Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter on African time

Well since I was gone for Easter, we decided to do Easter a week late. So we had Easter dinner with out friend Tara and her boys.

Our late (by American time) Easter pic
Our Right on time (by African time) Easter pic

Easter dinner cooking and baking. Uwera is concentrating
on keeping another bun in the oven for another week or two. 

The kids first ever Easter Egg hunt at a friends

So proud of every egg found!


First we let the two little ones search for their eggs,
then we let the older ones out to hunt for eggs. 

The Egg hunt is on!

No one is going to get this boys jelly beans! This picture just
cracked me up!

Because life is not picture perfect. But its about the people in it.
I may regret some things in life, but I know I will never regret loving people,
investing in people, and never regret making my family priority.


Laughing about daddy sneaking Easter Eggs into his pocket. 
It seems kind of fitting that I got to have two amazing Easter dinner's this year.
My life is pretty divided between two continents. Two time zones.
I miss America when I am here, I am down right home sick for Rwanda when I am there.

This is my familiar, America is my foreign.

I would be lying if I didn't say my heart is a bit of a mess, as usual.
But I am so glad to find myself in this amazing crazy international life.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amahoro....

Its 1:00am and I am in full jet lag mode. 

The house is quiet, and I am enjoying a hot cup of coffee I should not be indulging in. 

The floor is covered with confetti from coming home. 

I just spent three weeks back in the states and it had been two years since my last trip home. It was my first trip to America as a wife, and far too long to be away from my husband. 

One comment I heard a few times in this trip I wanted to write about, was peace. You see usually I am wired pretty tight. I always (and still do to a sense) feel if you are not 15 minutes early, you are late. I have always liked things just so. Everything in its place. If I did things how I was suppose to do them, then things would happen how they were suppose too. 

Only....... they dont. You can do everything the way you are suppose too, and everything will fall to pieces around you. The rug will be pulled out. Really..... people will be people. 

Someone asked me over dinner "What is the Lord teaching you right now?" That question always takes me by surprise. Kind of like "What is it like to live in Africa?" Its like asking you "So whats life like  in (fill in the state)" 

But it wasn't to hard to answer. This has been my battle cry for almost a year. I have no control. None. Nada. Zilch. I can do it all right, make the right choices, make the right boundaries, submit the right forms, inform the proper people, be quiet when I should, refuse the bad things for me..... and you know what? People will still talk. People will still hurt me. Bad things will happen to me. The answer will be "no" sometimes when my heart is set on "yes." 

This isn't a passive thing at all. It is very active. It IS setting the boundaries. It is constantly clinging to my identity in Christ. It is fighting the battles the Lord has burdened my heart to fight, and not fighting someone else or someone elses battles that leave me exhausted and with no passion to fight the good fight. Because I am too busy trying to control all the other outcomes, I never had nor will have control over. 

Someone once said to me "But if you do that.... people might say." I looked at her and said "Oh I am sure they will say no matter what." Thats just it.......

People will come to their own conclusions.....

People will talk......

You will be hurt......

Your boundaries will be tested and tested and tested again.........

People won't like that you have boundaries..........

The rug will get pulled out.......

You will be broken.......

People will make choices that effect you without consideration of anyone else.......

You won't make it out of this life alive......

Amahoro, it means peace. The Lord has been teaching me, stop spending so much energy and time worrying about this stuff. If I do it all unto the Lord. It doesn't matter if people talk, if they dont like my boundaries, or if life pulls all the rugs out. If I truly am doing it unto the Lord, your response, reactions, words, and so forth dont matter. 

It isn't between you me. It never was. It has always and always will be, between me and Christ. 

It has brought me so much peace. And it fun to see other people notice a calmness, a peace, that wasn't there. As I have laid down many a battles I never had any business fighting. 

Amahoro..... Peace. 

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control." 

Isaiah 55:8-11"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Program, Engagements, babies, visits, birthdays, oh my! Th



Life lately has been going at light speed. I have been looking at my husband lately, going.... "Is it really already.... *fill in the date*"

Time fly's when your having fun! Here are a few things we have been up too. . . .


Rebecca turned 12! 

January 2014 the day she came

One week after the big 1.2. This is so her.
She loves her fashion! She loves to laugh. She is so full
of adventure, sparkels, laughter, and so many questions
that just are so deep. Our little walking commentary. ;) 

Moses turned 5! 
(I am seriously unsure how this has happened!) 

