19 December 2007

sorting some things out

Stef and I went into the bathroom together tonight to brush our teeth before bed. We turned on the light to find enough roaches to start our own traveling circus.

And I began laughing.

First, I laughed because anytime I see a roach I silently thank God that it’s not a rat, which is entirely creepier.

Secondly, I laughed because we have heard some rumblings that people back home think we are silly or stupid or altogether selfish for staying here through March when our visas expire in February.

We have heard that we lack common sense, that we are sinful in staying past our welcome, and that we are shortsighted for not considering the future implications.

We have 88 sq ft of personal space.
We live with 10 other people (some of whom are not long out of prison) in a house infested with all kinds of crawling things.
We sit through frequent power outages.
We often take cold showers.
We have ZERO quiet intimacy.
We are unemployed, yet are still paying off our student loans – i.e. we are losing money by being here.
We miss our friends, family, and church – not to mention every amenity that America possesses which is lacking in the third world.

And yet, we hear little bits of sniping and criticism from home.

Trust me, nothing sounds better than sleeping in a warm bed, with no bugs, and waking to a breakfast taco and an environment free of gunshots. Nothing sounds better than the US.

And I started to get all self-righteous and quote Scripture and really put all of the quiet critics in their places. I was comparing us to the Apostle Paul and asking nasty rhetorical questions, and generally being sarcastic and ugly. Well, I deleted that part of the rant. And I need forgiveness for it. It was self-righteousness that bothered me and I was about to resort to it myself. I'm sorry.

Now, some people have been upfront and emailed us and those emails we are grateful for. People have offered possible solutions and ideas and other things that have given us food for thought and prompted us to continue to seek a resolution to the issues we face. To them, we say thank you.

To everyone else: If you have an opinion you would like to share, we are open to it. If you happen to overhear someone with an opinion, encourage them to share it with us, too. We are hopeful that everything will work it for the purpose God intended. And we are confident that we have yet to make a decision without loads of prayer and peace.

So, please email us personally (theburkholders@gmail.com).

And know this much: The entire situation is more complicated than you know. We are the ones on the ground here, which gives us a unique perspective as to how to resolve it. And our lives are the ones impacted by it all anyway.

We shared our story because we have shared everything so far. We hoped for a little sympathy, a lot of prayers, and an encouraging word or two. We got word from home that everybody either has a solution or a snide remark. That is not encouraging. It really just makes us sad. Please know that we are trying – with best intentions. If you want to add something to our efforts...just email us.


  1. Press on...Spiritual Leadership is ripe for criticism because it defies the reason of the rational and it discloses the fear of faithless. For some if you don't agree with their advice they feel under valued or dissed...for others if you live radically by faith they are disrobed...Pray, seek, hear, respond...How can one be selfish and selfless simultaneously? If there is real criticism Kyle it is not to open wide the gate for counsel...there is strength in wise counsel...but not everyone should be given access to that table.

  2. Um...yep..what Pastor Jeff said!! Honestly, I trust that God will do with you two what he wants, as long as you listen to Him. You know the situation better than anyone else, so I guess I have no opinion to give. I will say that when I got word of what all is going on, I knew what your resolution would be! Thanks for being you! It all makes sense to me!

  3. Hi there,
    I am a blog lurker of yours and have been for awhile. I have been living vicariously through you.

    I am in prayer for you both and I believe that God will work out your details for you. His timing is perfect, and since I know you believe in the bigger picture, I know that you know that God can work out the details.

    Just keep doing what you are doing and don't let "man" tell you any different.

    And, don't listen to those who aren't on the mission field and aren't walking their ministry.

    Rock on!

    Sara Gwathmey
    Fellow Grace Pointer and Burkholder blog lurker

  4. I've been praying for you and your situation. I guess I thought that since you were confident of the Lord's direction you didn't need any further encouragement. Ignore the criticism of man and do what God says; we never understand the situation fully until after the fact, if ever, but He does. I'm looking forward to when God brings you back to us.

  5. Hello from Grace Point and San Antonio. We don't know each other, but I was in the service at Grace Point for your send off and have been encouraged by your walk of faith. I have lived on the edge for my entire life. Early on as a child with parents that lived on the edge and later as an adult who chooses to live on the edge. I'm 54 and know what it feels like to know that one step to either side leads away from God's will and purpose. It is my desire you feel God's presence and experience His abundance in the situation you find yourself in. I will pray for your encouragement. Keep the faith, but only take a step when in God's grace.

  6. I still stand by my first statement...IF you are arrested and put into jail I'll put a comando team together and break you out! I know people..... :)

    And as always, I am praying for the two of you. Whatever God wants you to do I have faith that you will obey. Love - Shannon

  7. God's will be done....
    Love you guys