Amahoro from Burundi!
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,