This is an update, a confession, a realist look at how things are right now. I’ve been a terrible blogger, updater, and keeper-in-touch. I’m sorry. I also am not going to promise that my blog will take off now and that I’ll be blogging every day or something. It’s just not realistic. Even as I write this the electricity is off and I’m running on less than half battery life. But at least this laptop has a battery (unlike the last one I had).
I’ve started and stopped and restarted this blog a million times.
I’m coming up on my two year anniversary here in Arusha, Tanzania. I am so so thankful to everyone who has made this possible. I’ll be honest it is really really really hard for me to be dependent on the generosity of others. Even with two years having passed it’s still hard. It’s hard for me to ask for support. It’s hard for me to ask for money. It’s still a lesson I’m learning. God is really pushing me to learn how to my dependent and humble. I’ve been hard headed and falsely independent for too long. Here in Tanzania, independence is not celebrated. Families lean and depend on each other. Friends and coworkers know that if they need something, they can ask each other and everyone will always help out. There has been numerous times I’ve watched the staff at Neema take up offerings to help another staff member who had a large hospital bill or a sick child. And these people are not rich by any means, but they know that we aren’t meant to do this life alone.
But this is something I struggle with. So much so that instead of asking for help I’ve been living in a barely furnished house and dipping into my small savings. My monthly support has dropped off to about $50 a month… when my monthly expenses are about $300 a month. I’ve been blessed to receive the funds I need to renew my visa, which allows me to continue living here and working with Neema House for another 2 years.
Working with Neema House has been an incredible and transformational experience. We are currently caring for 37 children under the age of 4. I’ve had the joys and tears of a million years as I worked alongside this incredible staff, watching children go from hopeless eyes and worn out little bodies to thriving beautiful bundles of joy. I’ve held babies abandoned only a few hours old. I’ve seen babies born so premature that no one thought they would survive, and yet despite all the odds they not only survived by turned into thriving little toddlers. I’ve seen death steal away Mamas and little ones, one’s like Noreen who suffered so greatly in her short short life. I’ve made friends that know me deeper and more vulnerably than perhaps possible in the US based on the circumstances we’ve faced, despite language barriers. I’ve been incredibly blessed to work alongside Kelly (and her husband), the onsite directors of Neema House. I’ve learned so much from her, and am so thankful God has our paths intertwined in this way.
So with this update I would like to ask for your continued, or renewed support. I know I’ve said it a million times, but I really can’t do this without you. I need your help. I need to accept that I cannot do this alone. The money I have left in my bank account will only go so far. Please, if you can, every little bit helps. I am really desperate for monthly givers, but even if you can only commit to a one time donation it will help greatly. You can use the button below to go directly to my paypal account, and if you would like to make it a reoccurring monthly gift there is a little box you can check.
Additionally if you would like to help furnish my house, donations for the following items would be incredibly appreciated. Also, most of these items need to be handmade (there is no walmart or ikea in Tanzania) and so your donation also goes into supporting local handymen.
Small refridgerator – $400
Clothes cupboard – $175
Shelving for kitchen – $150
Dishes/Plates/Dining ware/Pots – $50
2 small Couches – $150
Table – $100
Thank you. More than words can say.