arrived at Kibuye five days ago. It was the shortest of all our epic
moves. We had sent most of our stuff ahead of us, so last Friday, we
just piled into our van and our car, and headed out. About 2 1/2 hours
later, we had arrived, with the only hang-up being an overloaded truck
carrying a small crane labeled ominously "Abnormal Load", which had
tipped halfway off the road, blocking all traffic. We were shown a
detour, which was an absolutely incredible dirt mountain road, which
John and Jason successfully navigated to much acclaim.
We arrived. We parked. We offloaded a few more things, and got to unpacking.
it's good. And surreal. People arrive places every day, all over the
world. Sometimes they arrive in a new place with an expectation of
staying a really long time, like we have done. The thing that sets
apart this arrival is the road to getting here.
three years ago, we visited this very place, and shortly thereafter
committed to this location. Two years ago, teams of individuals and
churches committed to join this work and support us and send us… here.
Over a year ago, we left our home country again and started learning
French in order to live and work here. Three months ago, we arrived in
country, got visas, started the grueling work of learning a second
foreign language in tandem, because it's necessary…because we were going
here. The number of sentences we have uttered that started with "when
we get to Kibuye" are countless.
lovely here right now. It's green and cool. There are avocado and
papaya trees. People have welcomed us warmly, speaking of their long
anticipation of our arrival, during the same period of our preparation,
though thousands of miles apart. There is a buzz of construction
everywhere as homes and dorms are being built. The schoolchildren
nearby practice their traditional drumming on the field between us and
the hospital. Every last Burundian smiles at our fledging Kirundi
sentences. It's good.
yet nothing can be expected to stand up the kind of expectations one
inevitably develops over such a long road of preparation. So, I guess
we'll have to fight the expectations or endure the disappointment of
some of them.
that's fine, I think. Because this is a monumental moment. And this
is also like every other moment. This is the destination. But every
step of the path to get here has been a destination of its own, and now
Kibuye is also a step on this path. Maybe we're not moving for decades,
but the path stretches on through time, and it remains true that we
have been given today, so let us walk well in it by grace.
journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I think Carlan
coined that phrase. Or maybe it was a fortune cookie. Anyways, it
seems true as well that a thousand miles ends with a single step, the
same step in which the next thousand begins. Thinking about journeys in
life can be (and has been) both fruitful and overwhelming, sometimes at
the same time. But even more fruitful (though overwhelming in a
different and better way) is remembering the One who holds our journey:
the thousand miles, the single step, the arrival which is also a
beginning, all the things that cheer us on, the unknowns that frighten
us, the friends who walk with us, and the grace that makes each step a
"He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus."
"Celui qui a commencé en vous son oeuvre bonne la poursuivra jusqu'á son achèvement au jour de Jésus-Christ."
"Uwatanguye igikorwa ciza muri mwebwe azogiheraheza gushitsa ku musi wa Yesu Kristo."