Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!

Long overdue

A few pictures are long overdue. I am sorry.

I don’t have any amazing or inspiring words to type today…possibly for the next few weeks/months? (I am hoping that our newsletter filled you all in with some “details” from the last month. To sign up for that, click on NEWSLETTER above!).
I also wish I had some amazing and inspiring images to share with you, but to be honest, my camera hasn’t come out but once since we arrived so iPhone pics is what we have!

Moving and setting up house with 3 kids in a foreign country is a process and a challenge. When you don’t speak the language and traffic is insane and you are learning how to shop/cook/clean/communicate all over again…you kind of start to feel like a 2 year old. Add staph infections and sinus infections and fender benders and floods and new schools and ….. well, ya know, there have been a few challenges these last 2 months.

Our head is above water but only by the grace and strength of our great God. He sustains. He keeps the smiles on our faces and the joy in our hearts. He reminds us why we are here and that He has began a good work that He will accomplish. That the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS is worth every ounce of hard and frustrating. We trust that He is accomplishing things in us and through us during this season that are important and good and needed. Praise Jesus!

We hope these pictures give you a tiny glimpse of life here.

This is our city, Dar es Salaam. around Dar-4

During the month of April it rains and rains and rains. The storms are fierce. Streets become rivers and pretty much everything shuts down. Ezra enjoyed lots of puddle jumping during this wet season!

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around Dar-2

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Bajaj’s are pretty exciting to get around in…around Dar-3

but nothing beats our “vintage” 1997 mini-van! We are thankful for this vehicle. (Purchasing a vehicle in Dar is not like in the states. Cars in the lots are so crammed together that most of the time you can’t even get in between them. We prayed that the Lord would give us a peace about which vehicle to purchase and right when we saw this one, we knew it was it.)

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This kid. Our adventurer. around Dar

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We have been in lots of transition since we moved here almost 2 months ago. The first month we all slept together in a studio apartment at the pastor training school while we looked for a house. This was a HUGE blessing to have a landing pad with a family that could help us get around, get our kids to school and help us sort out things that needed to be done in order for us to settle in well. We started looking for a house right away, which took about a month. We finally found a house that we felt would fit our family during this time of language and culture learning (which we realize will continue forever:).  The only problem was that the tenant would not be out for 3 weeks. At about that time our teammates were leaving for Cameroon for 2.5 weeks and asked if we would house sit. So, we moved into that house. (The Lord takes care of us. His timing is perfect!)  We were not able to purchase a car yet so it was another huge blessing to be able to use their car until our paperwork came through and we could purchase ours. Finally, the day before our teammates came home, we were able to move into our house. PRAISE THE LORD! We joke that in the last 2.5 months, we have “lived” in 5 houses. Although we are still living out of suitcases and now need to have furniture made, we are “HOME.”

FullSizeRender[1]We found a little compound with 3 bedroom condos on it. This is not what we  had “expected” to live in, but we are loving it. The kids have made friends with all the neighborhood kids and love riding their bikes together around the court after school.

The view from the boys bedroom. Good morning goats!

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Typical. These cows could care less that we have places to be.

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Fun watching the coconut tree climbers. (These coconuts fall and would SERIOUSLY do some damage if they fell on you. Watching these guys climb them is pretty amazing) friends-6

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Luke standing in line to get his drivers license. This took 3 days of traveling about 30 minutes each way to stand in line, then another line, then go to another location, then go to the police station, then back here, then…. He still officially doesn’t have his license. Ha. IMG_5786Luke worked hard for this TIN certificate. Again, lots of back and forth, confusion and praying. We couldn’t buy a car without this, so we were SO happy it was finally in our hands!
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We had a couch made from this local store called Handmade from Tanzania. Amazing artisans. IMG_5789

Making the fabric.
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Ezra started preschool at a local preschool called Mbezi Chapel preschool.

