January and early February have met us with several challenges, but God has been faithful to provide exactly what we need at the right time.
In January, we announced that we had been given approval to move forward with final steps and booking tickets in the next bit, since the majority of our funding has been committed. We were advised by the other missionaries on the ground to buy tickets after we received our work permits, or it could mean having to wait outside of the country until approved. We have all the passports, but we are still waiting on work permits. After work permits, we will buy tickets and apply for residency visas.
We want to be there very much, but we believe that these final pieces will fall into place in His perfect timing. We trust His perfect timing for each thing! The March 5 goal date we set was based on saving money with Pierce’s plane ticket, but we understand there may be some changes in the work permit and visa process in the near future that might save a similar amount of money. It’s hard when we have been working towards the vision God gave us for so long to see a possible delay, and yet, we know that His plans are better than ours and we have peace in His timing. We still believe we will be leaving within the next month or so.
April’s dad became very ill towards the end of January (after fighting kidney disease for fourteen years). Until mid February, when he passed, much of our time was spent with Him. As we look at this time, God’s great grace was evident. We are thankful that we were near to him and family during this time. In the midst of this time, God continued to work in encouraging us in what He has for our future.
One day after hours of being with her dad in the hospital, April randomly saw on the internet that the International Association for Special Education is having their biannual conference in Tanzania this summer. Upon further research, this conference has been all over the world- Australia, Canada, Poland, China, Spain, Russia, etc. but this will be the first time in Eastern Africa…just months after we arrive. April felt there might be something to this, and as she was exploring more, she found that applications to present at the conference had been due way back in October and presenters were chosen in December. Nevertheless, April felt like she should reach out to the leadership.
After some initial conversations, they agreed to have the committee look at a proposal if April submitted it ASAP. A few days later, after a terrible car accident, everyone in our family was in the emergency room being checked out. While there, April opened her email to find that her proposal had been approved! Presenting at this conference could open doors and make connections with key education leaders in Tanzania and could prove to be very beneficial in fulfilling some of the vision we have had for Eastern Africa. Not only was God’s favor the only way that this would happen, this was great encouragement in the midst of what could be very discouraging times.
As mentioned above we had a terribly violent car wreck that by the grace of God we all walked away from with no major injuries. In attempting to avoid 15 other cars piling up on both sides of the highway we hit black ice and went off the road at full speed. Though we did not hit any other vehicles our car spun against an embankment several times and rolled at least once. God was in this all the way. People have said that it is a miracle that we were not more severely hurt and we believe that to be true. All three kids were in the back seat and none including Pierce who was rear facing was even hit by the rear window that shattered and ended up all over the front seats. Elyssa said “It was like God just moved the glass around and past us.” Our tribe immediately stepped in to support us and by the time we had all been cleared to leave the hospital with no major injuries we had everything we needed. When a friend heard what happened, they reached out to ask what they could do; as the ﬁrst family with kids that reached out, April asked if they had a car seat we could borrow. Come to ﬁnd out, they were on their way to donate one and were able to instead bring it to us and install it in a vehicle that another family brought us before we were released. The timing of God is always perfect. Always. Even in such a terrible event we saw Him working non stop.
With your help, we are doing our part to be in place to step when He leads. We now are resting in full trust that in His hands rest what is out of our control. This journey to this point has been exciting and stretching and it’s about to get very real. Will you please pray with us over these busy weeks as we prepare to leave?
Love The Noahs
About Jonathan & April Noah
Our vision is to Empower, Equip, Exhort, and Encourage the local people and ministries of Eastern Africa. So, as to become self-sustaining in order to further the kingdom of God, our heart is to see people be radically changed by the power of the gospel.