There is nothing more special than sharing your life with those whom you love the most. A month ago, my father, Rev. Bill Buchanan, and brother, Matt Buchanan, arrived in Tarime to experience with me what God has been tugging at my heart to do for many years. For the past 24 years, my brother and I have lovingly and supportively stood by my father as he followed wherever God led him to be. It led our family first to New Orleans where he received his Masters of Divinity. Then, we moved to Tironza and then to Parkin as he served churches and took more seminary classes. From there we moved to Perryville, Arkansas where we experienced eight happy and sad years together among a church family where we grew to love and follow Christ more closely. Perryville is where my brother and I learned to ride bicycles and later drive cars. My brother graduated high school and I learned the value of friendship with not only people but animals and the rest of the world through our involvement with Heifer International. Perryville is also where my mother lost her battle with cancer. Our journey, both physically and spiritually did not end there for our family. My father and I moved to Conway where I graduated high school. After high school, we all kind of went our separate ways. My brother got married, my father got married, then I got married! Through everything, we have been a family and will always be a family. I will always cherish the Christmas Eve family parties and the Summer birthday bash, even though I will not be attending either this year.
For the first time in all of our lives, we came together to experience life in a new way. My father and brother travelled here, 8,000 miles away from their wives, children, jobs…everything. They were finally able to share in my ministry as I had shared in my dad’s ministry and my brother’s life. There was some part of me that needed my father and my brother to accept and approve of what Eric and I are doing. I needed them to be at peace with us not living in America with them.
They and the team accomplished many things while they were here. First thing on Sunday morning, my father, along with Eric, baptized over 45 children and adults. It was a site to see and experience! Mark Schnarr, dad, and Matt were able to finish all four walls of a hostel that we will use for the school. Then, they donated the rest of the funds to finish it! Betsy Hayes, Mary Newhart, and Kristine Schnarr loved on and played with 15 kindergarteners every morning teaching them “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” The kids are still asking about when they are coming back to teach them more songs. In the afternoons, the team would go out to Angel House and help tutor the kids that are unfortunately falling behind in their studies. They made flash cards and taught them fun games about learning. Among many of the things they accomplished was the simple love that they shared with so many people. They spread the love of Christ among children, youth, and adults. Most of all, they experienced life in a new way. They experienced Christ as the one who gives Life.