Saturday, June 25, 2016

We have Arrived!!!

I give glory to the Father that the sights and sounds that were a shock to my system upon our first arrival, were there to welcome me home this time. Some things have changed here, but what has not changed is my love for this country I also call home and the people who live here.

We had such a great trip here. We stayed a night in the Doha airport Hotel because our flight schedule was changed giving us an 11 hour layover. It was such a blessing to get to swim in the hotel pool, take showers, and get some sleep before the last flight. Shortly after arriving in country we were welcomed by our coworkers DJ and Lucy. It was so great to arrive and see our friends and get to our current home.

We are now in the process of looking for a house to rent. We would like to settle in before school starts. We looked at one house today which I liked. What we are not sure of is if the dirt roads to the house from the main road flood during the rainy season. Please pray for this process to go smoothly and quickly. Pray also for wisdom to make the best choice.

Enjoy some recent photos and hope you are having a Blessed day!

Amy
The kids were waiting patiently as we were checking in.
After getting almost through security, I had to go back
and check a 2nd EXTRA bag because I didn't want to
throw away my new Mary Kay products and some prescription
lotion. I was blessed to not have to pay the extra fee for the bag,
due to the fact that all of British Airways computer systems
worldwide had gone down at that moment. :)
Waiting to board the first plane in Miami!
After we arrived in country we needed to wait
for our ride who was stuck in traffic.
So I took that time to get a phone card an internet access. 
We packed the car FULL to get us, our luggage,
and our friends back to where we live. 
Today we had a team social to celebrate ours and
another family's return. Our team cooked hamburgers
and hot dogs for us all and we played 2 great games of
Capture the Flag. These were the folks my team had put in jail! :) 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Haven of Peace Academy

Believe it!  There are opportunities for you to live overseas and serve on our team!  Do you have a desire to serve God somewhere in the world?  Do you have a desire to see kids and teens learn how to walk with God? 
HOPAC kids
Our kids attend the Haven Of Peace Academy (HOPAC) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania….(check out their video here!). There are SEVERAL opportunities for you to serve on STAFF at HOPAC starting in August.  Please take a look at the list of positions open and see if there are any that you might be interested in.  You’ll notice that there are IT/Computer teacher and Librarian/Media Specialist positions open as well!  So if you are interested in serving in these positions, please contact: connect@ntm.org  This is a fantastic opportunity to serve overseas as a missionary with New Tribes Mission!    
>>> Join the team where YOU get to serve the LORD and experience life as an overseas missionary.<<<  
Secondary GeographyMathematics, and Economics Teachers 
Secondary Art and Design Teacher 
Secondary English Teacher
Special Needs Teacher (all school)
Librarian/Media Specialist (all school)
Internet and Computer Technology Teacher (all levels)
Kindergarten Teacher 
PE Teacher

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Back on US soil!

It has been a lot of fun being back in America. Our flights from Tanzania to America went so well. The kids did great. The airlines were great. The airplane food was the best I have ever eaten. :)
Since being back we have traveled from Florida to Alabama, from Alabama to Louisiana, back to Alabama, and tomorrow we head to Kentucky. We have seen lots of family and been able to visit one of our supporting churches. The transition has been great back to...being with family, so many choices, cable with commercials, fountain drinks with ice, Chick-Fil-A, open roads, driving on the right side of the road, road trips with fun stops along the way, fireworks on the 4th of July, trying on clothes before buying them, no mosquito nets, etc.etc.etc...

We are looking forward to the rest of our summer on the road and then getting back down to South Florida where the kids will start school. It has been nice to not have a set schedule, although it will be nice to be back in a routine at some point. 

Please email us if you would like to connect with us over the next year. 
safariseekers@yahoo.com

Enjoy some of our adventures through pictures. 
We drove by my Alma Mater-the University of Southern Mississippi
We surprised the kids with a trip by Duck Dynasty's Duck Command!
Cool piece of art there
Cousins having fun at the reunion!
Shelbyanne on the battlefield at Vicksburg, MS.
Donovan and his cousin having fun with the canons. 
First Bike ride! They rode their borrowed bikes everyday!
My favorite firework at home.