IMG_5875 Reunited and it feels so good! (Ezra and his friend Abby. May 2015 and May 2016)reunited

The view from the kids school. Seeing the Indian Ocean every day is a plus!image9

Jude was chosen as contestant in the Bible Memory Competition. He worked really hard on 14 verses in a 2 week period. Hiding God’s word in his heart makes us happy! image8

We were SO thankful and excited to have Steve and Dianne Warn (and Dianne’s sister and her husband) with us for a few days. (They were traveling from Zanzibar to Kenya. What a blessing they were to us and our children. They came bringing gifts, energy to play with the kids and so much encouragement for us. What faithful and passionate followers of Christ these two are. image5

Dianne brought fun art projects to do with the kids!image6 image4

Had a wonderful Mother’s Day with my family as well as the Warn’s. Went to church, lunch and then a yummy meal with friends around the table. IMG_0950Mattress shopping! 
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Found a few! FullSizeRender[2]

Full time Swahili learning started this last Monday. We work 4.5 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, plus studying at night. We are so thankful for Carlos, our language nurturer for teaching us and being an encouragement to us. Please pray for this time of concentrated language learning. FullSizeRender[14]

Amongst all of the transition, we have had many opportunities to enjoy being a family and enjoy exploring our new city together. Amongst all the challenges…we are experience so many blessings as well!

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THANK YOU to all who are supporting us through prayer, financial support and encouragement. We need you and are thankful that you are partnering with us to share the love of Jesus with people here in Dar es Salaam. We pray for a love for the people here. We pray for relationships building and Gospel sharing and changed lives. Thank you for joining us in these prayers.

We made it!!!

Praise the Lord, we made it to Dar es Salaam! After a week of really hard goodbyes, we were dropped off at the airport with 14 suitcases and lots of unknowns in our future.
We asked the Lord for a smooth traveling and He provided just that. Our first flight was 16 hours to Dubai. We then had a 15 hour layover where we were able to get a good nights rest in a hotel as well as some good meals and a little park time. We flew out the next morning on a 5 hour flight to Dar es Salaam. When we arrived, all 14 of our suitcases were there and we made it through all the checkpoints quickly. Thank you for your prayers for our travels. To God be the glory!

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It was pretty cool flying over the worlds tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai). It is like the airplane went in this direction for this shot…and then made a sharp turn to go over it. So crazy tall….
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3/4 the way through and smiles on our faces! image3

Made it to Reach Tanzania!image4

Jet lag made for some early morning breakfasts!
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We have entered the rainy season…which means tons of flooding. Roads turn into rivers which makes for even more interesting driving.

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Adi and Jude started school 3 days after we arrived. They are loving HOPAC (Haven of Peace Academy) and are making some great friends. A few things that are different than school back in Modesto: School Day 7:30-2:30. Swimming class during school. Mandatory running a mile 2 days a week before school. Adi is a student council rep for her grade and UNIFORMS! Uniforms make mornings easy:) school

While Adi and Jude are at school….Ezra gets lots of mom and dad time. He also has spent lots of time with the dogs, playing with other kids, house hunting and shopping with us…and maybe a little “extra” iPad time than usual. He will start kindergarten in August at HOPAC and is looking forward to that!

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Cooking is a bit different these days! Beginning to learn things to buy, how to shop and ways to cook!

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Jude and Ez getting a lesson on breaking coconuts open and drinking the water.

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We spent our first Saturday morning cooling off in the school pool. It was great getting to know some other families that the kids go to school with.
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The kids found a turtle friend in the yard before school. It was fun until Jude got snapped!
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Prayer Requests:
A house: We have been looking the last week and a half and believe we have it narrowed down. Please pray for peace and direction. After 6 weeks of living with others, we are looking forward to being in our “own” place.

A car: We have not been able to purchase a car yet and are praying that we are able to get one next week. Please pray for a van for us to get around that suites our family well.

Health: We all have rashes and occasional tummy issues…but other than that we are feeling great. Please pray that the medicine takes care of these skin issues and that our family continues to stay healthy.

Language: Luke and I will start the gpa method of language learning the beginning of May. This will be 5 days a week for 4 hours a day… Ezra may have to go to a local preschool during that time (until summer break) so we can both fully engage in language. Please pray for wisdom and direction regarding that decision.

Spiritual walk: Most importantly, please pray for our hearts to stay focused and aligned with Christ and His mission. For us to grow in love for Christ and His church…His creation…and each other. That we will not grow weary in doing good. That we will press on when times are hard and continue to seek selflessness and the good of others. That we will be learners and always looking to share the love of Jesus with those around us.

