24 September 2011

the epic story- part 1

Do you know how sometimes the world begins to move at warp speed and you have to just buckle up and hang on for all your worth? And do you know how during those times all the "extras" of life are put aside for awhile so that you can simply live well in the moments ahead?

We had a couple of months like that. Literally. Some of you know the story because you are a part of this journey through our monthly storyletters - you are welcome to join us in these storyletters - just message me with your email address and I'll send you the last one we sent out with the bigger version of our move and then the next time a letter gets sent, it will be waiting for you in your inbox. Go to "join us" page and follow the link to our email.

People often asked us "How long are you going to stay here in South Africa" and our answer was always the same : " when we moved to South Africa, it wasn't because we had a deep desire to save the world - it was because we have a deep desire to be obedient to whatever we feel like God is asking us to do - and this was what He was asking us to do. I think that our leaving will be the same. It won't necessarily be anything but God's clearly inviting us to go home again."

We knew the time would come someday - but 'someday' can be as far off as a dream.

So, we've known for some time that God was busy doing something new. We dreamed and we prayed about what that might be and all the while continued to live life fully into whatever we were doing in South Africa - because for all the things we don't know, one thing that is absolutely, solidly true is that we are called to simply say "yes" to whatever we are meant to be doing today. That is true whether we are in Africa or Michigan or tucked inside with our family on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

So after months of "what do you think is going on?" and weeks of "I'm not sure, let's pray about it" and dreams and ideas and opportunities and speculations and things going opposite how we thought they should and tears and surprises and gifts and confirmations and peace

- we were ready to admit that the time had come to say goodbye to the country we have let ourselves love so deeply.

We didn't know where we were going next or what was in store for us, what we did know was that we had to give notice to our landlords that we were leaving and beyond that, we assumed we were heading back to the US - and yet....

the very next day, Billy got an email from Turame MicroFinance Bank - an offshoot of World Relief , in Bujumbura, Burundi. Remember last year when Billy spent a week in Burundi helping with a team that came from our home church in Michigan to work on the computer systems for Turame? Same place - and the email went something like this "I know you are happily serving in South Africa, and I don't mean to overstep my boundaries here, but I was wondering if there was any way you'd consider spending 6-ish months here in Burundi helping us with our IT department: cleaning it all up, writing manuals and training a new local person to run it. "

and Billy's heart lit up.

.... story to be continued tomorrow -

our family - including Amos - who didn't get to come home with us

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