I am very encouraged by the meetings we had. The Chief of Chaplains (a general in the Burundi Army) was happy to receive us. We also had very positive meetings with leaders of the police. I confess I didn’t even know where Burundi was until my first trip last summer. It is a small country in the center of Africa with a population of close to 10 million people. Ten million people, not really that small!
It is one of the 5 poorest countries in the world with one of the lowest per capita GDP of any nation in the world. What this means practically is that virtually everyone, especially the children, are hungry. We had several opportunities to pass out some food and candy to the children. What a privilege! How I thank God for this open door for me personally and for Cadence International.
Burundi has a low gross domestic product largely due to civil wars, corruption, poor access to education and the effects of HIV/AIDS. I believe that Cadence is being asked to help to bring healing and reconciliation from the civil war that ended in 2006. The civil war has created very hard feelings and distrust between the civilian population and the military; I think that Cadence has an opportunity to help bring peace between the military and the civilian population.
Cadence may also have a role in helping with the corruption that is so prevalent. Cadence has done ethical training of the police and military in the Philippians, Cambodia and Thailand which has made a difference in how the police and military interact with civilians.
While I was in Africa Debbie stayed Baumholder offering meals and spiritual encouragement to the soldiers and their families we love so deeply. She is amazing!
This is a normal week of ministry for us with Dinner and Bible study. On Saturday we leave for a European Cadence Staff Conference. We gather once a year and I am looking forward to being together with out team.
Thank you for all of your prayers for us.