Back in Michigan this is one of my favorite times of year. New growth, everything looks different almost daily as plants green up, gardens start growing, the fruit trees blossom, the weather warms up, and we look forward to summer. It is a time of rapid change. May has meant change for the last 8 years at Calvin College as well as we would say good-bye to our graduates and start working full-time on welcoming our new students. This May, even though we don’t have the seasonal changes, has meant a lot of changes too. Our upper secondary students have started their exam leave and will be writing exams over the course of the next 6 weeks. They are no longer at school every day. People are thinking about transitioning into our summer (even though it will be winter here). Graduation is quickly approaching. And one of the hard parts of working in an ex-patriot community is the annual turnover. Many families leaving and several new families coming.
As we are wrapping up in secondary, I have taken on a few new responsibilities such as overseeing the yearbook, planning the Grade 12 senior trip to Zanzibar, and the graduation committee. Through these projects, I have been able to get to know some of our students better and have some great conversations. These conversations have encouraged me to think more about what I am doing here. How are we showing God’s love to these students? How are we showing we care about them? Do we take the time to really get to know our students? Are we listening to them? Why are we (missionaries) here in Dar es Salaam? I realized I needed to make some changes too.
I love where I am currently living, but I am not able to entertain like I would like to. I love having people over and my currently place just isn’t set up to do that well. Eating together, socializing and just having a safe space to relax is so important to me in building relationships with people. So I am making a change and moving! Not far, just up the hill to a little one bedroom place, but it has room to have people over and just relax, talk, play games, watch a movie, etc. This move is a bit of a risk since it is not budgeted in, but I am trusting God will provide. Rent will be the same, but my current place was fully furnished. my new place needs everything! All furniture, appliances, pots, pans, dishes, etc. Please pray with me and if you are able, financially support this move. Not only will this move benefit my students at HOPAC, but also the middle school youth group I am working with at God’s Tribe and the post-high group I am hoping to start at God’s Tribe.
The other change is that I am not longer looking at my position as a two year placement. I am planning to stay until God says it is time to leave. It needs to be His timing not mine. I am excited to see where He leads in the future. So why am I staying? Because of the amazing work God is doing here with these amazing students!