Since moving to Burundi nearly a year ago we often find ourselves in unexpected situations that have caused us to learn to be flexible and adaptable. Coming to the U.S. for the month of December we knew we could rely on predictable infrastructures of freeways, airports and efficient businesses so we packed our time-table tightly to see family that live in three different parts of the country, visit some supporting churches and get doctor/dentist appointments in before returning to teach at HAU.
However we also know that our plans are in the hands of the Lord, to do His will and bidding, living by the grace and the breathe He gives us. So we have taken an unanticipated detour as Randy’s step-dad passed away somewhat unexpectedly. Though he’d not been in good health for quite some time an emergency trip to the ICU with a heart problem ended in his death, leaving Randy’s mom widowed and unable to live alone anymore, consequently changing all our best laid plans.
Thankfully we were able to arrive in southern California quickly. I was already in the U.S. and Randy was able to come within a few days. Also his stepbrothers came from northern California so we could support her through the funeral and inevitable cleaning out of personal things. We were able to arrange to take her with us to the Seattle area for Christmas and begin the process of helping her find a new place to live closer to family for support and with less hassles to manage. It’s been a challenging and difficult time for her. We are thankful to be with her and love her. It has impacted my return to Burundi as she needs someone to remain with her until the transition is complete and she’s had time to adjust to a new normal.
As in all hardships we constantly see God’s hand at work, the blessings He gives along the way, His love given through many people who step in to aid, assist, welcome and be the hands and feet that walk beside us in the journey. We’ve been thankful to see our children and other family members. We’ve been thankful for the airways and highways that allow us to make multiple trips to the dump, recycling and other cities to find new housing. (It’s hard to imagine doing what we’ve been doing in Burundi to make this type of downsizing and transition but then again the situation would be completely different from the start!)
Each day brings new challenges and obstacles accompanied by the constancy of His abiding love. I am amazed at seeing His hand at work in the timing of details, the abundance of grace and patience He supplies to us, and how He goes before us to unlock what seems closed. Rejoice and behold, He makes all things new!