In two days, we will board the plane to return to Burundi. This is when you normally don't hear from us. Normally, there is at least a few weeks of radio silence, then we reappear saying that we're OK and that there is a lot to tell and that we'll tell it to you later and then we don't.
It's a busy time. Busy with packing and prep. Busy with cherishing some last days with family prior to another long absence. We've done it before. Several times. Rachel has become an expert packer. (I have become an expert at realizing that I'm just getting in the way.) This is the first time that we're going back to a place we already know and have a home. Maybe that's why I'm actually finding a moment to talk about it.
It has been a good nine months. We have connected with our families, our friends, and our home church. We have worked. We have updated our licenses and spoken at conferences. We saw two newborn nieces and one newborn nephew. We celebrated my mom's 60th birthday. We've had our hands in dozens of little Burundi projects that are a lot easier to effect stateside.
But nine months? Really, it's been that long? Nine months that we've been away from the main thing we do. We're excited to go back, because being in the US means being in a kind of limbo, and that's a long time to be in limbo.
All of that aside, here on the eve of departure, I'm feeling an unexpected anxiety. What will we find? Burundi has been through a lot since we left, and so has our team and the community at the hospital. In addition to that, there are new teammates, new medical staff, new buildings that weren't even started when we left. I'm sure there are new problems, and new nuances to the old problems. I sort of had a bead on things when I left. Now I feel rusty, but maybe it's changed so much it will be more like starting over.
That's all the things we know about. What do we NOT know?
I know what I'm forgetting, and it is precisely this: God is with us and he is working. He has ordered our steps here in the US, and he has ordered Kibuye in our absence. He has prepared the way and called us to walk forward in it.
I resist trusting. I want confidence and surety based on what I can see by myself. So, I am anxious. However, there is hope in repentance.
Pray for us. For our travel and for our readjustments. For the kids and the jet lag. Pray for my ENT appointment tomorrow (Toby accidentally rammed the end of a pair of sunglasses through my now-ruptured eardrum on Monday, but that's another story...) But our biggest need is the same as it always is, whether in the US, Burundi, or somewhere in between. We need to turn our hearts to our loving God, hear his voice, and trust in him.
Once again, he has laid out a road for us. Let us follow him and see what he has prepared.