Saturday, November 18, 2017

Meet Bhoke from Our Father's House

Meet Bhoke! Bhoke is about eleven years old but appears to be about six. Bhoke's trouble started with the fact that her father's main way of getting money is stealing. When Bhoke was quite young, her father taught her to steal. Her father’s first two wives died and while he was married to his third wife, he got caught stealing. While her father was in jail, Bhoke’s stepmother beat her and punished her by withholding food because Bhoke caused trouble by stealing and wetting the bed. Bhoke ran way from her stepmother and was found by Our Father’s House staff who attempted to reunite her with her family. Her father was out of jail but neither her step-mother or father would take her back- ironically, because of her stealing.

Mwita, the director of Our Father’s House, decided to take Bhoke into his home and for a few weeks she did well in a family environment, but decided to steal from the family one day. Understandably, Mwita’s wife was upset and concerned that there might be more stealing, so Bhoke left the house of her own accord. Mwita found her and explained that she is welcome to return, but she is scared to return because she knows she upset his wife.  Currently, Bhoke is still living on the streets or at different houses for a day or two at a time. Despite the circumstances, Our Father’s House has hope that Bhoke will break her habit of stealing and find a family.

Will you join us in prayer for Bhoke? That she might break this habit of stealing and find a loving family to live with? Please prayerfully consider sponsoring her or another child in the ministry. 

If you want to sponsor Bhoke or make a one time donation to Our Father's House please click here. Make sure that you click on the "in honor of" box and put down Bhoke's name. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Simply Being a Pastor

Yesterday could be considered a fairly large waste of time. I worked for about three hours in the morning on emails, plans, and communications. That was it, all I was afforded was three hours. So many things did not get followed up, so many ideas not put down on paper, so many emails not sent to people that are important to our work and the support of it.

The rest of my day was spent sitting and listening to people talk, and try on occasion to insert a hopefully wise sounding word. People talked about worries, they talked about dangers that stressed them out. They wanted assurance on a variety of issues. People talked about how they had been hurt, and in rare moments admitting how they may have hurt someone else. We explored together what the church could look like fully formed, and I saw first hand the struggle of trying to find the 1 out of 99, especially when it meant having to humble oneself. All of these words, so little measurable progress, and at the end of the day more than a little frustration with a long list left undone.

Yesterday I was not a development coordinator or the principal of a college. I was not a great administrator and I was not able to make significant contributions that will take our organizations far into the future. Yesterday, I simply tried to be a pastor to the people that needed me. It is something that in the midst of job changes and moves across several locations in the last year that I don’t feel like I have gotten to do nearly enough. Maybe I will try it more often ;).

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Quick Life Update

Since I am not so great at blogging regularly I figured I would try to give a short update on what is going on, and also ask for your prayers for this current time in our lives.

Our family was given a gift this past year of getting some time to rest and be rejuvenated after seven years in Tanzania. From December 2016 until May 2017 Liz and the kids were in Jackson, TN. The kids were able to attend school and we were able to get to do many things that are harder to do in Tanzania. Liz and I thought it was great, I am not sure the kids enjoyed all of the dentist appointments, but it was needed and their teeth look great. I was in and out during this time, but was able to spend a good part of that time with them in Jackson.

June – August of this year we spent on the road speaking to different churches and small groups about our work in Tanzania. While I cannot began to thank everyone who hosted us, came to hear us speak, or shared their kitchen table with us for means and conversation. There were so many who cared for our children, made them feel special, ensured that they had fun, and generally spoiled them. I hope that you all get a chance to read even this little thank you and know how grateful we are. I look forward to continuing relationships with the groups that we were able to connect with and look forward to our next trip to the US.

The beginning of September I (Eric) returned to Tanzania by myself. During our time in the US we applied for Derrick to become a US citizen. A process that was supposed to be fairly straight forward and quick has proven to be anything but. As of right now Derrick cannot leave the country without running the risk of having to start all over again on his application. So we are currently waiting. Waiting on answers, waiting to be reunited, just waiting, something I know Liz and the boys feel even more keenly than I do.

That is where things stand for now. Prayers are appreciated that we can be back together as a family soon.