Honestly, it doesn't seem like I have alot new to say, from a personal front. I feel like a theme is emerging, which is the pursuit of faithfulness. The day in-day out of life, some of which would be the same anywhere, and some unique challenges. Our second term is stretching out ahead of me looking kind of long, and it is already requiring a different kind of commitment and perspective. The first time around, everything was exciting. It was all new and thrilling. There were also alot of changes. So many changes, and we talked about what it was going to be like when we were just HERE. With nothing too different in sight. I probably thrive on change more than some people, I feel like its made my life interesting. And my much-more-rooted husband asked me, some years ago, how are you going to feel when there is no change on the horizon? Well, now I know! Our first term, we lived in three different houses, had one mid-term break back to America, had family come to visit four (yes, four) times, and just had the excitement of Patrick going through the training and testing and finally getting on the flight lien and realizing the dream we had been working towards for some time. (More on that later!) I guess some people thrive on routine, and some thrive on change. So what to do? As usual, I have more questions than answers, but am trusting the Lord to grow us through every season, whether it be foreign or familiar, exciting or not as much.
Being in a routine does not mean not busy! Here a few important things to know as you partner with us in prayer, financial, and relational support.
- We are officially a 3 pilot/family team up here now, but one of us will be gone alot of the time. Our newest family just left on home assignment, so there will be plenty of flying for the two remaining pilots! We are praying for continued good relationships with the adults and kids that are left here, and for our teammates' time in America to be profitable as they connect with their partners and families, yet restful for their family. Our other family will also be leaving for HA, before these guys get back. So it will be a bit of a disconnected year for Loki Base. This can really be hard on the kids. Appreciate your prayers there.
- Speaking of transition, there has been so much transition in South Sudan. I say transition, really it feels as if many more people have left than have come. Of course there is just alot to overcome practically there, but it feels like more than that. We know the enemy of God is opposed to freedom for those living in darkness, without any access to the Good News of which we are so familiar. And sometimes it just seems like that, an awful lot of opposition. We know 4 amazingly faithful older couples who have or will retire soon, and many say the commitment level of our generation just isn't there. I don't know about that, but we do see fewer people staying for 20 or 30 years, thats for sure. Praying for God to call more workers in to the harvest, from all around the world, not just the West, to partner with the local church here. And for daily measures of supernatural grace and power to be with those who are there now.
- Patrick and I are continuing to be intentional in growing in relationship and intentional family discipleship, and daily seeking wisdom in balancing life/work, spouse/children, ministry/abiding, his needs/her needs. We seem to have had a rough month with a wide array of health issues. Patrick and I have tried one time to go on a sunset motorcycle cruise, and we wiped out on the bike. The broken ribs, joint pain and surface wounds have taken a long time to heal, but it could have been much worse. Alot of random things with the kids, and often the anxiety comes from knowing when to pursue medical attention outside of our town, or when to wait and see. We are coming into malaria season as well. Parenting just seems to be taking significantly more energy than it has, there seems to be so much going on in the hearts and minds of the kids, not just the bodies. I am grateful to be able to be with them so much and so know what is going on with them and be able to speak into their lives; but its always quite overwhelming at times.
- Although I did say there wasn't much change on the horizon, there is one big change: Patrick will be starting what we call the Caravan transition this spring. Obviously no one comes into this for the career advancement, but it is still really exciting to be learning a new, bigger plane! We have been privileged to see how the smaller plane can be used as an important tool in our job of transportation and logistical support, and we look forward to seeing the same thing with the Caravan. This will require more time apart, as I do what I can to keep things steady on here at home, and Patrick is gone. Pictures to come around May, of that big milestone for us. (Really him. But I just like to count it as an us ;-)