For those of you who read this regularly, you may have noticed I have gone a bit quieter than usual.
Last week we had some BIG news that ultimately changes the role of MAF here in Tanzania and won't require the services of the Beckwith family (and many others) to continue. The impact of this for us and those we live and work with is HUGE and as a result there is a lot to think about.
|Most (but not all) of the MAF Dodoma team|
When we came to Dodoma, we had expected to spend 8 years here (our minimum commitment to MAF). We prepared with that in mind. We invested a lot of time, effort and money with that focus before we came and have tried to settle well with a long term goal in mind. Now it feels like we have been thrown a real curve ball and it's taking a while for full impact of that to sink in.
One verse that has meant a lot to us as a family this week is from Proverbs 16:9 "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." Sometimes these two things are more different than we can imagine. We were thorough in our preparations, we had the roller-coaster of releasing our container, the even longer wait to get a car and while we've enjoyed life since we set foot in Tanzania, to be fair, we only just got to the really happy balanced, things are ticking along quite nicely phase in the last couple of months. Clearly God has other ideas for our future though!
Later this month we will celebrate our first (and what we now know, will be our only) anniversary here in Tanzania as a family. We may have only been here a year but with the long term goal in mind we have also invested heavily emotionally in what we had thought would be the home for us for the foreseeable future and so it is heartbreaking to think that we won't be here to celebrate any more anniversaries.
We are not bitter or angry about the situation, we totally agree with the decisions that the management of MAF have been making with regards to the programme and it is tough for everyone involved from top to bottom that this is the situation.
While moving internationally again was most definitely not on my 'To Do' list again for this year, it is there on my list nonetheless ... and so already while there is nothing set in stone yet, we have much to get our heads around. On the plus side, it has been a privilege for me to have been able to share my beloved Dodoma with Mark and the girls for a considerable amount of time. Now the memories we have will be those we have made together and not just my own stories from long ago!
Right now though the emotions are still fresh and they come in waves, some are easier to ride than others. There are also so many questions that are occupying whatever brain power I have left from normal family life here in Tanzania ... here are just a few ...
- Which MAF programme will we go to now?
- When will we go?
- How will we go?
- What will we take with us?
- How will we take it with us?
- What should I give away?
- Who should I give it to?
- Will we fit in home assignment that we were due later this year?
- Will Abigail finish the school year here?
- Where do we want to visit in Tanzania before we leave?
- When can we do that?
- What will happen to the other MAF staff?
- Will my house mama find work elsewhere?
- What about the friends we will all leave behind?
So, while I take my time to wade through the endless possible answers to each question, start working on the details of the bits I am able to ... and just work up the energy and enthusiasm to move again (something which I only just feel like I'm beginning to recover from, from last time!) ... I may be a little quieter than normal.
I'm still here ... but for now I'm still processing!