Robert & Joanna Burdett
Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples
Let me start this letter on a note of praise and thankfulness. God has given us all we need in Himself but beside that He has nourished us, healed us, and cared for us in these past few months. We are enjoying a beautiful home graciously provided by a member of our sending church. It is truly an oasis we come home to. God provided two vehicles for our use during furlough. In our travels to churches and conferences in Sept-Nov, God gave us safety on the roads and provided through His people when we broke down on the side of the road. When Eliana was hospitalized in Oct for a kidney infection, God provided the doctors and medicine she needed plus the finances to pay for them.
More than the material blessings, are the ones that have been like refreshing water to dry throats. We have amazing supporters! Each and every one of our churches and individual partners have been so understanding of our need to rest this furlough. Thank you!
As we have met the pastors who are new to us, we have been encouraged by their love for the Lord and vision to see their church go forward. It is easy to feel alone in ministry but knowing and seeing those here in America who are faithful to witness, to disciple, to raise their children in a godly way gives us courage. We are not soldiers off by ourselves but part of an army.
Because we have not travelled as much this furlough, we have been able to be still – to listen and be fed, to process what God has taught us these past few years. This down time has allowed us to reconnect with our home church and to live life with family we miss so much while on the field. The memories we have made we will store in our hearts forever.
Now that the holidays are past, our mindset is beginning to shift in preparation to return to Madagascar. We have tickets for March 7th. One huge thing we needed to get done was have Bobby’s tonsils taken out. His tonsillectomy went well this past week and he is recovering well so far. We still have four, possibly eight, meetings with churches beginning the last Sunday of January until the first Sunday of March. Please pray that Bobby’s throat will be healed completely to be able to speak. As usual, there is also visa paperwork to be filed and supplies to be purchased before going back. Please pray these things go smoothly. More importantly, pray that our hearts and minds will be ready. Though we know it is a battlefield in which we work, we do miss our friends, co-workers, Church family and home in Madagascar. We ask the Lord to equip us and give us a passion for His work in Madagascar.
At the end of our commissioning service back in 2011, our home church gathered around us laying their hands on our shoulders and at our backs. They prayed, entrusting us to God. For that whole first term on the field, I could still feel the warmth and weight of their hands. It gave me courage to keep going on hard days. This furlough, you, our partners have shown us that those supporting hands are still there! Thank you for interceding for us, thank you for messaging us with encouragement, thank you for being faithful where God has placed you! Yes, we know when everyone has forsaken us that God stands by our side, but what a blessing that He gives us friends in the trenches!