Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tamara's dad had a terrible wreck

November 7, 2011 our lives took a very shocking detour for two weeks, and even longer for Troy, Tamara's dad.  Just the night before we got a call that Doug's father was in the hospital expecting surgery and had been in the ER 4 times that week.  Tamara's father had run his big Isuzu carpet cleaning truck into a billboard pole at a high rate of speed after blacking out while driving back from a job in NW Arkansas.
Troy spent 8 days in critical condition in the ICU unit in St. John's Hospital in Springfield, MO.  He then spent the next 5 days in a normal hospital room, and Friday the 18th, late in the day he was transferred to Health South Rehab Hospital in Fayetteville, AR.  He broke two bones in his right leg, badly sprained his left knee, broke his pelvis, many ribs, his sternum, his mandible, lost all his lower teeth except the back two on each side, has some nasty lacerations on his chin, and multiple abrasions.  He bruised his lungs, had a collapsed lung, chest tube, was on the respirator 7 days and many other things.  So our lives and preparing to for our mission trip were in a bit of turmoil.  Tamara stayed with him in Springfield and also went down with him to Fayetteville, and just returned home yesterday night.  It was a long 13 days, but God has answered prayer after prayer after prayer!  Troy's recovery has been miraculous.  His survival has been miraculous.  He is still in a lot of pain, but he is healing quickly.  They had him in a wheelchair and doing arm strengthening exercises before Tamara left him in Fayetteville.

It was incredibly hard for Tamara to say good-bye to her father after spending so much time being there for him.  She does not regret one second of taking the time to be there and support him and the family.  It has been a faith building experience for many.  Looking back, we have SO MUCH to thank God for!

We expect our Visas to come in soon.  We have much to do yet and appreciate everyone's prayers.

Still packing, weighing and inventorying.  Looking for a shipper and container.

I did update the blog with a donation page.

One pastor told me that I need to let people know that the $10 a month club is as important as the $100 a month club.  So there is my announcement!

Thank you everyone for your support and prayers.

On another note, Tamara's Mom's animals (chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats) are glad to have Tamara home to love on them again.  One of the young chickens actually flew up into her lap to be petted and fed today. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Waiting and Working

It is now the last day of October.  We are still waiting for our final paperwork to be approved by the Tanzanian government.  As much as we are eager to continue our work in Africa, we have much here that is keeping us very occupied.

We have finished the last of our nine speaking engagements in churches showing pictures and telling about the previous mission trips and our new adventure of moving to Tanzania to continue the Medical Missionary work with the Kibidula team.  We have also presented two private showings for family (in Michigan and Missouri.)  We enjoy sharing the stories, miracles, plans and pictures.  It is like "re-living it" all over again as we see the pictures and tell the stories.  It encourages me over and over again to remember all of the wonderful things that our loving Lord is doing.  He loves us so much and is working eagerly for the salvation of all that are willing to trust in His Sacrifice.  It is humbling to work for Him full-time in the mission field.  We are very blessed.

Our list of "things to get and to do" for our trip is getting smaller and smaller each day.  Of the remaining items, though, there are some big ones!  A few of these include the following:
  • purchase the tractor for Kibidula and get it delivered with implements
  • purchase a 20' shipping container - some have advised us to purchase it from the moving company that we use.  We have been told that some moving companies will not move a container that is not theirs.
  • repack all of our items that we are taking (we were planning on using many things at Mom's while we stay here and also we were in a big hurry to get moved, so everything has to be gone through again and packed for the long-haul.  We have been putting this off until we get the "new" storage building put together at Mom's so we can repack and inventory and move it only ONE MORE TIME (until we move it into the storage/moving container
  • inventory everything that we are shipping (I am not looking forward to this part)
  • Finalize a moving company - we are exploring options and until we have our boxes repacked and weighed, that makes a difference on the quotes we get. 
There are some other things also, such as getting some donated items from Arkansas, getting the solar equipment finalized and picked up, etc.  Many of the jobs have been contingent on others, so that keeps things going at a pace other than one might expect.  We have no complaints about it though.  As trying as it might be, I know that all of the trials are for our good.  They help us develop character, patience, endurance, and trust.

With the exception of some specific funds donated towards shipping, the language school and another specific project, all of the donated funds for our mission trips that we have received are spent.  We have used several thousand dollars of our personal funds (sale of the house and income.)  God is faithful!

 Doug has been doing the most of refreshing his Swahili.  I have not been studying but hope to start again soon.  I have been spending more time cooking (which I have wanted to do for several reasons.) I am also spending a little time each day working to tame Mom and Cliffs turkeys and chickens.  We have given several more of them names, and a large percent of them will come and eat out a of person's open hand now.  Many will even take a single sunflower seed as I hand it to them (not open handed.)   Two of the youngest can be petted while they eat, but I don't think they are very comfortable with that idea yet!  I am also "raising money" for our trip by selling some things online.

The weather has definitely turned colder.  Doug and I sleep in the camper just outside the house.  I think we have 6 or more blankets and flannel sheets.  We also use our stocking hats.  So far, so good.  Oh, and mom's ornery little dog actually let Doug pet it a couple of days ago.  I didn't think that would ever happen.  We are enjoying the beautiful fall days, and I often wonder what fall will look like in Africa!