I have been thinking this week a lot about faith. Faith is still in many ways to me a mystery, but God is revealing to me slowly, and sometimes painfully, what it means to live a life of faith.
Our family has decided to move forward with plans to return to Burundi "long-term", (eg. a 5 year commitment). What does that mean? That means we apply to the missionary agency which supports our team in Kibuye (Serge). In September, Stephanie and I fly to Philadelphia to be assessed regarding our fitness to serve "long-term". And if Serge believes we are "long-term" material, they will help us prepare to spend the next several months raising support, for our income, our travel expenses, our health insurance, and anything other expense that one might encounter in Burundi. If we are able to raise the support we need, then next summer our family will go to Colorado for a month to the Missionary Training Institute, where we will receive further training and preparation for "long-term" service. Then at the end of August we will move to France for 6 months .... to learn French. Then .... Burundi.
I will confess that this decision is a painful one for me. To be honest, I like working in a hospital with oxygen and running water and patients who speaks English. I like living close to my parents. I like spending time with my friends here. I like the church we are a part of. I like drinking straight from the faucet!
But we cannot deny that God's hand led us to Kibuye Burundi, and that He has prepared a place for us among the team that is serving there. We love the team at Kibuye. We love the country. Our family in so many ways thrived during our 9 months serving there. So why is this so hard? Why is this such a struggle for me?
I am starting to understand that struggle (of any sort) give us the opportunity to surrender to God. And I believe it is this surrender which prepares our hearts to truly trust in God. Struggle gives way to surrender and surrender gives way to faith and faith opens the door for God to work in us and through us, according to His perfect and gracious will.
There are still many steps to take before we return to Burundi. There are many ways that God could close this door. And so, we surrender even this, the certainty of our future, to Him.
We will keep you posted as things progress and would ask that you, our family and friends pray for us, to surrender, to have faith, and for His plans to be done. His plan is much better than ours.