Beau here. Some folks have e-mailed Natalie or posted comments wondering if I had gotten back home. Sorry for not posting since I got back, but I did get back about 10 days ago. Burundi was fantastic (my second visit there). I was in Makamba province which is in the south along the Tanzania border. Very rural. On the adoption front, it made me long to adopt even more as well as more broadly care for orphans. As a side activity, I went to a "medical facility" (really a 15 foot by 50 foot building with an aluminum roof and plastic tarp walls) that housed about 30-50 babies all with IV's that were malnourished, sick with malaria, AIDS, etc. I don't ever recall more desiring for Jesus to "come back quickly" than I did that day with those kids.
The teaching was a lot of fun! If all goes as planned, I will be going back in September for a week or so, going to Burundi or Northern Uganda.
To really sum up the trip and its impact on my heart, I have pasted below an excerpt from an e-mail I sent my team this morning. It summarizes my feelings reflecting on the trip and a meeting I had with our ministry partners at ALARM yesterday.
Kyle, Todd and I spent two hours with our ALARM friends yesterday, and I want to bless you by sharing some of what we heard. Celestin and Bob shared feedback they received from Kabaru, Deo, and Alphonse about our work in Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda (will send yall formal reports when I receive them in a couple weeks). They couldn’t stop talking about conference participant feedback, the transformation of participants coming out of the conferences, the favor gained with the church and government, the heart we have to go anywhere and do anything, and the overwhelming requests ALARM is receiving for more conferences like what we did. Celestin spoke of how the ALARM staff feels we are an extension of ALARM staff and fellow Africans and thus they feel comfortable bringing us to places they normally wouldn’t bring teams – cities, sleeping accommodations, local foods, etc. ALARM is asking us to come alongside some other church partners to help improve their relationship and approach with ALARM…literally trying to figure out how to have a conference of sorts with their church partners. I could go on and on. Guys, I am sitting here crying as I reflect on the heart with which they shared this information and God’s incredible grace. I am thinking ONLY JESUS. ONLY JESUS could take a bunch of folks like us (that I assume were whacked out as much as I was), reveal Himself to us, and then transform us in such a way that we can have this kind of impact. ONLY JESUS can take us Christ followers who are still full of flaws and use us to do His work and bring about impact, in spite of (and sometimes as a result of) our flaws. ONLY JESUS would be so selfless as to let us join in on this fun. ONLY JESUS would allow a church like Watermark that only has a brief history of “international missions” and allow us to be used so deeply and so quickly after only two years of pursuing Africa. What I want to give my life to is ONLY JESUS. Thanks guys for being a part of this and bringing favor to Watermark and ALARM so more people can hear about Jesus and His ways. I could go on and on…