I thank my God every time I remember you. Your prayers and support and gifts and encouraging comments have sustained us through over four years of mission work. We are so grateful. We could not have done it without you, literally!
When we returned to Peru last February, we were uncertain about the duration of our commitment. God was and is working in big ways in the hospital, in the school, and in the churches. It was hard to imagine leaving. We have spent countless hours praying and talking together asking, “What is the Lord’s will in this situation?” The kids’ school year lasts from March until December, and we had a goal to use the year to pray for direction and wisdom. That time has passed quickly, and as we cross the middle of November and move into December we realize that God has definitely moved us in one direction even if our final destination is not clear.
We will be leaving Curahuasi in January, confident that God has other green pastures and quiet waters for our family. We are not sure what they are yet. Has something terrible happened? The answer is no. We enjoy missions, we want to be involved in God’s work overseas, we are at home in Peru, and we believe in the work of the hospital and the school. It has been good to be here, but it is now time to move on.
Why are we leaving?
1. Diospi Suyana is a very well-run German Christian mission hospital with many excellent workers. However, as the only American family working in the hospital and school, we lack the instant mutual understanding you have among your own countrymen and we often feel isolated. We are also always a little bit out of the loop when it comes to decisions in the mission. We have several lovely German friends, and they have been wonderfully welcoming, but we want to work in a setting where the third culture belongs to the host country, and the work/missionary culture is familiar. Anywhere you live, but possibly more especially as a missionary, you desire a strong sense of community. Also after giving up a lot, you want to feel like you make an important contribution and can put your God-given gifts to work. You want to feel needed. Unfortunately that has not always been the case here in Curahuasi.
2. Watching your kids have a substandard (by American benchmarks) education is difficult. David is entering high school and we see the need for more focused university preparation. We could homeschool full-time, but our favorite thirteen-year-old is not on board with this plan, so an international school or American school would be the better option. This is not a possibility in Curahuasi.
3. I (Will) speak Spanish well, but it is still a second language. In the hospital I am great, but when I leave the hospital my ability to communicate falters quickly. I can talk about medicine all day, but if you ask me something about normal life (like the things you find in a kitchen), then I am often stuck. I feel a little bit like living in Spanish has made me act unfriendly even if I do not feel in such a way. I avoid conversations with people because I feel like I cannot finish them. That is a bummer, and I feel like I could do better in all areas in English.
What is next?
Our current plan is to be home in the end of January. We will be going to Africa for a week or two in the month of February to check out Kijabe Hospital and Rift Valley Academy. We are not sure what will come of this interview. As we recognize we can live a missional life in the US as well, Will is going to have some job interviews in the US. We still want to do missions, and we feel like God has placed this desire in us because it does not make much sense to keep doing something so weird and emotionally and financially difficult. We are simply trying to serve God the best we can with the talents we have. With that said, we also want to come home. We are pretty tired, and the last year has been difficult.
How can you help?
We ask for your prayers as we consider these two options:
1. Moving to Africa and continuing in medical missions. My job in Africa would be more in medical education which is what I did for years in the US. It would also be in English which would make my world a lot bigger in regards to relationships.
2. Moving back to the US and working in a rural community.
We are thankful for you. Please email with any questions.
Will, Allison, David, Peter, Annie, and Sarah Caire