Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Since Leaving Burkina . . .

We've had quite a transition during the month of August so far. We left our home in Burkina Faso on August 1 after a very busy July closed out our missions internship that had lasted over sixteen months. (Read about July's ministries in our newsletter.)
At the Ouagadougou Airport all packed up to goand with it feeling surreal that we were really moving away  

We then flew halfway back to the States and stopped in Europe, where we got to take our much-anticipated vacation that we had saved up for from the jobs we'd had prior to the internship. Finally, we flew the rest of the way to the U.S. on August 13 to stay with Ben's parents in Delaware while beginning to figure out what to do next. It's been a really exciting time, yet while we have a lot to look forward to and a lot of good things happening in the present, our hearts are a bit conflicted because we also have a lot that we're leaving behind. 
Loving all of the green and lakes and mountains in southern Germany

Leaving the ministry work that we've loved being a part of has not been the easiest. We quickly grew to love helping facilitate the partnership between the Burkinab√© and the many American church teams that Envision hosted during our time there. Although we do have confidence that now was our time to move on and we're excited to see that it's others' time to join the Envision Burkina team instead, there still are many things we'll miss about being on that mission field. It was a privilege to be used by God in Burkina Faso, and we're so grateful that we weren't too afraid to take that step of faith that He was leading us to take when we first heard about the internship in March of 2013. 
Having a final game night at our house with our Burkina missionary friends

Please be praying for our peace during this transition time. Even though neither of us has experienced strong culture shock during any of our travels, it is still an adjustment. It's not easy to be in the position of transitioning back into the U.S. culture while we're also unsure of what God's leading us into next. Although most of the time we do have a peace about this, it is all too easy to slip into an attitude of worry. 

Pray also that we'd be sensitive to God's guidance. We're looking for new jobs and a new place to live, and that means that many changes are ahead. We are eager for this, yet since we're still unsure of what kinds of jobs to pursue and what state to move to, it is something that we're having to trust that God will show us the way to go in His timing. It's both exciting and scary to be as open to possibilities as we are at this current moment. 

These past few days, though, it has been a treat to get to be back in the States—seeing Ben's family and being back at their church, eating delicious pre-washed mixed lettuce (I know that's weird, but that's what I'd been craving in Burkina), window shopping at all the abundantly-stocked stores, and driving Ben's convertible (which since Burkina life forced me to learn to drive a manual with confidence, I can do now!). We do appreciate things in America differently than when we left, but there's so much more to it than that. God has opened our hearts and expanded our world in so many ways that we struggle to accurately convey, yet we'll try to share some of that with you in upcoming blog posts.
We were excited to get to be part of a family outing with Ben's family this weekgoing to the circus! 

Although we aren't able to make plans too far out right now since we're trying to get jobs situated as soon as possible, we really look forward to reconnecting with everyone from Delaware, North Carolina, and Ohio during August and September. If you're in one of those states and want to be sure we get time to connect with you, let us know so that we can start setting plans in motion. Thanks for your continued support and prayers during this time!