Choosing to Embrace the Challenges

I could easily say things like, “I’ve had enough!” “I’m emotionally drained!” “Why me?” (And I’m not going to lie, I have uttered those words a few times).

But the truth is… those statements don’t change anything and they don’t make me feel better.

Keeping myself in the middle of my problems and complaining just makes things worse. I’ve decided this is not the kind of person I want to be. I want to be an over-comer. Over-comers see the BIG picture and choose not to focus on all the negative but to see an opportunity in every situation.

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(A bit of context)

We have had a difficult time of it lately. Many of you know what we’ve been going through but for those who don’t here’s the brief synopsis.

On our trip to visit family in Kenya, a few days before we were supposed to leave we got into a car accident (not our fault). The accident was pretty serious – thankfully we were not hurt at all – I wish I could say the same for our car. It was badly damaged. We had to extend our trip to figure out what to do about the car repairs and try to work with insurance, etc. After a few days it became apparent that it was going to be a long process and we needed to get back to Tanzania and deal with it from there. So we left our car in Kenya at a garage and bought flights home to Dar es Salaam. Them morning we were supposed to fly out was the morning of the huge airport fire in Nairobi. We were stranded there watching the airport burn for over 6 hours. We stayed another night in Nairobi and then managed to get a flight out the next afternoon. We arrived safely in Dar but unfortunately none of our luggage made it. The next day we got three pieces back, but were still missing Ezra’s car seat. (We never got that back, they lost it). That evening (one day after returning) Julius (hubby) was attacked in an attempted car jacking – miraculously he managed to drive away but not before they took his computer, our back up drives, his wallet and phone. From the day of the car accident to the day Julius was attacked was a total of 9 days. Needless to say we were a little shell-shocked. Since then we’ve been trying to get things back to normal. Julius went back to Nairobi to get our car “drive-able” and drove it back to Dar. Then we finished the repairs from here. Insurance only covered about half of the total repair. For the last few weeks things have seemed a bit normal again. We’ve been back into the swing of things at church and it’s been busy. No other crazy incidents other than Ezra being sick for a bit (he’s ok now).

One of our supporters back in Canada donated money for us to be able to replace the computer that was stolen. And friends’ parents were able to bring it over for us from Canada when they came to visit last week. We were getting back on track. Yesterday early evening, Julius calls me to say he’s making a quick stop at the market to check something out and then he’s coming home. About 15 minutes later he calls and says, “You’re not going to believe this…” Immediately somehow I knew what had happened before he said it. Our brand new computer (we had literally had it five days) had been stolen out of our car. It happened in broad daylight, in a busy market with hundreds of people around, with Julius less than 100 feet away. They use some kind of spray to shatter the window then unlock the door and take whatever they can find. It’s unbelievable but apparently no one heard or saw anything. We did the best we could – the computer was on the back seat floor (the way our car is you aren’t able to put anything under the seats and our trunk has a window so it’s not safe either). Our windows are tinted and it’s hard to see in, especially something on the floor. I think these thieves just break in and see what they can find and they got lucky with our vehicle.

So our season of challenges seems to be continuing. But despite everything it has brought Julius and I closer, it has only strengthened our resolve to be here in Tanzania, and we have peace in our hearts. God is still GOOD beyond measure. In all of these circumstances we were never physically hurt – we see God’s hand of protection through all of this.

And so I am choosing to embrace these and any future “bumps” along the road. I’ve discovered that if I have the right attitude these challenges will only make me stronger. I choose to believe that God has a bigger purpose in allowing these things into our lives and has a plan for us. He is able and is already working all of these things for good in our lives. We are not defeated. We are not distracted. We are not depressed. We are instead excited for how God is working in and through us right now and we choose to keep trusting Him.

Amidst these trying times I am only reminded of how many things I am grateful for. I have many more reasons to be thankful than I do to be bitter. And being thankful is just a better, happier way to live. So I choose the happy way. I choose faith. I choose to smile and to laugh and to enjoy what I do have, the things that money can’t buy.

We also want to take a moment to thank everyone who has been praying for us. The support and encouragement we have received both here and from Canada has been overwhelming. What a blessing. We are so thankful for each of you. God Bless!

Safari Nzuri

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