Archive for July 11th, 2012

Burundi Bound

Burundi is a wonderful country. It is one of the 5 poorest nations on earth (indeed latest UN figures make it the poorest of all). It had an horrendous 15 years of civil war in which hundreds of thousands died. It continues to have moments of sporadic instability and certainly along the border with Congo life is very uncertain (though less uncertain than with Uganda & Rwanda given today’s reported news).
Yet it is a beautiful country; the glories of Lake Tanganyka, the wonder of the rolling hills and mountains with their terracing and crops; the resilience of the people, and their friendliness and welcome.
This was the land in which early this century I was taken into a displaced persons camp and had explained to me that within hours of arriving in such a place, anywhere in the world you will find people already engaging in trade, prostitution, gambling and prayer/worship. I saw them all in action.
Many hard and difficult things happen in this land; that is the way of extreme poverty, uncertainty and seeing violence as the only route out at times. But I have experienced such warmth, such hospitality and friendship, such joy, such outstanding examples of community work that it is a nation I love to visit. I have experienced and shared in vibrant worship and exciting church growth. I have learned enormous amounts from these dear sisters and brothers in Christ. I am thrilled to be able to introduce 9 others to it in the coming days.
The Internet does operate of course but it isn’t always reliable and far from universally available so I can make no promises about producing updates or reflections on this visit; but if and when I can I will do so.

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