We made it to Tanzania on Friday, February 17th, at 7:30 in the morning. Arriving in Tanzania was fairly simple, thanks to our lawyer, who was able to complete and process the proper visa paperwork on our behalf. We slept most of the day on Friday and had to take several naps on Saturday to catch up, but by Sunday, we were down to the usual Sunday nap and feeling good!
Our first order of business was to get the keys to the house we rented back in December and take a tour. We had “viewed” it last August like a couple of bandits through bushes and over fences, but we weren’t there when it was available, so we rented it sight unseen. In Africa, that’s a pretty big risk, but we prayed about it and felt like the timing and location were providential. We were NOT disappointed. There were the usual issues that you would expect. Every room needed a good coat of paint, and the electrical and plumbing had some issues that needed professional attention as the systems in Tanzania are quite different from the US.
We expected those repairs and upgrades but were unprepared for the property's size. It was a corner lot and much bigger than we thought. This thrilled Mikey as it gave him room to play as well as space for a future garden. The house was also larger than we expected and quite a bit more spacious than we thought. Much to Jana’s delight, it features a screened-in porch which will give her a place to drink her morning coffee and read. Those were bonuses, but the two surprises were the discovery of an outbuilding and cistern! The cistern needed minor repairs and is now full of much-needed water. With the future pump purchase, we can move that water up to the storage tank on the roof, where it will be held and then gravity-fed down to the house even if the power is out. The outbuilding, consisting of five rooms and a restroom, although needing a good amount of work, will eventually give us a place to house family, friends, and teams that come to visit and minister.
Before we can move into the house, we will have to make some appliance and furniture purchases, so we spent a few days shopping. What we discovered is that inflation has hit Tanzania just as hard as California, and EVERYTHING is more expensive than anticipated. So, for now, we will do our best to make those purchases one at a time as the funds are available and are as frugal as possible. When shopping for building materials for the third church, Jonas and I also found things to be a bit more pricey than before, but we did find favor with some of the vendors and were able to cut costs on delivery. Even in the little things, God is GOOD! Construction started on our third church on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, and we are expecting it to go smoothly. We will keep you posted on its progress.
If I could sum up the last few weeks, I would say, Thank You, Thank you, Thank you! Every donation, every prayer, and every encouraging word has kept us going. We love and appreciate YOU! Please continue to pray for Tanzania and God's work here.