As you may recall, when we first landed in Burundi in January 2012, we immediately went up the mountainous road to the country’s interior. Our destination was Kibuye Hospital, an aging facility with insufficient staff but a long history of compassionate service to the community. Veteran Kibuye missionaries Frank and Carol Ogden were our hosts for those weeks. They left us as the cold rainy season was returning. “Cold and rainy” is a pretty good description of our feelings too! We felt isolated and overwhelmed.
When we left Kibuye in 2012 to work at the Van Norman Clinic in Bujumbura, we were certain that the city was the place for us. We are pretty good at navigating the relationships and communities and pace in the city. And we have thrived in this city.
A New Day In Kibuye
But much has changed in 3 years! Kibuye Hope Hospital is now a part of the Hope Africa University system. Serge (a mission organization) placed 4 families plus singles there earlier this year. There is a master plan for the development of the hospital and ancillary services. A second student dorm is under construction. In short, life is very different in Kibuye than when we lived there!
We have 15 months remaining before our return to the U.S. While we have made lifelong friends in Bujumbura, our medical skills are not in demand at Van Norman Clinic. We are thankful for the many African doctors offering competent care at VNC. In a providential conversation a couple of weeks ago, we were asked about filling in for one of the Kibuye families who are to go on home assignment next year. University and Mission leaders have agreed that this is a good next step for us.
The big transition: We have agreed to begin serving with HAU and Kibuye Hope Hospital in April 2015. There are many details to work out in the next six months.
We’ll be giving up the lovely house we’ve been in for the last 2 years. Packing up our 3 years of accumulated stuff that has been carried from the U.S. or found here. We’ve definitely gone beyond the 12 suitcases we originally brought. Looking for warmer clothes since the climate is much cooler with high elevation there (I’m looking forward to that!). And hardest of all, beginning to say goodbye to our dear friends here in Bujumbura.
Samuel and Josiah will jump into the ongoing homeschool program in Kibuye. There will be three other families there and we’ll make the fourth. There are kids who match up age-wise with both Samuel and Josiah so they’ll join those classes for two months before the summer break. Hannah will continue the homeschool curriculum which she has already begun and Leah will join her. The kids know it will be a big transition for them but they are excited about the benefits that Kibuye living will offer- playing in the woods, no-boundary bike-riding, candlelight dinners (electricity is not consistent), living in close community with our “upcountry” friends.
Janette will be helping with the homeschooling as well as teaching some of the didactic lessons which the medical students have in the afternoons. We have experienced Kibuye alone and she is now looking forward to experiencing it in community. We will live in a relatively new home that is being vacated in April. I will help with the inpatient adult and pediatric services as well as investing in the student education. We also look forward to the opportunity to be involved in the spiritual life of the students who do not have as many distractions as they do when living in Bujumbura.
Thank you for praying with us:
1. That we would continue to live in the present and not tune out too quickly here in Bujumbura. We want to end well here.
2. For smooth transitions in our friendships- we have some close friends who understand this move while mourning it as well
3. The work will be mainly clinical and we are feeling a bit rusty after not doing as much clinical practice in the previous 3 years.
Your faithful giving has allowed us to keep up with our bills over the last 3 years. Life in Kibuye is a little less expensive which allows us to save up for tickets back to the USA! Thanks for continuing to partner with us in the weeks ahead.