Hope For The Hopeless
THURSDAY, August 1, 2019
We were back at the Bujumbura center with another opportunity to hear the life transformation stories of several of the ladies about to graduate tomorrow. When they share their deepest wounds, the pain is still palatable on their faces; the depth of evil is incomprehensible, as when one orphan shared about seeing her mother’s throat cut and dismembered in front of her, along with 5 siblings. Only she, one brother, and her father survived, with her father passing away not long after. That is hopelessness. Stories of going without food, giving all they have to their children to keep them alive, but having no food for themselves perhaps for days – these are the painful stories far too common here. YET…that is not the end of the story! Their facial expressions totally change as they explain how they came to Homecare, found “parents,” which is so often how they regard the leaders here; acceptance, love, HOPE. The impact of the ministry here cannot be overstated – this is new life! This is the hope for Burundi!
One of the great opportunities for team members is to share their own life journey, and what an impact these stories have! The all too common perception is that the US is paradise; everyone is rich, has no problems, and if they could just get to the States, their lives would be perfect, too. What a false image! Though we do come from very different life circumstances, and none of us has endured genocide, no one is exempt from brokenness in this world. The consequences of sin effects every human being, and we all suffer loss, heartache in some fashion. When we have the chance to share our own journey with Jesus, it affirms to us all that the same God who never forsakes, abandons, turns His back on any of His children is the same God at work here in Burundi, the US, and around the world. Though none of us are immune to trials, all of us have God’s grace and mercy available to us, and He can be trusted. Personal testimony confirms this as we share how God has shown Himself faithful in our difficulties, and deep wounds and trauma is brought to the light, that is when healing begins.
It’s a process...not that any of us has “arrived,” but we can continue forward, knowing that God knows, cares, and is at work in each person uniquely. Several of our team shared their hearts today, and the women were visibly moved by what they shared. We find connection both in the hard places as well in the triumphs; we share them all. It brings healing to both the one wounded and the ones who hear about it. So this is always a mutual exchange of heart and soul; that is true community.
Karen brought supplies to make bracelets that represent the fruit of the Spirit. It is always fun and “connecting” to do an activity together, and it is beautiful to see the variety in each one’s creativity, laugh, help one another and “communicate” even when we don’t know each other’s language.
Tomorrow is a big day – Graduation! We are looking forward to celebrating all that these dear widows and orphans have accomplished this year, and most of all, the Lord whose power and grace makes it possible. They will then launch into their own businesses, many no doubt apprehensive about what that will be like, but filled with confidence that the God who has redeemed them is the One walking with them.