Three week old munchkin!
He has gone through the biggest growth spurt in the last 6 months!
But this pic is SO Moses. 100% this kids personality. Wild, fun,
adventerous! 




Uwera has a mini arriving May 17th!
Although I think the due date is off, and
we will find out more at her prenatal this morning. 

Uwera also works at Hope For Tomorrow.
Practice with a mini, while this ones mom was in
literacy class. 


My brother got me an amazing Nikon Camera!
So much here I want to dig into! On lesson 4 of
235,786,123,654.3 in my Kinyarwanda book!
What the expect is for trainings at program.
And the other two books were gifts from a dear friend Randi. 
Hope For Tomorrow is going well. We are now at 11 families and 18 infants!
In fact, we found out that infant mortality has significantly dropped since we
began the program! From 23 the year prior to 2 since the program started!
 Its quiet a few balls to balance in the air somedays!
But between us and Uwera, we get it all done!
If you are on my mailing list for my newsletters, we have an
awesome story of one of the moms who started in our program from day 1,
and what God has done in the last year in her life!
If you want to get on our mailing list, shoot me a email
with your snail mail at thenannytina@gmail.com 
Bridgette and Flora are being...
well, Bridgette and Flora. Always keeping the house
full of laughter and fun. Rocking their terms at school!
My brother got engaged on a volcano in Congo.
It worked out so amazing! I got an email from an amazing photographer Natalie Crane
(photo credit!) that had mutual friends, and was wondering if we had
a spare room, as she planned to hike to volcano. It just happened to
land when my brother was here! So it all worked out AMAZING! 
We went on an amazing safari as a family!
We stayed a night right in the safari park, in a tented lodge.
It was an amazing and great experience for the kids!

Was our last morning with my brother and my sister Amy.
You couldn't do it better than breakfast on the deck,
while a monkey comes to steal sugar from the sugar dish.
We made so many memories and laughed so much!  

If you would like to support our ministry here in Rwanda. 
There is so many ways you can do that! 

You can commit to prayer! And sign up for our monthly newsletter. Shoot me an email with your home address and we will be sure to add you! thenannytina@gmail.com

You can also like our ministry page on Facebook! www.facebook.com/HopeForTomorrowRW

Or you can make a tax deductible donation at www.cten.org/tinazielke 

Lots of love! 

In Christ, 
Tina 



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Currently so far in 2017

Currently……..

Eating- Oh, oh, oh. Smores at the tea plantation with friends and the hubs. Pickling all the things. (beets and dill pickles!) And Rolex’s! (African flat bread, cooked into an egg, rolled up in all its yummy goodness!) This question brings many exciting diverse answers! 




Reading- The 19th wife. (things like the FLDS has always sparked my curiosity.) Its an autobiography of one of the "prophets" wife, who escaped, but also her mother and father were one of the first in the FLDS faith, even when celestial marriage and plural marriage was introduced and how that all went down.

Missing- people! Normally I come home to the states once a year, and its coming up on two years now. My feet are a itching, my heart is lonesome for some people. Basically I want to hug your neck till you have to pry me off with a crow bar. But its odd knowing that going home to the states to visit, also isn't going back to the same people or places I visited last time. Overtime its walking into so much that has changed. As also someone who has changed. But that won't stop me from hugging your neck till you have to pry me off with a crow bar!

Crying- All the tears. Frustration, loneliness, relationships lost, and a deep missing people. But also tears of joy. Unto everything there is a season! Last night one of the girls was joking that she was going to take me shopping. And we somehow decided we needed to make the dog African fabric shoes, and she tilted her head at us with a "huh?" look. Oh my gosh guys, we all laughed so hard, literally B and Rebecca were ON THE FLOOR. We laughed so hard we cried. Even Thierry had tears in his eyes he was laughing so hard. Or perhaps its his head cold, poor guy.

Listening- THIS. Andrew peterson... constantly. But this song... oh my heart. Just, just listen.

And have also been listening to the rain, my goodness. Apparently rain season did not get the memo, it still begins in April. The last year and a half, rain season has been so temperamental and off. 


Dreaming- Some really big dreams. We have been praying about purchasing land here in Rwanda. But thats all I will say about that for now. Also dreaming about my brother visiting in February. Oh how sweet it will be to hug his neck. It has been many a years since I have had a chance to hug that geek. We are planning many adventures! 

Drinking- Truth be told, I decided to stop drinking soda. In fact I watched Fed UP about sugar, and have pretty much swore off added sugar since. So black coffee and water about does it for this girl these days. 

