• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
furlough
on reconnection . . .

on reconnection . . .

In the 8 years since we started this blog, we have never gone more than a month without posting, so to go from May to September seems strange to me . . . we have been processing, often in ways too deep and emotional to articulate.

We were gone from Kijabe for 11 weeks – 77 days. It seemed forever.

In the weeks in America, we experienced deep loss, the sharp edge of broken relationships, but also the deep peace of being carried by people who love us well. We longed for Kijabe – the place that is a melding of our passions, callings, and relationships.

The Kijabe pediatrics team went through transitions. Dynamics changed at the hospital. Things moved on despite our absence. And like we do every time, we had to figure out how to bring our worlds into alignment again.

“Daktari, you have been lost.” was the refrain of my day. One student said, “it seemed like you were gone for a century.” An exaggeration perhaps, but it was good to be missed. To know that our presence here matters, that we are not a footnote in this life we have built.

We have walked through those first conversations on the roadside, settled into routines, caught up on the ways of life on this side of the world. We recapped heartache and celebration, victories and losses, settled back into weekly dinners and sunset walks. The girls returned to school, new roles started at the hospital. We began FaceTime conversations with friends and family in America and started the ping pong of videos on Marco Polo.

If this time in America showed us anything, it is that we do have a home on both sides of the world. When we were at a medical mission retreat, our counselor pointed out the resilience that comes from having deep relationships with people that hold us wherever we are, near or far. We are so very blessed in this.

So we continue on day by day, pieces of our heart on both sides of the ocean, seeking to be present where we are but also to love well across the distance – to overcome the tension that comes with this strange and beautiful life we have chosen to live.

PEM Fellowship Intensive week

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