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We are so thankful for your prayers, love, support and desire to walk alongside of us as we share the love of Jesus with those in Dar es Salaam. YOU are a blessing to our family!

To read our most recent newsletter, click HERE.

A glimpse in…

FULL RES AFRICA-4These days/weeks/months of transition have been hard.  I have sat many times at my computer wanting to write a blog post, but nothing in my brain makes sense enough to type.

One moment I want to share with the world all the amazing things the Lord has been doing. How He has been teaching us a deeper trust in His timing and provision. How He has been the great comforter and friend in times of sadness and loss. How He has raised a huge budget and an even bigger prayer support team. How He has placed so many people in our lives who have encouraged us and spoken truth to us….and has given us incredible strength to live out His plan for our lives. Amazing things that we KNOW and BELIEVE He is doing…these things I want to write about.

So I set out to write about these things and am quickly reminded of the overwhelming  “EVERYTHING IS SO HARD” moments that are SO very present as well. I would be dishonest if I left these moments out…so instead of writing something, I walk away from the computer and tell myself that maybe tomorrow I will have something to say. Maybe tomorrow I will be brave enough to share the fears and the uncertainties and the wrestling.  Maybe tomorrow….

Last night I was sitting with a group of girls sharing my heart about these “real life” feelings. How I have struggled to keep everyone updated these last few months because I don’t really know WHAT people want to hear..and HOW MUCH to share and…. (Just the good? Will they think I am trying to be a Super Christian? All the bad? Will they think I am crazy and not fit for the task? Too many facts or too much personal…and the list goes on.)

The Spirit began to gently remind me that IT IS CHRIST and HIS GLORY that I am seeking…not my own. That when I am weak, He is strong. When I boast in my absolute need for Jesus (even while heading to the mission field) that His power is made perfect in me. No one is expecting me to be perfect or have it all together…because I can’t and I don’t.  So my aim is to keep pointing to Jesus…to run hard after Him…to continually lay down ME so that HE is magnified..because He is SO SO SO very worth it.

Friends…supporters…family: I want to be real and open because I truly desire authenticity in our relationship. We partner together for Kingdom work and although the Grover family is “going”…we do not go alone. The Lord has called YOU and we are incredibly humbled and honored that YOU have answered that call to be senders and prayer warriors and encouragers and equippers. We need you and are THANKFUL for your obedience to journey alongside of us!

So I have asked the Lord to help me be REAL and OPEN as we move forward to Tanzania. I know there will be days/weeks/months that this will be really hard for me to do. I will want to hide behind the distance, but I will keep seeking to be in a partnership that you feel a part of…that we can share BOTH the amazing things the Lord is doing as well as the struggles that come with being sinful humans in desperate need of our Savior.

So here we go…

GOODBYES

 

Transition is hard. We are excited about what is ahead….but are eager to be on the other side of transition. The transition process itself, although transforming, feels much like chaos. The constant traveling, packing and clearing out of our home, the goodbyes, the attempt at leaving well, the process of closing life up here and lining up life on the other side….well, it is consuming and hard and at times just plain painful and messy.

Watching your kids cry themselves to sleep because they are being taken away from everything they know…trying to help them understand the hurt and the aches that are real and fierce in their hearts (and ours)… selling cherished belongings, boxing up memories and spending lots of “lasts” with tears in our eyes. Packing for all the unknowns with questions of “how will life be?” in the forefront of our minds. Emotions that run the gamete from “What on earth are we doing?” to “We are in the perfect will of God.” (Which we KNOW is the truth…but sometimes those two sentences go together!!!)

All of these things are felt/experienced on a daily basis. They are tough things to walk through…even while walking in obedience to the One who has called us to Tanzania.

As our world and emotions change almost daily, we cling to the ONE WHO NEVER CHANGES. He is faithful and He will uphold us. He has a plan and we are excited to be a part of it. He has prepared us and will give us the strength we need to do what He calls us to. He is love. He is good. He protects. His word encourages. His spirit brings peace and life. WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS BECAUSE HE IS VICTORIOUS. And most importantly, HE IS WORTHY.

Every goodbye that we whisper, we declare that He is worthy.

