Boarding School: Blessings, Losses, and Trust

(by Heather Fader)

In this season, I cannot yet write a comprehensive blog post about the subject of boarding school, as we are in the throes of transition to this new stage of life.  We are one of the three Kibuye families whose children have begun high school at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya.  Without a doubt, it is a fabulous opportunity for our kids to be at such an incredible place.  At the same time, this brings changes that must be processed and losses that must be grieved.

Rift Valley Academy is an absolutely phenomenal school.  Alumni attest to that, including Jason and other family and friends.   And after attending orientation there this weekend, I am beyond impressed with the staff, academics, dorm life, student care, family support, and school culture.  RVA’s vision is well-thought-out and extremely well-executed: 

Burundi Girls turned RVA High School Students

RVA Cafeteria - impressive!

RVA Chapel - Students gather here 5x/week

And the students generally thrive and grow to love it.  These young people are bright and brave.  The two returning RVA students from Kibuye, Jonah (grade 12) and Matea (grade 10), are quite settled and happy there.  Even my brand new ninth grade daughter, while perhaps slightly homesick and at times overwhelmed, is having a great time with old friends and new friends.  She is giving positive reports on her classes and teachers as well.  We are confident that she and the other Kibuye kids will continue to thrive there.    

But. Even so, my heart just aches as I miss my child.  Our missionary callings involve a lot of separation and loss, but for many of us, this separation is among the very most painful. 

Burundi families at RVA this past weekend

So we remind ourselves to remember what we know to be true.  God is loving and faithful and good, and he loves my child more than I ever could.  He has already shown such grace in bringing these four Kibuye kids to such an amazing place where they can learn and thrive at RVA.  He works in ways we do not understand in order to bring about growth that we cannot even imagine.  He is present in new dorm rooms and present in the tears of the mamas missing their children.  He can redeem all things.  He answers prayers. 

“The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and you enter God’s realm where everything is possible.  He specializes in the impossible.  Nothing is too great for his almighty power.  Nothing is too small for his love.”  - Corrie TenBoom

Ella moving into her new dorm room

Maddy (friend from Bujumbura), Anna Fader, and Ella Sund outside their dormitory

The students from Burundi on the first day of class.  Please pray for these five.


Tiffany Spronk said...

Oh sweet friend, my heart aches as you grieve the separation from Anna. You are wise to rely on God in this time of transition, and I am sure he will show up in your times of sadness. what an amazing opportunity for Anna and the rest of the Kibuye kids. God will do mighty things with those young people as they carry on the passion to serve others. We love you!!! :-)

Sandy said...

Faders, may God bless this season of transition and hold each of you tightly to Him! Anna, you are looking more grown up than ever. I love these pictures of you at RVA. You'll be such a good friend to so many.

Hugs from Ann Arbor!

Rebekah said...

What a transition this is for all of you! Praying for God's peace for all of you as you settle into this new normal, trusting God with this new season of life.