service. The boys couldn’t believe when church was over in just one hour!!

This week we will continue to unpack and get settled. On Wednesday we should have a home phone and internet. For now we are contactable via our mobiles, Rob’s old number is back in use 0421342865 and I have a new number 0424736612. Next Sunday we will be at St Philips, South Turramurra I am speaking at the 8am and the 6pm services. Rob is back at work at Pacific Hills on the 23rd Jan and I’ll be back at Royal North Shore the week of the 30th Jan. Boys will be back at school on the 30th Jan (all three!!!). I guess it’s business as usual.

It is good to be home, of course we miss our mates in Murgwanza but we are enjoying catching up with all our Aussie mates. Feel free to drop by the house and say g’day (we are used to visitors). I still haven’t needed to cook any meals but I can offer you a cuppa. The washing machine has sure had a workout and its incredible how quickly clothes dry when they have been through a spin cycle versus hand washing!! We look forward to seeing what 2012 brings and what the Lord has installed for us in the future for now we are enjoying the blessings we have now. Amen


Mourning Murgwanza

No more sleeps - the time is up and we have left Murgwanza for the last time. It was sooooo sad and strange driving out not knowing when or if we will return.

The last couple of days in Murgwanza were really busy with farewells and packing up and we are exhausted emotionally and physically. I have shed many many tears as have many of my local boys.

Saskia's boys

Saskia's Boy - Imani

Our last full day in Murgwanza we had chai at the nursing school, lunch at Tumaini Fund and dinner with Absalom and his family. Amongst that we had so many visitors who came by just to sit with us. It was so tough saying goodbye to so many extra boys who have shared our lives and become like our family in Murgwanza. Families in Tanzania are so different to Australia and many of these boys have felt real love for the first time simply by spending time in our house with our family.

Farewell at the Nursing School

We had a small party come and farewell us on our last morning as we left at 7am. Imani, Godriva, Vithalis, Lameck and Johnathon, Philibet and Baraka. I think you can see from the photo the feelings being felt as we left.

Early morning goodbye

On our way to Mwanza we stopped at Buseresere to see Ephraim and meet his mother and many siblings. Ephraim left Murgwanza early Dec to go home to be with his family who he had not seen for two years. He has spent the time at home working the fields, building a house and digging a well. He also wrote a song that he and his siblings performed at church on Christmas Day about freeing our lives of all the worldy things and setting our hearts on Jesus. His family were so happy to meet us and greeted us warmly to their home. Ephraim was another really tough goodbye for us all, especially the boys who feel like he has been a brother to them. Ephraim will return to Murgwanza on the 16th to start school again.

Ephraim and family

So now I am sitting in Mwanza in comparative luxury to Murgwanza and feel like I am a world away already but still my heart and mind is in Murgwanza and those we have left behind. Rob has gone out now to drop off our car in a secure place for Andy to collect in a week or so. Tomorrow we will fly to Dar then onto Zanzibar. I am hoping I can put aside my grief and enjoy the beautiful Zanzibar and a beach holiday before our return to Sydney on the 12th Jan.

Please continue to pray for us all as we travel and grieve and start looking forward to coming home to Australia. Pray for those we have left behind in Murgwanza who are mourning us. Pray especially for Imani, our outside help, who has no family of his own and is especially missing us all. Pray that we do not feel guilty about enjoying the fruits of the west when we know how little those we have left behind have. Pray for our boys who also have such mixed up emotions at this time and each are reacting in different ways. Pray for wisdom for Rob and I to know how best to care for each of their individual needs. Mostly praise God that he chose us to go to this special place and put each one of these people we have met in our path. May our love for them be an example of Christs love for all of us.


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