It has been such a busy couple weeks here that I, Carley, decided that what was needed was an update of everything. So here it goes!
Ladd is off to India for two weeks with Dave and Maurice. They will be there checking on the organization that our church supports there. In this current moment, he is waiting in Dubai. We had a great 48 hours together here in Burundi, in between Uganda and this trip, and he left feeling energized and ready to go! He will be back April 6th. Pray for his health, as India is notorious for giving people stomach sicknesses. Pray, also, for his physical protection. In the village he is going to, someone from the church was martyred just a few weeks ago. The political situation is very tense between the Muslims and Christians right now.
Leonidas (Leo) is doing well. He came back today with Alex, our good friend, and has returned to his village. I am very concerned about him, since his family has little to no idea how to take care of him post-surgery. We are praying hard for the infection in his face to be healed and for the skin graft wound on his leg to not get infected either. I am going to try to send someone up to see him in a few days to make sure the mom is changing the bandages and giving him the right medication, both of those things she has no idea how to do. What a frustrating part of this world we live in, medically speaking.
School is going well. This week I am teaching on the ten plagues in Exodus. It has been a strangely normal time, especially after such dramatic fruit from a few weeks before! That’s fine with me, though. No one can live a life of faith on a diet of miracles and mountain peaks. I lost my older classes for the next two weeks, only to have them for two more weeks after that, and then no more for the rest of the year. The British system is totally different, and years 11-13 have only half a year of actual classes. I didn’t know this until recently, so it has been somewhat frustrating working with a new system! Also, the older students are what make me so passionate about my job. Don’t get me wrong, I adore teaching my younger students, but the older students are who really get me pumped to teach. In the absence of teaching them, I have felt myself start to drag a bit in motivation. It seems like it was this same time last year, and it is this time every year for most missionaries, that we just start struggling to be motivated, having to fight harder to do things 100%, and are in need of retreat and rest. Summer break is going to be heavily welcomed. So please be praying for me, and all the other missionaries, to have divine strength as our human strength is starting to fail.
Health is about the same. This is probably the most difficult aspect about living here, for me. In the US, I feel like I function at about a ten health wise, and here I function at about a four. Not that there has been any major illness, praise God, just random stomach problems, fatigue, common colds, etc…We can always use prayer in this area. Being healthy is something I very much look forward to having again, but I praise God that we have not had any malaria, typhoid, amoebas, or any of the other awful sicknesses there are here! God is so good at being strong in our weakness. Part of me thinks sometimes that if God let me function at a ten here, I would wear myself out so fast that I would fail instantly. There very well could be a spiritual reason behind this thorn in my flesh.
Burundi is in the middle of a lot of tension right now. A few weeks back I had to be driven home in convoy due to a political rally that went “pear-shaped,” as my British friends would say. Basically, the current president has served his full amount of terms the constitution allows him, and next year the elections are to take place to bring in someone new. However, the president doesn’t seem to want to give up his position, so he is making some very dictator-ish moves to keep himself there. This, in turn, is causing an uproar from other parties (there are something like 40 parties in Burundi), and they are demonstrating their frustration. That, of course, is the extremely simplified version of what is happening. If you want to know more, check some of the news articles I have posted to my Facebook, or look it up online. We are safe, so no need to worry about us. Pray for Burundi, though, it doesn’t need any more instability.
God has been teaching me some really neat things lately. Even though I have been in somewhat of a plateau spiritually, He is so faithful to be there. I spent some time with him a week ago on my hammock on the porch, and He was speaking to me about how he created us and the roles we are in. The amount of love He pours into us is just amazing to me. Even when there isn’t a huge drive to read my Bible, when praying is a challenge, and when community seems easy to avoid, He just meets us where we are in those places and walks with us. He is so good!
It stands to mention that this newsletter is not a place for us to put on a face to show you how missionaries always have it together and how super-human we are. Therefore, please accept my heart and not be let down when I say that I need some motivation and energy to finish the job this year. I am running out of steam and feel somewhat drained emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I am sure Ladd, Haylee and Jacque would welcome those prayers the same.
That is my current update on everything important. Thank you for your support and prayers! We are always so excited to hear from you, so feel free to reply with any thoughts or questions you may have. Otherwise, we love you!