Yesterday we got some news as a family that we had been waiting for, for several months now (see NEWSFLASH!). As we're nearing the end of our time here in the States and Mark has almost completed his training with MMS Aviation, the next step for us is to find out just where God has for us to serve as an MAF family.
The email arrived yesterday lunchtime with the Subject Title 'Dodoma It Is' ... and our reaction was ... 'WOW, we're going to Tanzania'!
For me, it's even more exciting. My own mission experience started with a 3 week trip to Iringa, Tanzania in 1997 where I fell in love with the country ... and then I had two years teaching in Dodoma from 1999-2001. I knew that there was a strong possibility that we could spend some time working there when we applied to MAF but I didn't want to 'count my chickens before they were hatched' ... and now it's all been confirmed!
My reaction yesterday was just to repeat 'Oh my goodness, oh my goodness' over and over again! I knew when I left Dodoma in the summer of 2001 that I would like to return someday somehow, even if it was just for a visit. Then when I met Mark I also wanted to be able to show him that part of my life 'one day'. So for us to be based there for our first term with MAF is like a dream come true for me and I still can't quite believe it!
All my ex-pat friends have since moved on, although I have remained in touch with many of them. (Several have been in touch in the last 24 hours and told me they want to come and visit when we're settled ... as they want to go down memory lane and bring their families too!) I have also kept in touch with some of my Tanzanian friends and am so excited that I will get to see them all again! I'd better brush up on my Swahili!!!
I know that a lot will have changed in the last 13 years ... for example I see that there is now an Italian restaurant with crazy golf in town, yes, really ... and I'm not naive enough to think that it will all be the same. Just the chance to return to somewhere that has a special place in my heart, live there again and make new memories with my family means so much to me.
One friend who taught with me out there, sent me a message today saying 'You are going home!' ... I guess in some ways that is exactly what is going to happen ... I'll just be living on a different side of town this time!! Bring it on!!