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Hello from Tanzania!

Harbari zenu? (How are you all?)

We have been living in Geita for almost a month and a half and life is good! We have been adjusting to our new way of life here and still learning new things (I know the learning process will continue for the duration of our time here). We have learned to drive on the right side of the car and the left side of the road with relative ease. We are still getting used to the different or lack of road rules here which is a challenge with so many pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, and other cars on the roadway.

Cheryl has been learning how to cook all of our meals from scratch and has been doing an awesome job! She mentioned the other day one dinner we made in the States was time-consuming but its one of the easiest meals to make here in Tanzania. I hope to start learning how to make some meals once we move into our permanent home. We are currently living in the guest house on the Neema House director’s home property and will move into the main home in January. In addition to having more living space we will have solar power backup when the power goes out (which is really fun at night getting kids ready for bed). I have started to shadow our teammate Calvin on solar system maintenance and how to pump water from the well we have here on the property. The well was donated by the Geita Gold Mine and is a HUGE blessing from God! Water supply can be hit-or-miss sometimes and the well allows us to make sure Neema House is never without water.

We are also currently in school. Caleb and Levi attend the international school at the gold mine with students from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and of course Tanzania. They love school and the extracurricular activities they do are lots of fun! They have swimming (which is also a PE session each week), flag rugby, and even cooking for a couple of weeks. Cheryl and I are also currently in school, Swahili language school. We are about to start our 3rd straight week of Swahili class here in Geita. We have class 3 hours each morning and have learned a lot! Our teammate Brett offered to teach us some Swahili the first couple of weeks we were here and really gave us a running start for our official class. We really like our teacher but we are also ready for a little break as our brains are on overload sometimes. Learning a new language may be tougher than passing certification exams.

Three new kids have been placed at Neema House since we arrived; Charity, Thomas, and Loveness. Charity is a 4 month old girl who was found abandoned in the forest. She was brought to Neema House and is doing very well. Thomas arrived at 2 weeks old as his mother was a prostitute and died due to complications with AIDS after childbirth. This also means his father is unknown. His grandparents are around however they are very elderly and currently unable to care for him. They are trying to determine how they can bring Thomas to their village and raise him. There is a good possibility Thomas may have HIV/AIDS and he is currently taking medication to boost his immune system, but we do not have the result from his test.

Loveness was also brought to Neema House at 2 weeks old as she was abandoned behind a government office here in Geita. If you have been following Cheryl’s page or Neema House on Facebook who know about the struggles this little girl has experienced. Within 10 days after arriving at Neema House, Loveness went to the hospital for an IV and then other clinics in Geita as she was severely dehydrated and not thriving. After one doctor said he didn’t know how to save her, Cheryl and Alicia alternated caring for her 24/7 making sure she drank formula and kept it down. We were all very worried this little girl would die that weekend. God truly showed His healing power with Loveness! Once she was eating more regularly however she started experiencing seizures that became more severe and more frequent. After another week long stay in the hospital, her seizures were gone and she was continuing to eat regularly. Loveness now has some chubby little cheeks and is filling out! Glory to God for her healing and continued improvement. Being a witness to God’s love and care of Loveness was evidence to us that we are where He wants us.

Friend us on Facebook and “like’ Neema House (facebook.com/neemahouse) to stay updated on our life and the kids at Neema House. We will also have a brand new website later this week (neemahouse.org)!

We Have a Date!

So its been almost a month since my last update and SO much has been happening.  As I mentioned last time, Cheryl and the boys have been living with her parents and adjusting to a new "home" in Florida.  I'm staying with some friends in Texas until I quit work, which will be in **2 WEEKS!!**  More on that a little later.

I've traveled to FL on back-to-back weekends and its challenging living a part from your wife and kids.  I do not recommend this.  While I was there last weekend, Cheryl and I talked and surgically reviewed our budget to figure out how I could quit my job sooner rather than later and get a date for airfare.  Sometimes there is a very fine line between making wise decisions and fully stepping out in faith and trusting God with the consequences.  

