Over the course of 13 days we visited with many servants of the Lord, both local and others from the west who have come to help. We met people who were pastors who were preaching the Word of God working with the spiritual needs of people. We met with people who were building schools and homes for the kids. The AIDS crisis has created millions of orphans. We met with people who were trying to bring clean water to people don’t have access and we met with people who are trying to bring clean energy to people who don’t have access to the electricity we take for granted.
We also met with military leaders. We had long conversations with chaplains and high ranking officers who care deeply about the spiritual lives of the troops who they are responsible for.
For me the high point came at the end of our trip when we met with military officers in Burundi (I had not even heard of Burundi until 6 weeks ago when I found out we were going there.) However Burundi is a country of 10 million people. Between 1993 and 2005 they experienced civil war which killed an estimated 300,000 people. It seems that between 1993 and 2007 there were repeated violence that the military inflicted on the Civilian population. Burundi is a very poor country where few people have access to clean water, food, or energy.
There current president, Pierre Nkorunziza, is a deeply committed Christian and believes that peace and reconciliation begins with Jesus. He is encouraging the military leaders to do all that they can to spread the gospel. In meeting with Burundi generals they know that they have the full support of their president.
At the end of three weeks it is clear to me that Cadence International can help. Now the doors are wind open for us to provide training to their senior officers and chaplains. We explored several ways in which the Army of Burundi might partner with Cadence International. I am so excited to be part of this exciting new venture.
Of course this was our first meeting and no commitments were made by either party. Right now both the Burundi military leaders and Cadence is considering what our “next step” might be. We are praying that God would guide and show us the way!
I have included some pics but there are more in the photo gallery if you want to see more.