A couple months ago, with heavy hearts, the Baskin family, in collaboration with team and Serge leaders, decided that God was calling their family back to the United States for the foreseeable future. This has meant major transition for their family and significant loss for both Kibuye Hope Hospital and the Serge Kibuye Team. I am very grateful that they have been willing to share from their hearts during this transition. Please continue to pray for their family in this new phase, and our team as we feel their absence.
For I know the plans I have for you.
In light of the changes my family has seen this summer, I have often reflected on this declaration and on one of its corollaries, namely that Darrell Baskin does not know the plans God has for him. If I had, I might have assailed their logic and questioned their cost. A price precious both in sacrifice and treasure.
After over a year of language training in France and then following nearly a year of learning to live in Burundi, my family returned to the US this summer in order to seek healing in mind and body. But now we know that it wasn't just for the summer, it's for the foreseeable future.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil.
And now I ask, do I trust Him and His plans now that they no longer align with the dream He once instilled in our hearts? Now that I have returned for a week to pack up our beautiful house in Burundi. Now that my children have wept and sought solace in their pillows upon seeing videos of their friends who remain at Kibuye. Now that I’ve seen the patients I can no longer care for and the eye staff who have been saddened by my absence. Now that I walk a lonely and poorly understood road few, if any, of my peers have ever traveled. I find myself asking if this is what welfare should look like.
...to give you a future and a hope.
My future, for now, is in the US where I see friends, churches and people who supported us, and I respond to them sometimes with joy, sometimes with sorrow, sometimes with shame and grief over this nearly insurmountable loss. At times, it has been a loss of calling, even identity.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
In our grief and wrestling, we have turned, over and over, to the Lord. And He has heard us. He has met us in our place of need. We don't have all, maybe not even a few, of the answers for why we're here now, but we remain steadfast in our belief that He alone brought us to this place. We never would have chosen this convoluted path on our own. Someone asked me last week how I would proceed if I were to have a chance to do it all over again. My response then was that I would obey God again and follow His direction even if it seemed counterproductive or confusing or wasteful.
When I was a teenager, my mom once told me that Abraham was obeying God when he took Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him. And he was obeying God when he sacrificed the ram instead of his son. If Abraham had stubbornly held on to the original plan from the Lord to its final conclusion, he would have actually disobeyed God and missed the whole point of walking with God in a dynamic relationship. Even more, would it have been faith if Abraham knew what was going to ultimately take place?
I can't pretend to know the plans God has in store for us, but I do know the One that has engraved me on the palms of His hands. I know the One who went with us to France, then to Burundi and now back to Texas. I am convinced that He will never leave us or forsake us. And He is enough for me and my family.