I probably should dedicate a post to each of these several events but that seems overwhelming at the moment. We have a decidedly first world problem in that our older computer has recently failed. Now we are sharing the laptop previously dedicated to homeschool and these photos have been gleaned from my phone and the Internet.

Day 1, 2015

We enjoyed beginning the new year in Kibogora, Rwanda with our LMCP friends, Ben and Kristy. Kibogora is home to a sister FM hospital and has a lovely view over Lake Kivu. We are able to drive there from Bujumbura in about 4 hours. We also stayed a couple of nights at the historic Kumbya Camp where several generations of workers in this part of Africa continue to go for retreat and renewal. We wanted to include this photo for those of you in the US and Canada who may have forgotten what warmer climates are like!

Josiah "Jedi-forces" everyone off the raft in Kumbya

Josiah “Jedi-forces” everyone off the raft in Kumbya

Living in the Present But Hard to Ignore the Big Transition

After returning to Bujumbura, our thoughts are turning to the impending transition from the Burundian capital city of Bujumbura to the small rural village of Kibuye. We have been invited by Kibuye Hope Hospital and Hope Africa University to help with the clinical education of our medical students who rotate through this growing hospital. Three of the longterm American doctors will be on home assignment during our seven months of service there so we will be trying to fill some of the gaps in the teaching and supervising.

I Love This Woman

Janette left last week for 12 days in the US to celebrate with her family. Her brother was married near Phoenix on Saturday. We’re glad that Janette can reconnect with them but we sure miss her and her organizing skills around here. We all seem to be in a holding pattern until she rejoins us on Monday. I am really thankful that she is my partner and that she offers her many gifts to this community.

Sister and Brother

Sister and Brother

Moving Up and In To the Burundian Interior

This past weekend, we hauled a few more things up to Kibuye. We stayed in one of the small apartments but the kids played in the woods and with the neighbors until well past dark. There is more freedom to play outside in Kibuye and we all love the cooler weather. The kids will be joining the Kibuye Hope Academy which is a oneroom school with a fulltime teacher as well as invested parents using a modified homeschool curriculum.

Young Missional Millers biking down the road in Kibuye

Young Missional Millers biking down the road in Kibuye

Jackson, Michigan Team Celebrates Burenza Clinic Opening

Church, community, and government leaders gather to celebrate the opening

Church, community, and government leaders gather to celebrate the Grand Opening

On Sunday, I took a few passengers from Kibuye with me to the Grand Opening celebration for a clinic in the even-more-rural area of Burenza. One of my traveling partners, Dr. Eric McLaughlin, remarked that it was the worst road he had probably been on- and there wouldn’t have been much argument about that. Thankfully, it was the dry season so we were only navigating boulder fields, not mud holes! We were in a caravan with a team of 12 from the Jackson, Michigan FMC plus church leaders and fellow missionaries Wayne and Barb Vibbert. Jackson FMC friends have supported this clinic and the nearby church for seven years and were on hand to see how far the project has come. The clinic is staffed by nurses and they see about 50-60 patients per day. You can see the new roof on the Burenza church in the photo below.

Bishop Deo (left) and Supt. Mahinja thank the team

Bishop Deo (left) and Supt. Mahinja thank the team for their faithful support

They Are Growing Up in Africa

Yesterday, I realized that we only have 10 days until we make the big move. We’ve lived over three years here in Bujumbura. It is our home and a place that undoubtedly has changed us.

Hannah has become a young lady in this place. We are not sorry that she is likely behind the times with respect to popular culture. That will all come soon enough. But we are so thankful that she has had this space in Burundi to allow God to develop her heart of compassion. She loves animals and children…and even her own siblings.

Hannah

Hannah

Leah has spread her social wings in the Belgian school. She is a tween and best friends with her older sister. We can assume that she has her head in a book if we haven’t seen her for a while. She is still willing to hug and be hugged.

Leah

Leah

Samuel has embraced soccer and French. He and Josiah are learning to get along and enjoy building Star Wars Lego creations or acting out those battles on the trampoline. He is a sensitive 10 year old and often looked up to by his peers at school and church.

Samuel

Samuel

Josiah was 4 years old when we came! Now he is a second grader- reading in French and English, writing in cursive with a fountain pen, and always on the lookout for a new craft to make.

Josiah

Josiah

 

These next 7 months in Kibuye will be rich. We are confident about that. God has made this step clear to us and we look forward to what he is going to teach us there. Perhaps this will be our farewell to Africa. Or simply a time of preparation for our next season in this journey to which God has called us? Perhaps both.

Thank you again for the generous ways you have blessed us and supported us and prayed for us. Forgive our silence over these last few weeks. We want to include you in this adventure and intend to communicate better once we are settled in Kibuye. Thanks for sticking with this rambling blog all the way to the end.