Ezekiel blowing out his 4th Birthday candle at Indian Avenue Baptist Church.
Anyone who has been around missionaries for a while, especially missionaries in a place like South Sudan, will understand that no matter how much we try to prepare and plan, all plans are tentative. For months we’ve been telling people our travel plans. I (Justin) would go back to SS in November to work on the house, and come back about a month later to get Amy and the kids to return later in the year or early January. Well, that has changed!
We will be going back to Africa a few months later than planned, the delay is a result of a few things that have happened. The first is medical. I have been thinking about getting bariatric surgery for a while, and have had a few doctor friends suggest that it would be a good option for me. With that in mind, I met my biological father for the first time (by phone) a few weeks ago, and when he told me his medical history I decided that having the surgery sooner than later would be a good idea. We were praying about how to get surgery and still return to South Sudan as planned when the next thing happened.
The Pioneers African leadership met last month and decided that they did not want to allow families with children to return to South Sudan until further notice. This wouldn’t affect our plans so much. I was planning on leaving Amy and the kids in Uganda (where it’s safe) for a while and making trips back and forth to Lohutok. This way we could decide when it was safe to go back as a family. With the decision coming down from our leadership (It’s not my call anymore, we’re waiting on a green light from them now) AND the new urgency behind surgery, we decided now would be a good time to get the surgery done.
I am flying to San Diego on November 30th and will have surgery on December 1st. That will leave about 4 months to recover before our leaders meet again in April, and at that point we will *plan to* either go back to South Sudan or leave the family in Uganda while Justin goes back and forth. Please be faithful in praying for us during these extra transitions.
Justin, Amy, Ezekiel and Caleb