Robert & Joanna Burdett
Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples
Dear Friends and Family,
After a 10-month process, the airplane’s engine overhaul, inspection and airworthiness certificate renewal is done! Our team has been without the use of the airplane for almost two years. To get to the capital for supplies and to do paperwork during that time we flew with Missionary Aviation Fellowship, went by 4×4 over the dirt road or just did without. We are so grateful to have the plane up and running again!
God worked through the generosity of many of you to finance the overhaul. We thank you so much! God also gave us favor with customs officials and inspectors that made the process smoother and quicker than before. Once the plane was done, we were wondering how we would get to our home region because the capital’s region was under lockdown for covid-19. There was no inter-regional travel by road or air except for medivacs. We tried for a few days to get in to see the president of the CCO (Covid Command Operation) to ask for special permission to go home. On the day we were actually able to submit our request to him, we were granted permission and flew home three days later! We know it was God’s hand working because there are others whose requests have still not been granted after months. We are so grateful to be home!
Coming home after three months in the capital was like coming home after furlough. Our coworker was at the airstrip with a guy from church to meet us and help unload luggage. His wife had a fresh loaf of bread waiting at the house for us and our other coworker, showed up with a basket of food for lunch. Even Eliana’s MK cousins had welcome home notes colored for her. Many of the believers stopped by to say hi during our required 14-day house quarantine. We are so grateful for our missionary coworkers and the Malagasy believers who were faithful to keep things going while we were away.
Now that the 14 days are over, we are able to get back into the rhythm of ministry and life here in Maintirano. As in all the world, ministry looks a little different right now. Cases of Corona virus are rising in Madagascar, but our region does not have it yet. Our restrictions are social distancing (this is an African Island!), mask wearing and no formal gatherings of over 50 people. Right now we are meeting for Sunday worship at the property where the church is being built. The kids and adults gather under different mango trees to keep our numbers correct and we wash our hands at the gate and wear masks the whole time. Bible studies and smaller worship times are held at the hangar. We are just grateful to be able to worship together again and look forward to the day we can meet in our completed church building without any restrictions!
Trusting Always in HIM,
Bobby, Joanna and Eliana Burdett