After praying about it we felt this week was going to define some things.  It didn't take God long to let us know.  On Monday night one of our sponsoring churches told us they were going to significantly increase their monthly support!  This was so HUGE!  With that news we knew **immediately** that I would turn in my notice this week.  

So I officially gave my notice this week (my last day is August 29) and everyone I work with has been very cool about my leaving, once they shock of the news wears off.  They've said they are bummed I'm leaving, but they are very excited about the opportunity in front of Cheryl & I. 

Since my last post we have almost completely closed our one-time budget gap (with the promise of some matching funds) and our monthly gap is now just over $1,000 a month.  We feel comfortable we can move forward and are trusting God will continue to close that gap within the coming days/weeks/months.  We still have some big loose ends to tie up before moving, but we are scheduled to depart DFW airport on September 26!

**Praise God for His faithfulness and hand of blessing on these mission plans!**  Please continue to pray for us and our families as we prepare to start this new adventure.

Signed, Sealed, and...Homeless?

Where did June and July go? The first big update I posted on the blog stated our house was on the market. Well, we got a contract 2 days later! 

We've had a very busy summer with Caleb and Levi both playing soccer, traveling, getting kids caught up with immunizations,  prepping for a garage sale, packing up and moving out of our house, and just being a family of 6 in general. 

An update on our fundraising. We have approximately another $23,000 to raise to cover our one-time/moving expenses. Our moving expenses budget includes items such as, airfare & luggage (instead of shipping a big container), language school, and a used SUV.  

Cheryl & I traveled to Nashville early in June as a well-connected friend offered to host a fundraising dinner for us, however the day before the dinner we found out it was not going to happen after all.  We were very discouraged because we were expecting this dinner to raise the significant portion of our one-time costs. Our friend helped connect us with some other potential donors and we have been reaching out to them. 

On June 21 we had a big garage sale and and raised $2,000! It was a long week of prep but it paid off well.

As I mentioned earlier we sold our house and closed everything yesterday July 18.  So if we still haven't raised enough money to leave for Tanzania and sold our house you may be asking yourself the question "Where are you going to live?" 

Cheryl and the boys moved to Florida on Thursday and I will stay with some super-awesome friends and keep working until we raise more support and we finish all remaining doctor appointments (which may be extended  now that Isaac fractured his left arm). 

Please keep us in your prayers over the next several weeks as we truly begin living in a transitional stage leaving our house and being living separated for a while. I also ask for your help. If you can think of anyone that may be interested in supporting us with one-time or regular support, please let me know. We are anxious to move and start our new journey in Geita.  

First Update

We have had some visitors to the website and I thought it would be a good idea to give people an update on our status.  Currently we are planning on moving to Geita in August.  We do not have a firm date yet as there still are several things that need to happen first.  

Our house has been on the market for 4 weeks now and we are scheduled to have an open house on Sunday (unless someone makes a legit offer before then).  We have had some great feedback on showings, but then they disappear.  it is challenging and stressful to keep a house with 4 boys spotless ALL THE TIME (this is more on Cheryl given that I am at work most of the day).

We are also making progress on other items toward our move such as multiple doctor appointments for all of us (lot of shots are needed for us - yay!!), dental appointments, eye exams, finalizing homeschool curriculum, etc. There are probably so, so many things included in that "etc." it makes my head explode a little.  

We also need to raise more funds for our one-time expenses for several things such as our vehicle (used SUV from teammates), language school for Cheryl, Caleb, Levi, and I, airfare, visa, more etc.  As of now, we have received commitments for monthly support from a few churches and individuals.  We are scheduled to have a fundraiser in Nashville in a couple of weeks and we hope this will help us get closer to our goal.

We ask that you pray for all the logistics to go smoothly and for us to get the last wave of commitments for monthly support.  We have been living in a transition period for the last several weeks, what I like to call the "messy middle".  We are in between our lives here in Texas and our new lives in Tanzania.  We are anxious to start our time in Geita and hope that God will bless the timeline we have established.  If you have any questions about our proposed work or specifics about our budget, please contact me at mcfaddinsintanzania@gmail.com