Two weeks ago, our world was shaken once again as news came in that there had been a shooting at a hospital near us. Three doctors were killed, and one nurse was injured. All were Americans. We knew most of the people involved. We didn’t know them well, but enough for it to hit close to our hearts especially since some of our team are close friends with those involved. The decision was made for all wives and kids to go back to their home country with the men rotating 3 to 5 week shifts here in Afghanistan. Tomorrow the kids and I will be the last of the moms and kids to leave. Our delayed departure enabled us to help ISK finish out their year and get to see some of my dear students graduate. Tears came to my eyes as two sweet girls shared their heart giving their valedictorian and salutatorian speeches. These students are just a few of the reasons why this place is so precious to me. On Saturday, Winter took her SAT test with one other student present while David and I helped teachers close up their classrooms. The rest of the week was spent preparing to leave and saying goodbyes to friends who are still here. Our bags are packed. My house is clean. Today had been a day of rest filled with family worship, time outside, reading and playing games together.
As I sit here typing, I know that tomorrow the kids and I will board a plane and come back to the states. It seems like we just came back to this land, and now we are leaving. My plans of spending the summer having tea with some of my afghan friends and volunteering at a school called SOLA are just plans that will have to wait to another time. Our hearts ache as we go to leave this place we call home. Part of our sorrow is that we are leaving Noel here to fly and work. This past week it has been Noel and one other pilot doing all of the flying. Next week, two more will join them with others rotating in and out over the summer. It is the right thing to do, and we respect the decisions that have been make. Even so, it is still hard. Don’t get me wrong. The kids and I are looking forward to spending Mother’s day with Nana, helping mom with her garden, hanging out with Texas friends, and roaming freely about. We look forward to seeing what opportunities God sends our way this summer. But it is still hard.
Our plan is to return in August. The runoff election will be June 7th. It is feared that more violence will happen during this second round. Then again, a friend of ours who seems to have a good finger on the pulse of life here thinks things will improve not get worse. Only God knows. We ask you pray for this land and the run off election. Pray for peace and God’s spirit to rain on this land. Pray for families that are separated. Pray for our guys who are keeping the program going and helping those who can’t do their work if Pactec was not here. Many have left for a time but there are many who are still working and need flights in and out of their locations. Pray for our teammates who have had one too many incidents hit close to home and desperately need healing and direction. Thank you for all your support. Hopefully I will see some of you this summer as I wander between Tennessee, Iowa and Texas and a few places in between. TJ