My family and I first arrived in Kibuye in August, 2014. Since then we have called Burundi our home. You, our Kibuye team, became our family, the anesthetists, Burundian doctors and nurses, our friends. And so, it is with deep sadness that we left Burundi this summer in order to transition to a new life in Kijabe, Kenya. The decision to leave Kibuye was deeply painful because of our love for all of you, but was based on our belief that the Lord had opened an opportunity for us to move to Kijabe in order to more heavily invest in physician anesthesia training and also to continue to live under the same roof with our children while they attended Rift Valley Academy.
It is hard to put into words our deep affection for Burundi, for Kibuye and for all of you. What God has done and is continuing to do there is a testament to His goodness and grace. And the variety of gifts that He has knit together to form this team constantly astounds me. In order for a team of North Americans to settle and thrive in a place like Kibuye, with such limited resources, requires so many different talents and abilities and somehow He has endowed each of you with talents and abilities that compliment one another so beautifully. Something that struck me, particularly during our first year in Kibuye was my constant state of need. I needed someone to explain a certain hospital system. I needed someone to explain something to me that was said in Kirundi. I needed someone to explain how to communicate with our national partners in a culturally appropriate way. I needed someone to help me start a car, show me how to grocery shop, how to fix a broken piece of equipment. And no matter what the need was, there was always a teammate who was able and willing to help. I have no idea how missionaries who go out without the support of such a team survive even one day.
The last 6 years are filled with memories and friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life. I am forever indebted to all of you who have over the years loved me and my family, who have laughed and cried with me, who have sacrificially served me, and who have taught me what it means to “walk in Christ”.
I am comforted by the hope that I will continue to see many of you often as we continue to make trips to Burundi and as you continue to travel to Kenya. But it will not be the same. We will be a part of a different team.
And so, my family and I would like to say thank you to:
Eric and Rachel, Alyssa, Jason and Heather, John and Jess, George and Susan, Logan and Julie, Carlan and Michelle, Scott and Lindsay, Caleb and Krista, Ted and Eunice, Kayla, Shay, Alexis, Rachel, Abraham, Jesh and Julie, and to all of your children.
And to my closest Burundian friends, Alliance, Ladislas, Joseph, Samuel, Samuel, Pamphile, Berchimas and Gloria.
… thank you for all you have done for us, and for welcoming us into your family for this season. We love you all so very much. May God continue to strengthen you and to shine His face upon you.
Your biggest fans, Greg, Steph, Ella, Mekdes and Biniyam