We went to the Battleship parkway to watch fireworks.
Loved hearing the kids say,
"This is so awesome! I can't believe it! Wow!"
Fireworks over the Battleship USS Alabama
We took the girls to see how doughnuts are made at Krispy Kreme.
Of course we had to get a dozen while we were there. 
Pops(Amy's dad) reading the girls a night time story. 
Meet Fluffy
I even touched her! She is very cool.
Emily wasn't so cure about holding her, but she did touch her too.
This is Pickles. He is a cool Cockatiel. 
Have a Great Day!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2 Months To Go

I know it has been a while since I last wrote. It is crazy how time flies when you are busy! 
Just today we wrapped up a 3 day training that we put on to train local Tanzanians to be nurturers for new folks learning Swahili. It was great. Fifteen people participated in the training that was lead by my Tanzanian friend who now works with us. I am so thankful for how God uses her in the lives of everyone she meets. Years ago I prayed and asked others to pray for me to find even 1 Tanzanian lady that I could be friends with. God went above and beyond anything I asked or could have imagined when He introduced me to Lucy. Both our lives have changed for the better since knowing each other. 

These are the folks who participated in our training. 
I have not had a lot of time to think about the fact that we will be leaving Tanzania in 2 months and heading back to the States for our first Home Assignment in four years. 
We are planning to be there for a whole year. 
While I am Super excited to be able to see family, friends, visit with our supporting churches, and eat Chick-Fil-A, I am also really going to miss life here. This has been home for probably 3 of the past 4 years, if I am being honest. That first year was tough. It took a long time for me to stop looking up in the sky and wishing I were on every plane that flew by. However, that passed and I started making friends and creating a life here for myself and my family. I thank God for how he has allowed me to "settle" here. 
Please keep us in your thoughts as we get ready for the changes that are to come. Pray that we transition our kids well into life back in America. They will be going to a public school also. I am excited about that. God Help us do this thing well!

Thanks for reading this! Hope you have a blessed day!
Here are some pictures to enjoy.
Egyptian Day at school!
Having fun before the game!
We met Jane Goodall! So Cool!
Character Day - Tinker Bell
Character Day - Peter Rabbit
Character Day - Junie B. Jones
Emily and a friend sharing their Birthday together at KFC!
ROAD TRIP! Amazing View.
Road Trip with my Crazies!
Rob helping Donovan put together a bunk bed!
I just thought this was cool.
He sharpens knives, machetes,
and other things using his bike!



Thursday, February 26, 2015

2014 Year in Review

Heri ya Mwaka Mpya! Happy New Year!  

I can’t believe we are already 2 months into 2015.  As I reflect on all that happened in 2014 it is a bit overwhelming.  I’m glad to know that we were a part of so many big changes this year, but when I think back, it was a lot of work too!  Here are some of ways our ministry and family moved forward last year; (if you have any questions about what something actually means, please let me know!  I will be glad to explain)

-Our e1 program to train and equip Tanzanians has been established with a core group of missionaries identified.

-Our e2 team which is in charge of culture and language acquisition is fully functional; we even had a handful of us graduate from the e2 program including Rob and I!

-Our people group assessment team took 3 trips this year, and included Tanzanians in order to train them to do this ministry in the future.

-Our Service Team, though short-handed did a great job of budgeting and accounting for the year, as well as organized several successful events for the whole team. (Workshops, Team Meetings, Retreats)

-We completed our first formal Risk Assessment for our ministry in Tanzania. Way to go Rob!
-We began renting an office, which is a big step forward. We also took on some local employees who identify with what our mission is doing and want to be a part of it.

It is very easy to get bogged down in the details of this work and miss what is actually happening, so I’d like to sum it up like this; We have taken huge steps forward in being able to communicate the gospel clearly.  Also, our team is gaining a clearer focus on training national believers so that we can come along side of them and reach tribal people groups with them.  Also, we are a couple big steps closer to having a prioritized list of which tribal areas we want to go into and in what order. 
We love being on this team and seeing God open doors and point us in certain directions.  We have seen Him clearly in so many ways in 2014, it is incredibly exciting to think of what might come in 2015!  We thank God for allowing us to be a part of this amazing ministry, and we thank God for all our supporters being such a big part of this team.

Our family enjoyed Christmas very much!  We attended a Christmas Eve service at church, and they somehow got all of us to sing up front at one point or another!  It was fun.  We have enjoyed having a lot more time to just play together at home, or visit with friends.  Also, all 3 kids have now learned how to ride a bike here in Tanzania.  Donovan finally got the hang of it, and he is a trip to watch now.  He’s a real daredevil sometimes! 

