Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Amahoro from Burundi!

Amahoro (hello)!

You don't know how much it means to know that we have so many people back at home with us in their prayers. Thank You.

After a few hiccups on the travel end of things, we arrived in Burundi pretty much on time and have been getting acquainted and rested up for our retreats and other projects. We have been so fully welcomed by the World Relief Staff. Yesterday afternoon, we had an orientation session up at the house of Dan and Tambry Brose, who are the country directors for WR-Burundi. A great lunch, followed by coffee, a long walk to the lake, and mango cobbler. Unbelievable. This morning, I got up and went for a run with Trina and Seth Chase, one of my teammates, and Immanuel, who is from Burundi. Halfway thru the run, we stopped to admire the beauty of the lake and the sun coming up over the mountains. Then, I walked up to the Brose's again to send out this email. Know that we are doing well and loving our time here.

We have also had the opportunity to see and hear more closely about the Turame Microfinance project here in Burundi. We met with their staff yesterday, then went for a walk through the largest market in Burundi to meet some of the clients. Avocados the size of my head! However, I couldn't imagine going there as a Muzungu (white person) with a shopping list and having any success. Today we are heading to a city called Kayanza, where we will work with the a group of about 20 who are living with AIDS. Please pray that we would find a way to encourage them and love them, without being presumptuous about the situation they are in. No one on our team has faced such a daunting reality. However, we so desire to cover their shame, brokenness, and despair with grace, dignity and hope.

On the health update, we are all doing pretty well. A couple of folks are struggling a bit with their malaria meds, but otherwise, nothing serious. Christine has felt normal, without any issues with energy or trips to the water closet! The mosquitoes are not as bad as one might think...and the water is better than most places! And we have had plenty to eat, including a fresh banana birthday cake for Jason the first nite we were here!

Again, thank you for all of your support. I hope to email again or blog in a few days when we return from our first retreat. At that time, I'll post some pictures we've taken thus far.

With love from Burundi,


Saturday, June 16, 2007


For those that would like to walk with us daily by praying for us, we give you our...

Burundi Prayer Calendar
June 17 – July 4, 2007

Sunday, June 17
Leave Grand Rapids, MI at 3:44 pm. Fly to Chicago and then to London.

Prayer Request: Please pray for safe flights and good attitudes during our long days of travel.

Monday, June 18
Arrive in London and tour the city. Depart for Burundi.

Prayer Request: Pray for safety while in London as well as the health of each one of our team members.

Tuesday, June 19
Arrive in Bujumbura, Burundi. Lunch and swimming at Saga Resha. Team time and orientation in the evening.

Prayer Request: Please pray for smooth transitions and attentiveness to our new surroundings and the World Relief team.

Wednesday, June 20
Welcome to Bujumbura and World Relief.

Prayer Request: Pray that we may gain a better understanding about the lives of the Burundians and how we can serve them.

Thursday, June 21
Leave for Kayanza. Begin retreat for People Living With AIDS (PLWA) and stay in Kayanza.

Prayer Request: Please pray for the people living with AIDS and that we can be the hands and feet of God as we work with them.

Friday, June 22
All-day retreat for PLWA. Stay in Kayanza.

Prayer Request: Pray for emotional, physical and spiritual healing of these people living with AIDS. Pray for our strength as we work with them.

Saturday, June 23
Travel to Kirundo for a day off at the lake and to debrief the retreat. Travel back to Kayanza for the night.

Prayer Request: Pray for our team and that we may bond during the time we debrief and spend at the lake.

Sunday, June 24
Work with different local churches in Kayanza for the day. Return to Bujumbura for the night.

Prayer Request: Please pray that we are the lights of Christ as we go into the different churches. Pray for physical and emotional strength as well.

Monday, June 25
Work with local churches in Bujumbura helping with construction, clean-up, etc… Stay in Bujumbura.

Prayer Request: Pray for strength and diligence as we work in on the churches in hopes that we can accomplish a lot.

Tuesday, June 26
Lead workshops for counselors who work with people living with AIDS in Bujumbura.

Prayer Request: Please pray for the counselors we will be working with and that God uses us to encourage and support these people.

Wednesday, June 27
Continue to lead workshops for counselors who work with people living with AIDS in Bujumbura.

Prayer Request: Pray for emotional strength for our team and for the counselors. Please pray for honesty and openness as we converse with these people.

Thursday, June 28
Leave for Gitega. Lead a retreat for Turame (micro-finance loan officers) and stay in Gitega.

Prayer Request: Please pray that we become educated by the micro-finance officers and that we are able to offer them encouragement in return.

Friday, June 29
Continue the Turame retreat. Return to Bujumbura in the evening.

Prayer Request: Pray for the Burundians that are receiving loans for these loan officers. Please pray that they will see God through the actions of the loan officers.

Saturday, June 30
Debrief the retreat and spend the day in Bujumbura. Farewell dinner in the evening.

Prayer Request: Pray that this day of rest will rejuvenate our spirits and
re-center our team. Pray for health and fellowship.

Sunday, July 1
Visit local churches in Bujumbura. Lead a service at the Bujumbura International Christian Fellowship

Prayer Request: Pray for our team as we lead the service through worship. Christine Mutch will be preaching at BICF. Pray that God speaks through her.

Monday, July 2
Leave for the airport at 7:30 am. Depart for Nairobi to spend the afternoon touring the city.

Prayer Request: Pray for safety while in Nairobi and we can continue to be the lights of Christ as we travel.

Tuesday, July 3/4
Days of travel. Arrive in Grand Rapids, MI at 12:30 am on July 4.

Prayer Request: Pray for a safe flight home and that we can adjust quickly back to our lives here in Michigan. Please pray for opportunities to share our Burundi experiences with others.