This weekend, as a family we received news we really didn't want to hear.
To get completely settled here we really need a car, a visa and all our belongings and this is the news we received in a nutshell ... There seems to be a shortage of reliable cars available (we need something to last us for the long haul!), yet another one we had lined up fell through. We're having problems getting our visas because of immigration changes. Without the visas our container cannot be released from port even though it arrived here just two weeks after us. It doesn't look like the visa will be issued anytime soon either!
We left the States almost 5 months ago now and next weekend we'll celebrate 3 months of being here in Tanzania. Last year, when we were looking ahead to our move to Dodoma, this wasn't exactly how we had pictured everything would work out.
By now we should have had a car. By now we should have had our visas. By now we should have unpacked everything into our new house and made it feel like home. But they were our plans and they were our timings.
Using our western mindset, we can get easily frustrated by the situation. We expect that visas will be processed in a uniform manner. We expect that paperwork will be completed in a timely manner. We expect that there will be no corruption. We expect it ... because it is right and proper.
While I am not suggesting that the entire system here in Tanzania is corrupt or illegal, it just doesn't function in a way that I am used to. It isn't uniform, it isn't always logical and for that reason it is extremely frustrating but it doesn't mean that it's wrong.
As a family, I know we're in the right place. I know that we're doing what God has planned for us. And I know that he is the God of miracles.
After having time to mull over the news we received, I spotted one of my girls stickers (see above). Matthew 17:20 tells us that faith will move mountains and straight away it gave me a sense of peace. Right now I have to believe that, even more than normal ... because there is going to be no other way to get through these hurdles without the odd miracle or two and without our mountains being moved!
Life here is good apart from these few major hiccups. We're enjoying the daily adventures and are surviving nicely on all the borrowed bits and pieces that our generous new friends have lent us. The day-to-day stuff is attainable, it's doable, it's how we're making the most of it.
To dwell on the things that are out of our control would make this interim time totally miserable. We have to believe what Jesus says in Luke 18:27 "What is impossible with man is possible with God".
I look forward to seeing just how he works all this out because right now there is no logical human route for us to take but in the meantime I'm going to help my family enjoy the ride. Because for this time, that's my job. So that Mark can work effectively in the hangar and study for his exams and so that the girls feel completely settled and at home ... even if lots of things are still up in the air.