The long-awaited date is getting close. In less than two weeks, our team will have relocated to Burundi. It's been almost two years of active preparation, and almost three years since Rachel and I took the first scouting trip there.
Pray for us. There is travel and logistics. There are the throes of transition, especially for the kids, with or without jet-lag. There are first impressions, and the first moments of relationships that will likely last a long time. Pray for us.
Another prayer request: Pray for us as we plant.
Explanation: For each adult on our team, it has been the same thing. Since leaving home at the end of high school, we have moved often, and we have always known that this place has a definite time limit. For the doctors, college was four years, and we knew med school was coming. Of course, that wouldn't last, and residency would follow, which was always (thanks to the grace of God) limited as well. Then we moved to Kenya, and we knew that was for two years. We headed back to the States, but that was temporary, as was language school. And then, after 15 years or more... We arrive.
I'll draw a distinction here. The Faders signed on for six years in Ann Arbor. I lived there for seven (though I thought it would be shorter). It was a decently long time, and we invested in the communities around us. Even in Kenya for two years, we were always trying to act in ways that made sense beyond our own tenure, trying to avoid solutions that rang of "well, I won't be here then, so whatever."
However, there was always a next thing. And, in two weeks, in a very real sense, there will be no next thing.
What does that mean for us? Of course, it means that there are a lot of unavoidable expectations. More than that? Who knows? This is uncharted territory for us vagabonds, and that is precisely the point.
We have been striving to approach this vision from a long-term perspective. Why else do all the language-learning time and effort? And we are thankful for all of you who have shared this perspective with us. This is our goal. What will it feel like? We wouldn't know.
Some of you readers would. You have been through this.
So, pray for us as we plant. When Jesus talked about planting (which he did frequently), the images abounded. It's like the seed dying, so that it can be born again, and better. The seed is sown, but then there is mystery. We don't know exactly how growth happens after planting. We have to trust. Plant where you will, but you can never be sure who your neighbors will be. Thorns? Weeds? But the planting is a beginning. And at the end: Harvest. And that is in the sure hands of our Lord.