Torn- Guys I still cannot get over that Moses is in school EVERY WEEK DAY! I miss him LIKE CRAZY! But he is doing so good. Yesterday I said "Moses you need to do your homework today." of course it wasn't till after dinner, I was like yeah, I should get on that. So I opened his book, and HE DID IT himself. And it was all totally correct. Of course it wasn't hard, of writing his name, the letter A like 9 times, but also matching numbers correctly. I was like "Did you do this?" "Did Rebecca help?" "Did daddy help?" I went and asked Thierry "Did you help Moses with his homework?" Kid is just too smart! And my heart breathed this huge sigh of relief every time I pick him up and see him having fun in class, or running around with other kids having fun. And to hear his teachers talk about how social he is, and how he talks about "Teacher Sharon". My heart grieves a bit, and sigh a sigh of relief a bit. 

Sleeping- So if you know me well. You know the true test of my emotional state is usually how well I am sleeping. Other than this recurring dream of taking a plane to Brussels to get a mocha frappe, and now included is Reeses in this dream, then getting on a plane and flying back to Rwanda. Been sleeping like a rock. I think we all have been in this house, school and ministry have been tiring this family right out. Bedtime, were ready! (Can someone figure out how to send me a Mocha Frappe, and also frozen Reeses pieces and or Reeses. Apparently this is a long standing issue!) 


I continued to just be awed and amazed at how the Lord provides ALL our needs according to his riches and glory. Me and Thierry have had some bumps as every marriage does, but man, it just keeps getting better and better!! Friends who FaceTime "just because I miss your face", oh my word, my heart. You have no idea the good you do this heart! My missions org and home church. Friends here and across the ocean. I am blessed. Sure I could focus and sometimes do on the frustrations. But I think the Lord was onto something when he says "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things." Philippians 4:8. And I have so much to look back at and praise the Lord for, and look forward too in great anticipation. 

I haven't been updating the ministry blog, since we are working on a webpage! YAY! So thankful to friends who know how to do that stuff and friends who donated the domain to us. But you can also keep up with ministry or me on Instagram HopeForTomorrowRW on instagram and Tinaz35226. Or you can keep up with ministry on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HopeForTomorrowRW 

And since we started our nifty monthly newsletters by mail, you can email your home address and I would be glad to add you to the list. TinaInRwanda@gmail.com 




Monday, January 23, 2017

Im going to vow against blinking


3 weeks old. 
5 months old
10 months old 

How did we get from that, to......

Yes I sneaked in early to pick him up, and he was just fine. 
All those alligator tears when I said see you this afternoon, 
must have gotten better. (almost 5 years old)


School gets a big thumbs up!! 

There is some hiking required for school. ;) But even that
gets a big thumbs up! 





Sunday, January 15, 2017

God of wonders.

Its been awhile, huh? I have been changing things up a bit on my little corner of the world, and have been doing most of my updates via a monthly newsletter. So if you want in on that cool snail mail in your mailbox, shoot me a message with your home address to TinaInRwanda@gmail.com and I would be happy to add you to that list.

What has been on my heart lately, is how faithful the Lord is. How many of his miracles and promises fulfilled I have been watching unfold in front of my eyes! One of my girls fiancee was in an accident. And less than two months later, he is back in Kigali at work. Guys, I am just floored. Two brain surgeries and some major traumatic brain injury. God surely has been at work! It was quiet the roller coaster ride, and it just tore up my mama heart to watch my girl struggle, and not be able to fix it for her. But one thing the Lord has been teaching me, is I cannot even heal myself! Only he can. He is so faithful too.
The day he was released from the hospital.
We petitioned many prayers during his surgeries, and
his recovery. 

One of the x-rays of the crack in his skull. His brain
was jolted so harshly in his skull, that a large blood
clot had formed on the other side of his brain,
which had to be removed. 


This picture is a couple weeks old. Just before he went back
to work in Kigali. I was awed to see him regain his strength,
ability to walk, talk, eat, etc. It was less than a month,
before he was back to being independent. A true work of the Lord!! 

This morning I came across this in my bible. As I was adding to my list
of prayer requests and answered prayers. I had to smile, and one of
the verses I have watched the Lord unfold in my life is Psalm 113:9
"He settles the barren women in her home as a happy mother of children."
I had no idea back then....... 

This house is never short of seats around the table.
God indeed is faithful. 



