Life here is far from predictable and we kind of like things to be consistent. It is probably why many of us like to make plans and then as an afterthought we ask God to bless those plans. However if we truly want God to bless our plans, we have to make sure they are His plans. For much of my life I never consulted God if I'm honest, because I was afraid He would change things, or He would shut the doors that I wanted open. Oh how shortsighted of me! Then I always wondered why life was always a struggle. We have all made these mistakes but together with Rachael, Steve and others we are called to work and partner with, we are learning the need to totally yield to God's desire and plan. It really isn't about us at all.
This all has very interesting ramifications, because we sometimes find ourselves being involved in the unexpected, however if the unexpected is God's plan then there is always the supply of everything we need to see it happen. The Christmas event wasn't our idea and yet God blessed it beyond our imagination and FPCT Tesifa Children's Home falls into the same bracket. After visiting other orphanages and children's homes over the years we saw the need but had a major problem with institutionalising children. Especially Rachael deep down had the desire to one day, maybe way in the future, start a home network for children in dire need and for this to be family for those children, for it to be as close to normal life as possible, a home of safety and love. This definitely wasn't planned for any time soon. Then God spoke! We should be getting used to this now. It was probably late February 2021 and all of a sudden we had so many kids coming to church, I think one week we had as much as 40 children plus adults crammed into our sitting room, they seemed to come out of nowhere. Little did we know that amongst these were those in desperate need, surrounded by neglect, abuse and even abandoned.
One young 11 year old girl called Christina was coming to our meetings and yet we had no idea what she was facing. Apparently her mother died some time ago and her father was bringing her up. One day months previously he left and never came back. Here she was living completely on her own, totally vulnerable, yes thankfully fed by neighbours, but abandoned and living on her own. As we were beginning the process of looking into the home, we worked with the local government and they actually bought Christina to meet Rachael and asked us to take her in, only then did we realize she was one of the children coming to our meetings. Soon God showed us that we were to help Christina and a family of four siblings who were living in awful conditions to not only be part of our church family, but taken care of in every aspect. We are learning a completely new meaning to family and community as the local body of Christ.
Ever since we moved here to Tanga we have noticed a house opposite us that was empty. God began to speak and show us that this four bedroomed property, although needing a lot of work, was the property He wanted us to have. Again we had no funds for something like this, just enough for what we were already doing. Based on that we could have ditched the idea, but God had spoken and we obeyed. We approached the owners and also started reaching out to those who are involved in our ministry. Within a matter of just over a month, we had a years rent paid, we had all the legal paperwork for the children complete, the house was cleaned and transformed, furniture ordered, or already in place, the kitchen totally having what it needed, a house mama with her son Lusayo and the children moved in. Remember as Rachael loves to remind us, His will, His bill. I still can't believe it, God again did the unbelievable, the impossible and what wasn't part of our foreseeable future invaded the present.
Most, if not all these children were way behind in their education, now they are all in school. To help them catch up they have extra tuition six days a week and it is amazing to see their grades already improving. Including the children of those helping us here in the ministry God has called us to do, we are now working with ten children to provide a good education. It would be crazy to help those who now live in the home and to see our helpers children fall by the wayside. They have become one happy community and the lines between the home and church kind of no longer exist. None of this could have happened without generous giving and regular monthly support, for that we are forever grateful. To see the change in these children, emotionally, in their education, in their diet, in having a secure loving home and in their spiritual lives makes everything we do worth it. The costs for something like this are always greater than expected, medical needs, clothing, food, tuition, repairs on the house, the list is endless. However, we would love to see them all in good schools and that costs money and we would love to see more improvements to what we are able to do in the lives of these ten beautiful children. If you are able to partner with us, even to sponsor a child please contact us. This is just the beginning, we believe we will see more homes open and more children's lives changed, to see healing and freedom from neglect and abuse, but that is all in God's hands. However any gifts will be gratefully received.
God has spoken to us clearly about working towards self-sustainability. We are already planting our own fruit and vegetables at the home and are seeking to raise chickens to produce what we need to take care of the homes needs. We have already built the chicken house which you can see on the left of the above picture, now we need an incubator and the first batch of eggs. Please pray, believe and help in any way possible to continue to make this a reality for these children and for everything else God is leading us to do in this community of Kange, Tanga. The Christmas food program, the planting of communities of believers meeting together, Tesifa Safe Homes is just part of what we are doing. More news coming shortly as God continues to lead, and provide for the Kingdom He is building here in Tanzania. Again thank you to our friends and partners in The USA, the UK and the East African Community who have given to make this happen, thank you for believing in us and for investing into the kingdom of God, may God richly bless all of you as we continue to serve together.