by Julie Banks
Our family (the Banks) recently arrived in Burundi after a little over a year in the States. We completed our first term (5 years) with Serge in July of 2020. We were already due to have a Home Ministry Assignment in 2020, but as we all know, this past year proved more complicated than we had anticipated. Our HMA was extended, providing our family time to pray about our future, process our past in Africa, and cherish the present time with family and supporters in the States. All things considered, it was a great year for our family. We were thankful for the opportunity for Logan to rejoin the faculty of Cox Family Medicine Residency practicing “Western” medicine for a season, to travel across much of the United States seeing supporters and beautiful sites in the US, as well as grace and time to participate in counselling and preparations to rejoin the team at Kibuye. We arrived in Burundi on August 1st, with a feeling of coming home, for which we are so grateful.
But this blog is not about us. Our family was not the only one to arrive this summer! In fact, this summer was quite a busy time of missionary arrivals to Kibuye!
Caleb and Krista Fader arrived with Liam, Gavin, and Jono after two years in the States. Caleb is diving back into all things Engineering while Krista is taking on many important roles within the team and local community. Liam will be starting 2nd grade while Gavin is beginning Kindergarten.
Dr. Ted and Eunice John arrived with Toby, Amos and Timothy after a little over a year in the States. Ted is back at home in the Operating Room while Eunice is joining the faculty of Kibuye Hope Academy and helping with many jobs around the missionary compound. Toby will be starting 1st grade at KHA this year.
The Wendlers arrived in Burundi after a year and a half in the States with new baby Isaiah and 2 year old Gabrielle. Carlan is eager to be back in Urgences (Emergency Room) while Michelle is making their newly finished house a home for their family.
Glory Guy also arrived this summer from Nashville, TN. She is a teacher who will be serving at KHA for two years. She has served with other Serge teams in the UK, and we are so glad to have her join our Kibuye team.
Our family is settling back into our home in Kibuye. Logan is the primary acting FP/OB right now working in the Maternity service, operating in the OR, as well as OB and internal medicine clinics. Julie is jumping back into life on the compound and is preparing to teach French and Music at KHA where Liam will be in 7th grade and Zeke in 5th grade.
All of these arrivals over the summer could each be a lengthy blog post in and of themselves. With the arrival of these 19 people, none of our journeys went smoothly! Among us we experienced unexpected delays due to weather, surprise positive Covid tests, non-covid sicknesses. Not all of us received our luggage - which meant complications with medications, contact lenses, and other necessary items. Six of us had our passports stolen upon arrival. Plus lots and lots of Covid tests, masks, social distancing, and struggles traveling with busy toddlers and crying babies!
But… we all made it! We are all fine. All luggage did finally arrive – praise the Lord! And we are ready to join in the efforts at Kibuye, each doing our part in the missionary community, at the hospital, and in Burundi. God has called us each here for such a time as this. We are happy to be with our colleagues, holding up each other’s weary arms in this spiritual battle we are a part of. (ref: Exodus 17:12-14)
Thank you for praying us all here. As many of us have arrived this summer, there have been some tearful departures as well. So please continue to pray for our team as we are all in transition. From the doctors at the hospital to the little toddlers of the team. We are all in transition and we need grace, patience, and mercy as we all readjust.