Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bringing you up to speed

Greetings all!
Once again, we find ourselves having to change course.  Let me bring you up to speed. 
A few months ago we learned from our pediatrician in Botswana that Tristan was somewhere on the Autism spectrum.  We originally thought it would be alright to stay until October before leaving back for the States.  However, it became evident a few weeks later that Tristan was going to need to get help much sooner than October.  This combined with Sarah’s worsening health condition made us realize that we needed to leave ASAP.  Sarah departed Botswana with the kids on June 9th and is already at home with her family in Florida.  She is seeing a specialist for her medical issues and Tristan is already in speech therapy!  Both are doing very well.  I stayed in Botswana for another month, to make sure things were in order with the hand-over of my job.  But I have given my notice and will be leaving Botswana on the 3rd of August, to join my family!  I have three interviews lined up.  Please be in prayer for God to open the door to the right job for our family. 
Just so you know what is happening with Sarah and Tristan, here is a quick update from her end:
“Being back in the USA is bittersweet.  I am missing all of my Botswana family and sad that our Africa adventure is over but at the same time relieved to be here getting Tristan help.  I have spent the last three weeks doing lots of paperwork, making tons of phone calls and feeling like I am going in circles trying to line up an evaluation and therapy.  I am staying encouraged knowing that every phone call gets me closer to our goal!  His pediatrician said he is definitely somewhere on the autism spectrum and referred us to a behavioral specialist who will do an evaluation to help us figure out what occupational therapy he needs.  He started speech therapy last week and we already are so encouraged to have a plan of attack to help him keep learning!  Apparently he learns in sentences rather than word by word like most kids.  Even in the last week he has made improvement in speech now that we know what to work on :)!  He is a quick learner and is just as excited to learn to communicate as we are to help him!  Also the bigger Vanessa gets the more we are seeing how much she is helping him learn things he missed as a baby.  She is such a sweet blessing and has brought so much joy to our family!”
We have appreciated your support over the past few years!  Flying Mission will keep our account active through the end of October.  We thank those of you who have been so faithful to us over the years!  Your prayer and financial help have made it possible for us to serve in Botswana!
This has been an incredible adventure and we will take these experiences with us wherever we go for the rest of our lives.  God has, and is, going to do some amazing things with FMS and we were blessed to be a part of it for the past 3 years. 
We can’t wait for the next adventure God has planned for us!
Jeff, Sarah, Tristan & Vanessa

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Direction

Hello Once Again!

I know we just sent out an update, but the past few days have brought forth some critical developments and we felt like we needed to send another.

This letter is written with mixed emotions.  We have been considering this for the past month, and yesterday made a solid decision.  Our resignation from FMS has been tendered, and our departure date is set for October 31st of this year.

This may come as a surprise to many of you, and we wanted to explain why we chose this course.  The answer is three-fold, the third reason having been just discovered a few weeks ago.
Firstly, while we were home in the States it became evident that we should move back to KS and be near Jeff’s mom.  There is so much going on in her life right now, and we want to be there for her.
Second, Sarah’s thyroid is giving her some serious problems and her doctor in Botswana is not helping her condition at all.  Since this is the only Endocrinologist in Botswana, our options are few.  She constantly feels sick, tired, and overwhelmed due to the unbalanced hormones in her body.  This combined with the stress of living in a 3rd world country, makes even day to day operations very difficult for her.  It is important that we get her the medical care she needs.
Third (the one that came to our attention a few weeks ago), is Tristan’s wellbeing.  We had a visit with his Pediatrician in mid March, and were told that he definitely has Autism.  We have been wondering about this for a long time, and more recently have become aware that something wasn’t right.  After consulting with the Pediatrician, we were counseled to get him some professional help as soon as possible.  We were also told by this doctor, that there is no one in Botswana who is capable of giving Tristan the attention he needs.  For us, this was the final decision maker.
Like we said, this decision brings mixed emotions.  We love Botswana and consider this to be home.  When we returned from the States this last time, it really was like coming back home.  However, we need to look out for our family and do what’s best for them.

