You may be tempted to think that by our recent silence there is simply nothing to tell. That is far from the truth! We’re in the midst of many transitions which has resulted in the proliferation of a tower of different hats, steadfast denial and very busy days!
We are very sad to be saying good bye to colleagues and good friends. Two families will be leaving the field in December: Jim, Jenny and Eoin Knox as well as Al, Laurie and Josh Tricarico. The Knoxes are a phenomenal medical pair who have been integral in running our clinic for the last six years. Jim is a doctor who thoroughly enjoys helping people through medicine, training employees and welcoming any visitor interested in getting a taste of medicine in rural Africa. Jenny is a nurse who often helps out at the clinic, has a mind for logistics and is eternally hospitable. Eoin, their son, is only four months younger than Carmel and already enjoys chasing her around and swapping toys. The Tricaricos have been with the mission since 2005. Al has balanced the pastoral and general leadership responsibilities with Dave Okken. Laurie has managed employees, visitors and an innumerable amount of details in the day to day running of the mission in addition to the bulk of homeschooling their children. Josh is 16 (almost!) and is an accomplice in crime for any gaming adventures or hiking the mission can collectively pull together. ALL of them will be dearly missed, although we are also eager to see what God has in store for the next season of their lives. They have begun packing up their homes since a container to ship their stuff back to the states is expected to arrive sometime next week. Now you understand the steadfast denial!
In anticipation of their absences, Christopher has assumed many different responsibilities. He is beginning to manage employees on our living compound who help maintain the grounds, make lunch for the workers, do laundry, teach bible studies in the villages and translate sermons etc. He is also training to be the main administrator at the clinic. Thankfully he is sharing the load with another missionary associate, Hannah Van Gorkom. In his role thus far, he has spent hours with a government auditor trying to hold them to the same standard they’re attempting to hold us and another few hours with the district health officer who, although very helpful, made sure he knew his place by taking lengthy calls in the middle of the meeting. He is reviewing salary comparisons, a budget for 2016, and learning how to make orders for more medicine. He has disciplined employees, regularly stood in for the pharmacist and is puzzling through workflow in an African environment. At the end of the day, he comes home and still watches Carmel so I can finish getting dinner ready. Now you understand the tower of hats!
Need I explain the very busy days?! Prayers for peace, a smooth transition for all involved and a tirelessness for doing the good that God has called us to is very much appreciated!