Saturday, January 17, 2015

Always saying good-bye

One facet of life here in rural Kibuye is the almost weekly arrival and departure of visitors. This has come as a surprise to us as Kibuye is so far off the beaten path.  Some of these visitors are extended family members or friends coming to visit the long term missionaries here, others are physicians or other specialists here to serve.  Most of the visitors we have hosted come for between 1 and 4 weeks.

This constantly meeting and getting to know new people adds an interesting dynamic to life here.  It is wonderful to get to know so many different people from all over the US and all over the world with hearts desiring to serve the poor here in Burundi and elsewhere.   Most weeks, each long term family here (and ours) host people for dinner or lunch, sometimes multiple times in a week.  In a place like this, where there are so few distractions, this means that our time with everyone who comes to visit can be more focused, and often deeper than what we are used to back home.

Having visitors from America also allows us to feel more connected to life back in the states.  Often these visitors bring suitcases full of gifts or packages that were delivered to them by our families back home, or which they just brought out of the kindness of their hearts.

The difficult part of making these new friends is that too soon we are saying good-bye.  It is amazing how connected you can become to someone after spending just 1 or 2 weeks with them in an isolated setting like this.  But nonetheless, I wouldn’t trade it for the alternative.  We are grateful for all the new friends we have made over the past 4 months.  We hope our paths will cross again.  If not in this life, in the life that is to come.

Luke and Tabitha (far right) came to Kibuye for 3 weeks after spending 2 years in Niger.

This is Randy.  He and his wife have spent most of their lives serving as missionaries in the Congo.  Now they spend 6 months at their home in Stanwood, WA, and the other 6 months serving between Burundi and Congo. 

Keith and Hannah came to Kibuye for 3 weeks, Keith serving as a pediatrician and teaching the "Helping babies breath" course.  

Drew (plastic surgeon) and Kim (FP resident) came for a week to fix cleft lips and palates.  I can tell you Burundi is a more beautiful place now that they have been here.

Agneta, a general surgeon from Kenya came for a month. There is a rumor floating around that she might come back in April.  We hope she does.

This past week Kibuye had a total of 10 visitors!  This included a leadership team of 6 from Samaritan's Purse here to evaluate Kibuye as a potential sending sight for short term medical missionaries.  

1 comment:

  1. Cool, I knew Tabitha when I was a surgical Intern at VM. She was a medical student for a month with us. She was awesome:)