When we look at it, however, we believe God’s hand to be on this decision.  The reason we were not considering a move back to the States, was that there was no one to take Jeff’s place as the Chief of Flight Training.  However, just last month, God brought a man to FMS who had just retired from the Air Force.  Charles has extensive experience in flight training and will be a perfect fit for Jeff’s position!  This helped us make our decision, as it was almost as if God was paving the way for us to move back to the States.  For the next 7 months, Jeff will help with the busy flying season and will also get everything in the Training Department ready for a hand-over.  He will also be sending in Resume’s and Applications to various companies for employment upon our return.  Prayers are appreciated!

We love FMS and will continue supporting their work long after we leave.  They are doing great things in Botswana and we are excited to see what God does with their future!

We want to thank all of you who have supported us during our 3 years here.  We literally could not have done what we did without your support.  Thank you all so much!  As stated before, we will continue to serve until October 31st, 2013.

Because of Christ,
Jeff, Sarah, Tristan, and Vanessa

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Newsletter

We wanted to update everyone now that we are settled back in Botswana. Please let me know if you want us to email you our latest update.

Because of Christ,

Jeff & Sarah Burnham
Tristan & Vanessa

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Update

We made it safe and sound to the states almost 3 weeks ago already! When I last updated Tristan and I(Sarah) were sick and it was a few days before we had our long flight home. Praise the Lord we were recovered enough to fly even though we weren't feeling 100 percent. The kids were wonderful on the long flight which was a huge answer to prayer! The descent when we landed for fuel in Dakar, Senegal and when we landed in Washington DC was painful for our ears including little Vanessa but we made it! 

Our 6 days in VA were a whirlwind of recruiting for FMS, special time with friends and Jeff successfully completing his training for his ATP. We made some promising connections for FMS and Jeff now is officially an ATP pilot!!  It was a wonderful visit and we loved every minute with our friends! By the end of the week we realized we had pushed the kids a bit to much when Tristan got really sick followed closely by Vanessa. They are both feeling so much better now and their coughs are almost gone. From lack of sleep I also got very sick but am also feeling lots better now. 

We arrived in FL late on Tuesday, November 13th. Then Thursday, November 15th Jeff left very early in the morning for more recruiting in Texas at Letourneau College. He also made some very promising connections during his time there and made it back late on Saturday, the night before my sisters wedding. While he was gone I helped with last minute details and threw a bachelorette party for my sister. It was all so much fun and the wedding was beautiful but we are so happy to finally be relaxing! 

Tristan is making huge progress in his talking and communication skills by being here surrounded by so much English. Vanessa of course keeps growing like crazy and melting every ones hearts with her smiles. She has become the most laid back, content baby. We are so spoiled with good babies it seems! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents and grandparents and it was very relaxing! It is so special to have this time with family! We will be here in FL until December 15th when we start our road trip up to KS to be with Jeff's family. We can't wait to see everyone up there!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Well our journey home for 2 1/2 months began yesterday! We safely made it to Lanseria, SA where Jeff is doing some last minute training on the Simulator. Our good friend is being upgraded to captain this weekend YAY! 

Sadly the night before we left Botswana Tristan started coughing...again and I started with a sore throat so we are resting and hoping to be recovered before our flight home out of Johanesburg on Sunday evening. 

Today I was able to get both kids to nap at the same time and was thrilled at the idea of a nap! Well 10 min after Vanessa was asleep and just as I was dozing off someone knocked on our door. I ignored it figuring they would go away...next thing I know that person is unlocking my door and loudly coming in our room!! Nap time was over before it really started and as I grumpily bounced my crabby baby around the room all I could think about was "who does that?" and "this would never happen in the states because they are smart enough to have do not disturb signs!" and then "I am leaving a suggestion that they get do not disturb signs." of course these thoughts just made me more grumpy... 

That's when the thought hit me! I have dreamed about being a mommy since I was 3 years old...here I am complaining about an adorable, albeit fussy, baby in my arms! I'm missing out on precious moments with my little blessing by being crabby. So I JOYfully walked around our room, bouncing MY baby and blowing my nose thanking the Lord for giving me the greatest desires of my heart in these two precious kids! They grow up to fast and I don't want to waste my time grumbling. 

Thank you Lord for my sweet blessings!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Newsletter

Hi Everyone!

We just finished our October Newsletter. If any of you want to receive it by email please let me know!


Jeff & Sarah Burnham
Tristan & Vanessa

Friday, January 27, 2012

Newsletter January 2012

We hope you all had a Happy New Years!!

We just sent out our newsletter for January by email. If any of you did not receive it and would like to please let me know!