Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Bartkovich family arrived in Charlotte NC a bit the worse for wear, after what sounds like one of the most horrific two days of travel ever, involving lost bags, airline strikes, vomiting twins, a broken stroller, and missed flights. The EU is publishing the sad plight of illegal immigrants who try to sneak out of Africa to Europe as a way to thwart the flow, so perhaps we should post the Barts’ story as a similar discouragement to missionaries who want to leave the field! Seriously we are thankful that they made it safely home, even though it was a difficult trip. Continue to pray for their rest and refreshment, for their vision and connection.
Meanwhile as they landed in the US, a team of seven visitors took off for Bundibugyo. We have been affectionately referring to them as “the Big Dogs” because this team includes our Executive Director, Ministries Director, two Board members, and a missions pastor of a supporting church.. Thankfully they understand that we are still frayed around the edges, and are here to love and encourage us. Two hours ago they touched down on our airstrip after what sounds like one of the most spectacular MAF flights ever, right over the peaks of the Rwenzoris. They left winter and landed in a typical dry season day, with blazing temperatures and a hanging pall of dust, squwaking motorcycle horns and heaped baskets of market day traffic. Right now they are headed for a quick tour, weaving through the chaos of market day to sign in with our local government (a required security measure) and to greet Melen, the widow of Dr. Jonah. They brought her a framed copy of the upcoming WHM Harvester which features his story, a lovely gesture for which I am grateful.
I will close with the words of Nicholas Wolterstorff, from his Lament for a Son, which provide an appropriate posture for entering life in Bundibugyo:
The Stoics of antiquity said: Be calm. Disengage yourself. Neither laugh nor weep. Jesus says: Be open to the wounds of the world. Mourn humanity’s mourning, weep over humanity’s weeping, be wounded by humanity’s wounds, be in agony over humanity’s agony. But do so in the good cheer that a day of peace is coming.