One thing about our time in Burundi that I don’t feel like we have properly addressed yet is that fact that behind our family coming here are a great number of people back home who sent us. We were sent in many ways and by many people. And I am sure many of the people reading this blog are the same people who provided for us with financial donations, prayers and words of encouragement as well as support in many other ways. Here are some of the ways in which we were “well sent”.
- Many people donated generous financial gifts to help our family with the cost of airfare, visas, malaria meds and countless other pieces of this trip. We are deeply grateful for all of your support.
- My anesthesia group (Bellingham Anesthesia Associates) gave me the nine month sabbatical to make this trip a reality. Our CEO also worked on many pieces required for this trip to come to fruition, including health insurance, credentialing paperwork and malpractice insurance issues.
- Our children’s teachers in Bellingham were generous with their time in helping prepare our family for this time and specifically for helping Stephanie prepare to enter the world of homeschooling.
- My band back in Bellingham “Runaway Truck Ramp” hosted a surprise party/fundraiser for the hospital here in Kibuye. It was such a wonderful time with friends from work and our local church attending and giving generously toward the Kibuye hospital expansion project (https://www.whm.org/project/details?ID=19170)
- The staff at the hospital where I work threw another party two nights before we left for Burundi and took up a collection for our trip. Again, we felt so deeply loved by the thought and effort that went into these two parties.
- The hospital where I work also donated many supplies which I was able to bring with me to use in our work here. We have already started using the ear tubes!
- Our friend Ethan volunteered his time and skills as a real estate agent to help us rent our house while we are away.
- As we were driving toward the airport on our way to Burundi, our dear friend Kim stood with her son Harper on the overpass by our house with a giant sign saying “We love you to Burundi and back!”.
- My parents have provided much support for us in many ways, one of which was allowing us to move in with them for the six weeks prior to our departure while our house was being rented.
- We have received many e-mails, phone calls and other personal messages of support and encouragement in the weeks and months leading up to our departure.
- The week before we left, the elders of our local church (Redeemer) had a going away party for us.
- And on our final Sunday in Bellingham, our church family gathered around us, laid their hands on us and prayed for our family and for God’s work in Burundi (http://redeemernw.org/).
There are many other ways we were blessed by our friends and family and we want to again say, thank you, thank you, thank you. We truly feel loved.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers .... Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16,18)
Kim Brown, Skagit charge nurse and party hostess extraordinaire
Final send off at Redeemer church