Last big piece of news is……WE HAVE PURCHASED OUR TICKETS to return to the States next June!!! We were trying to save $10,000 for the tickets, based on the fares we were finding.  After contacting our Mission’s travel agency, we were able to get tickets for half of that amount!!!  That means we’re not collecting or saving money for tickets anymore.  Maybe now we’ll start saving for a trip to Disney World!  (Anybody got any pointers on how to enjoy Disney World on a budget?) 
Below are some photos of the Ellis Family last year!!! Enjoy
January 2014 - Opening our Christmas package!!
Thanks so much Nana & Pawpaw, Pops & Baboo,
and Meme & Grandaddy!
February 2014 - Masai Day for Emily's class. She is the
one with the rainbow wrap.
February 2014 - Emily helped me carry
the dress up clothes we bought for $2 each
at the local market. 
March 2014 - Celebrating Emily's and Abigail's 7th birthdays
March 2014 - At the party!

March 2014 - We drove south to visit
some coworkers. Our car has never
quite recovered from the dirt roads!
March 2014 - We had a great time visiting with our friends!


March 2014 - The girls made a
new friend at the Nyama Choma
Festival which means
(Grilled Meat Festival)!
April 2014 - She and her friends worked
very hard and did an excellent job!
April 2014 - Shelbyanne participated in the talent show
last year. The girls danced to Frozen's "Let it Go". 

April 2014 - And the rains came Down!
When they did our yard flooded.  
May 2015 - Shelbyanne participated in the
"Beauty and the Beast" play production at school.
I was even able to help make some of the costumes. 
May 2014 - This is our new office
space! There are now 4 desks and
a cabinet for the printer.
May 2014 - The kids found the coolest butterfly at our house. 
June 2014 - We celebrated Rob's birthday
with Pineapple upside down cake!

June 2014 - Emily completed Grade 1
June 2014 - She had an Excellent teacher!
We miss you Miss Lovelett.

June 2014 - Rob successfully completed a Risk Assessment!
July 2014 - Emily had to say goodbye
one of her good friends.
July 2014 - A guy got 47 coconuts
from our trees! YumYum!
July 2014 - Then he showed Rob and our guard how to
make a basket with the leaves. So cool!
July 2014 - Lucy and I lead a 3 day language nurturer
seminar...in Swahili!
July 2014 - We had a great time together.  
August 2014  - We had a workshop/conference for our team.
During that time I visited my friend Zena's house.
She showed us her pigs. The kids loved it!
August 2014 - Me and my sweet babies in the mountains
in Tanzania!
August 2014 - We celebrated Shelbyanne's 9th Birthday!
August 2014 - Thanks Mrs. Dee for the Awesome birthday
cookie cake!
August 2014 - While at the conference we also got to do an
obstacle course that ended with a zip line!
September 2014 - Donovan is
working hard on his homework!
September 2014 - We celebrated Donovan's 5th birthday
at KFC!
September 2014 - While celebrating his birthday at school
Donovan participated in the Tanzanian tradition of
feeding cake to everyone with a fork.
September 2014 - Shelbyanne played football
(soccer) for the first time!
September 2014 - Mama's Girl! 
October 2014 - We went to a costume
party hosted by some of our friends.
Rob - Cowboy
Amy - Hawaiian Girl
Shelbyanne - Zombie
Emily - Bunny
Donovan - Bat
October 2014 - Rob and the kids cleared a space in the yard
 to begin building a fort. It's a work in progress.
November 2014 - We celebrated International Day at the
girl's school. The students at their school represent
over 40 different countries.
November 2014 - Several of the missionary ladies in our community and from surrounding areas were able to participate in a ladies retreat put on by Pure Joy International. Look them up! What an amazing ministry to missionary families all over the world. 
November 2014 - Vickie, the founder of Pure Joy International,
and I. She is an inspirational lady!
November 2014 - We were able to "be there" for Rob's brother,
Ryan's, retirement ceremony. It was so neat to be able to
be there through skype from places all over the world. 
December 2014 - Donovan learned to ride his bike!
December 2014 - I hosted a cookie exchange with
some of the 2nd grade Mamas from Emily's class.
December 2014 - The Pastor invited Rob to sing
Silent Night with his family at our Christmas Eve service.
December 2014 - The girls put
themselves in the "get along"
pants. (AKA...Rob's old
work pants.) Haha!
December 2014 - The Ellis Christmas picture