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What does the next few weeks/months look like for us?
Although our desired date to fly to Tanzania has been March 14th, we are still waiting for our work permit/visas to come and will not be able to leave until we have those. We continue to wait on the Lord for His perfect timing. Will you pray with us that we will be patient to wait on the Lord? And also that they arrive soon:)

In their hearts humans plan their course,

but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

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We are living with Luke’s parents since moving our of our house on Monday. Although we still have lots of things that need to be done…we are praying for rest and great family time while we are here.

 

rest and relaxWe praise the Lord for His faithfulness and goodness in raising 100% of our financial support for full time ministry in Tanzania. We are incredibly blessed by Big Valley Grace and their partnership in our ministry. We will be commissioned by Big Valley Grace Church the weekend of March 12/13th at all three services. (Sat 6:00, Sun 9:00/11:00) We would love to see you there!

and last…

THANK YOU to everyone who came last weekend to one of our Farewell Parties as well as Adi’s baptism, Redeemer’s commissioning of our family and Luke preaching. What a blessing you all were to us. We feel incredibly supported and loved! A special thank you to Bill and Bonnie Holmes, Lee and Cindy Grover and Paul and Renee Pratt for all of your hard work to throw us such amazing farewell get togethers.  xoxox

WE LOVE YOU ALL!

Together, for His glory….

 


A new video, A departure date, and A call for the final partners

Happy New Year!

As the year begins, we have a lot to be excited about.  We have a new video, a tentative departure date, and a 100% monthly commitment level well within sight.  Further we are excited about our faithful partners, the ministry that we get to join soon, and the opportunity to serve the Lord overseas.  Most of all we are excited that during a huge transformation change, we are in the hands of a loving God.  That is a safe place to be!

Here is our latest news…

New Video
We are pleased to share our new ministry video that gives a glimpse of what we will be doing and where.  We are so grateful to Charlie Rumble of White Raven Productions for his creative video work, and his desire to use his God-given gifts for the kingdom.

Check out the video, share the video, and let us know what you think.

Tentative Departure Date
After prayer and discussion with our team leader, and an expected 100% support level in the next month and a half , we are looking at March 12th as our departure date for the field.  We are so happy to be working towards this date!

The Remaining Partners Needed
You may have heard the old saying, “many hands make light work”. We believe this is true in the support raising context. We have approximately $1,500 in monthly commitments left to raise in order to be at 100% for our pledged support. This works out to only 30 more supporters at an average of $50/month.  If you don’t currently support us, we would like you to consider helping us reach this goal.  You may be able to give more than $50, or less than $50, but God will use many hands to do his work.  Even the small amounts will play a role.
Click here to help us reach 100%
If you already support us, will you please be praying that we will reach our 100% support so that we can leave in March? We are incredibly blessed by your faithful partnerships!

Language Acquisition School
In other news, our family will leave this Friday, January 15th, to head to the Center for Intercultural Training in North Carolina in order to attend 2 weeks of language acquisition classes.  Essentially we will be trained in language learning, working with tutors and all around given tools that will help make our language learning more successful.

Please Pray For:
Our trip to North Carolina.
Luke’s transition out of the construction business.
Our remaining financial partners.
And our children as we begin to discuss the packing up, and saying goodbye process.

Thank you for your support!

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Art for Africa!!!

WOW! We were overwhelmed by all the love and support we received at Adi’s Art for Africa fundraiser. Thank you to so many who came to “The Christmas Collective” to support Adi and her desire to raise money for our start up costs to get to Tanzania. We were very blessed by you! Thank you also to Feather + North Photography and Happy Wish Company for inviting us to be a part of their amazing grand opening event. We are so very thankful for the many creative ways that people have partnered with us as we follow the Lord’s call to make disciples in Tanzania! Together, we “declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” (1 Chron 16:24)

Please check out our most recent newsletter HEREOpenHouse (25 of 85)-2OpenHouse (9 of 85) OpenHouse (18 of 85)-2 OpenHouse (11 of 85) OpenHouse (15 of 85) OpenHouse (14 of 85)
12346518_10153195769326722_5114540040057438588_n12342316_10153195768901722_8357469995499793996_nWe would love for you to check out our latest newsletter here.