And getting a little peak at my grand daughter, being knit together
in her mothers womb. I downloaded an app on my phone, and every
week it tells us where she is in her pregnancy and whats happening.
I am amazed, as the Lord knits together LIFE! 
Watching hope unfold. Two of the moms in Hope For Tomorrow,
who have special needs will begin at a vocational school for those
with disabilities. And will be able to receive therapy (physical, speech,
vocational, music, etc) We have loved watch them get encouraged,
and find the abilities they have. 
A few months back we started literacy classes at the office.
This particular mom, a few months back was learning the
alphabet. The hard work and determination she has put into her studies.
The other day I watched her write the words she learned in alphabetical order.
And I just sat back in awe of her incredible hard work. 
And watching her daughter be encouraged and inspired by her mom. 
And the best thing I never knew I wanted.
This man is such a big blessing, and work of the Lord in my life.  

One of my favorite pictures, so Theirry painted it and it hangs
above our bed now. A nice evening walk with my man. He strong
arms are that of protection, comfort, and refuge. He leads us
in the word, in worship, and in Christ. Two people, one path.
He has blessed this family so much! 
I am going to try and do a currently tonight or tomorrow.

And if you want to get a newsletter sent to your mailbox, let me know!

In Christ,
Tina

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New seasons, new mercies


Some people come up with a word for the new year. 
Unknowingly it seems that I have a scripture for the last three years. 
So much that I had one put on a necklace, and one verse 
became a constant comfort that a friend gave to me. 

This year has surely been a new season. 
I am talking uprooting weeds, shaking some wheat and chaff. 
Pruning sheers all over the place. 
The soil of my heart tilled, broken, and new seeds planted. 
New plants blooming with beauty that I never knew the 
Lord had in store for me. 

Proverbs 16:9 
"In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps." 

No thats not my verse for 2018. But man has it also been true for last year. 
Things I said I would never do (ahem, marriage). 
The dynamics of the house changing, as it always changes with new
people, and now a new totally different dynamic, as I have an amazing
husband, and the kids have a father figure. 
Life has changed so much across the Ocean, and I get bits and pieces of it
and my heart grieves, longs, aches. Yet it seems my roots have
dug pretty deep into the volcanic soil of my little Rwanda village. 

Not much has remained consistent. Financially (which we totally get,
sometimes people who partner have life happen, and cannot continue. We
totally get that! Life happens a lot to us. So we get when life happens to others too!) 
And we continue to pray for all those who encourage us, and partner with us, in prayer, 
financially, and other ways. 

Starting a new program, has been such a learning process, and leaves my head spinning. 
As sometimes I sit in the middle of a pile of files, budgets, numbers, order lists, 
a calculator, big prayers, and checking and double checking to see if all the 
donations came through for that month. 

I dont know how to explain, but lots of places that once felt solid, 
no longer do. And new places, I never knew existed, foundations are being laid. 
It really has been a new season, new gardens, and lets be honest some
new fears and new hurts and new losses and new gains! 

You see though. I dont so much like all this change. I am the one who loves me 
schedule, loves routine, loves predictable. (and how in the world I ended up
as a missionary in Rwanda, Lord knows. He must use broken vessels, because
let me tell you I am a broken sinful lover of Jesus, clinging to him like a toddler
who doesn't want his mom to leave them at daycare!) 

And as the soil is so freshly tilled and turned in my heart. 
And I look back at old foundations, that lie in crumbled ruins at my feet. 
As I look at the mountains around me, and know the Lord is able. 
As I look at how the Lord has continued to fulfill his promises to put 
the lonely in families, how he has made the barren women a happy mother in the home. 
As I look at the seeds of new fruits, new seasons, new harvest. 

2018...... 

1 Chronicles 16:11
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." 

Ingoma 16:11
"Mushake Uwiteka n'imbaragaze, Mushake mu maso he iteka ryose." 

Anyone want to put that verse on a bracelet or necklace, seriously 
let me know. (The verses I wear now from the last two years are Psalms 116:7 and Joshua 1:9) 

Here we go Lord, a new year quickly approaches, and I yield it to you. 
I yield the harvest, I yield the fresh turned and tilled broken soil of my heart. 
I yield my family, my time, my hurts, my healing. 
My strength will never get me through, your strength is sufficent, in fact
you say your strength is made perfect in my weakness. 
I am weak, I am broken, I am yielded, I am at your feet. 

Not my will Lord, but your be done. 
I will seek your face always. 
For you are good, and your strength is sufficient. 
Your mercy is new everyday.