March 7, 2013/ Teamwork and Summer Plans

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When you work together with someone for a common purpose, you no doubt grow close in relationship. People experience this in all kinds of areas of life, and our work in Burundi is certainly no different.

Our teammate Haylee Fournier, who traveled here with us, has been working diligently in the center of the country. She works day in and day out with so many kids at Homes of Hope Orphanage and Gitega International Academy. To say the least, Ladd and I are so proud of her!

Since we live nearly three hours apart, it is difficult to see each other very often. The last three days have been a great blessing, as Haylee had an opportunity to travel into Bujumbura and visit with us. We had an excellent time sharing stories of our work and life. I love this story she shared…

Just the other day, I went for a run, and I took a different route than I usually do. And the usual giggles, yelling, and general looks of confusion which are sometimes overwhelming were actually welcoming. I’ve started to embrace the giggles and the random bits of banter in Kirundi; if I were them, I would think I was crazy too. Can you imagine, working in your garden outside, just like you do every day, at your house on a hillside, where you see only your neighbors pass by every day, and out of nowhere you see some random white person? Not only is she passing your house, but she is running. I would laugh at me… Lately I’ve also been taking a lot of detours, twists and turns through bumpy pathways barely a foot wide that wind around the mountain. Passing through remote neighborhoods, surrounded by lush foliage, and exchanging small talk with mamas working in the field and shaking hands with little babies as I go. This is my favorite running terrain, how will I ever enjoy running on city streets when I go home? It’s usually in these moments, when I’m exploring the area around me, with nothing particular on my mind and no particular destination to go to, that I feel the most appreciative of my life here. It’s such a blessing when I wander because it gives me time to remember how all of this only used to be a dream, and God has made it a reality for me. It’s these times that all the stress that comes along with the work I’m doing here just melts away, and I feel so deeply in love with this place and these people. 

These are exactly the memories, despite their seeming insignificance, that unite us as a team here. It is amazing to see God changing lives through her and around her. We are always very excited to share stories with each other when we get together.

Speaking of getting together, yesterday we sent in our travel information to the travel agent to go ahead and order our tickets to visit the northwest this summer! We are so excited to come back and share some of these experiences with you in person as well as see what God is doing in the States! We will be leaving Burundi May 30 and spending the first week of June in Ethiopia. Our church, Anthem Friends, has a sister church there so we are looking forward to meeting our friends there and check out what they have going on so we can know how to better support them. We will leave Ethiopia and be in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho on June 5th. We will be return to Burundi on August 6th. It should be a very great visit!

We look forward to seeing you this summer and appreciate your prayers during the remainder of our time here this spring.

Thanks for your support and love!

Ladd and Carley Serwat

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