There has been a lot that has transpired over this last month. We started the month of December with a Christmas camp. Children here are off most of the month of December, but their parents still work, so children as young as toddlers are often left alone. We took this opportunity to share the love of Jesus with the children. So many would begin the week very timid to interact (they are used to very harsh punishment if they say or do the wrong thing), but it wasn’t long until they were really opening up, singing, dancing, and experiencing God with us. One boy in particular sat outside and watched for a bit, but wouldn’t come up for quite a while. When we finally convinced him to come, he sat in the back and would barely participate. He lived in even more extreme poverty than many of the children there and was embarrassed of his clothes. He also really needed some medical care. We were able to work with his family to take care of these physical needs, and the very next day, the change in him was hard to believe. He joined in the craft, sang, and danced with the other kids. It was truly amazing to see the Love of God transform him, as well as many of the children there.
For those who do not receive updates by email, we want to share a brief overview of some of the other things that have happened in the last month.
Christmas was very different this year. For starters, in Tanzania, there is not much lead up to Dec 25th and the temperature was very hot, yet we were still able to maintain many of our family traditions that we had developed in the USA. Thanks to our friends and The Driven church who sent many hand made decorations and craft supplies we were able to decorate our borrowed Christmas tree and some of our house.
We found out that our work permits are on hold waiting for newly required paperwork to be filed with it. This paperwork was not even required when we first applied for the work permits, but here in Tanzania things are changing and rearranging rapidly in this area. This new paperwork had in itself multiple steps. We have been progressing through these steps and soon will have this additional paperwork to file along with our work permits for approval. This however has not happened quickly enough, and so on Jan 7th we had to go over the border into Kenya while it is all worked out.
The 5 to 6 hour drive to our destination in Kenya took us about 9.5 hours. The first part of the trip was uneventful except for a little harassment over visas at the border. Our travels took us through a Kenyan National game reserve and we had to stop once for the Tembo (Swahili for elephant) to cross the road. The real troubles started as nightfall came. East African driving is very different and so with semi trucks with no lights on, cars passing in the wrong lanes and no road signs, driving became very intense. At one point, we got stuck in a median that appeared safe to pull over in but turned out to be a muddy swamp area. It took 9 Africans plus Jonathan to lift the front end of the car off of the ground and shove the entire car backwards to get us free. We arrived at our destination tired and full of mud, but we made it. Since that time we have taken a few days to rest and relax and soon will resume preparing for trainings and ministry upon return to Tz. While here we are continuing to work on developing our Swahili vocabulary and language skills and have already made several ministry connections.
God has been so faithful to provide for us in this time of transition. Most of what we need for maintaining life in another country while having to stay elsewhere for a bit has been provided for even before we knew it was a need. God is so Good. If you would like more information on these events and others please join our email list, as that is where we send out more details more frequently.
Please continue to pray for
1)The work permits to be approved.
2)The residence visas to process quickly.
3)Continued provision for new additional visa processing cost.
4)For a hedge of protection over our family.
5)The gospel to reach every tender heart that we come in contact with in Eastern Africa.
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.