NOTE: This blog post was supposed to go up last week! Thanks, internet!
Although it’s been less than 3 weeks since our last post, it sure doesn’t feel like it. Time has just flown by, and summer has brought tons of craziness into our lives.
I feel like my brain is scrambled.
Nadine and I celebrated our 4-year wedding anniversary on June 27th. Is “celebrate” the word you use when you’re driving into town on your dirt bike and you go “Crap, Nadine, do you know what day today is?”???
Our never-ending and ever-growing love for each other aside, we’ve been working hard on our mission to open the medical clinic. Nadine and I attended some business training sessions with one of our partners, LifeNet International, and have begun the process of working up a business plan, developing budgets, and formulating market strategies. Sounds fancy right? Well good, because I have no clue what I’m talking about!
I find myself praying more and more: God, in my growing list of inadequacies and faults, please fill those gaps, give me strength where I have weakness. In my trouble, prove your glory, Lord.
We have also had the pleasure of hosting teams in our guesthouse. It’s been stressful, hectic, and absolutely 110% rewarding. How many of you guys get to host people in your homes from every corner of the world, hear their stories and break bread with them? We do, and it’s awesome. A true blessing. We’ve shared our home with people from the UK, Australia, Canada, the US, Rwanda, Sweden, and of course Burundi.
We are also spending some time preparing for a Health Workshop we’ve been invited to, that will be taking place in Uganda this coming weekend. Hosted by the Segal Family Foundation, one of our partners, we will be representing Burundi Youth for Christ there, networking, attending seminars, learning about international health initiatives, and potentially recruiting new partners. It’s an extremely exciting opportunity that we plan to take full advantage of to better ourselves and the medical clinic.
We have also been keeping our Homes of Hope kids healthy by assessing them, providing medications, and health education. We truly love those kids from the bottom of our hearts and love them more and more each day!
One of our visiting teams brought in a ton of supplies for the clinic, so we have been busy sorting and organizing those as well. The clinic passed its government inspection that took place in May, and we are now waiting for word from the Ministry of Health on how to proceed next. In the meantime, we are hard at work focusing on our administrative needs. Sounds exciting right? I personally can’t wait for some patients to start walking through those doors!! We are still shooting for a January 2014 opening, but by the grace of God, we may be able to open our doors before then!
As we continue, we are asking of you all to please, continue to share our story with those that will listen. Please remember to pray for us and for this wonderful country that we live in.
Before I sign off, I wanted to inform you all about our truck. Remember our little miracle story? Not so much a miracle anymore. Over 6 weeks after we purchased the vehicle, we were still waiting on the government to let us know when we could pay our reduced taxes, after working so hard for the tax exemption we received. A little while ago, we were informed that our tax exemption had been declared illegal by the government, and that we were now expected to pay the full amount in taxes. As Nadine and I worked desperately to reverse this decision, the government then decided to state that we paid too little for the vehicle, and that they were going to tax us on what they deemed the appropriate sale price should be, not what we actually paid the seller! After fighting tooth and nail, with the BYFC staff doing an amazing job in supporting us, we got the taxes to be based off of the original sale price. A small victory, but one that has cost us over $5000 in unexpected government taxes. As we were inquiring as to how such a costly mistake was made, we were told “Why don’t you ask your rich white friends for more money.”
We love this country, but life here can be hard. We have faced such obstacles and persevered, but we can only thank God, and you all, our friends and family and supporters, for that strength.
So, next time you’ll hear from us, we will have even more stories to tell! It has been a whirlwind of a summer, but it’s been one of the best of my life.
- We are asking you to join us in beginning to pray for staff for us to hire for the clinic. We will first be looking for a top grade Burundian charge nurse to work with us, who is multi-lingual, who is neat & orderly, who is smart and innovative, who works well in a team, who is compassionate & loving, and most of all who loves the Lord.
- Please pray for our relationship with the Ministry of Health and that it will grow into a trusting positive partnership
- Please pray for community mobilization as we will be going into our community to talk to members about their needs, network with them, and partner with them to improve the health of their fellow communities.
- Please pray as we continue the process of preparing the clinic for opening.