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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If ever a place needed . . .

So much to tell, too much for 10:45 pm after traveling from Bujumbura to Nairobi, buying groceries, catching a ride back to Kijabe in time for another JV Girls' Football victory (with another corner kick goal by Julia, which we sadly missed by about two minutes as we arrived), cooking dinner with Bethany, and being called to casualty for a girl with meningitis and a boy with a punctured (tragically, pretty much destroyed) eye.  So I will just introduce the trip with this actual quote from a 1949 autobiographical history of missions in Burundi which we read while there (But They Right Hand by John Wesley Haley), and promise more tomorrow. . . . Kibuye is the town where we would like to place a medical educational team, right smack in the center of the country.  The Free Methodists established a hospital there in the 1940's.  Prior to the arrival of the first doctor, this letter was printed in a July 1938 newsletter called Nile-Congo Notes:

"Kibuye is a beautiful place.  The view is magnificient.  There are many people here.  Sister A. has started the dispensary work, and already has from two hundred fifty to three hundred patients every day, so you see I am going to have my hands full.  I have never seen such terrible sights in my life as I have seen here.  If ever a place needed a doctor, a nurse and a hospital, Kibuye does.  Will you who read plase join us in prayer that God may send for the necessary workers?  We also need a teacher.  'More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.'"

Every word is still true today, 73 years later.  Missionaries came, built, blessed, went.  War swept through, in two major waves in the 1970's and 1990's.  Hundreds of thousands died.  A tentative peace was established, and the diaspora of educated Burundians returned with vision and hope for their country.  And now the door is open, the invitation given, for us to join in the effort of healing and rebuilding.  Doctors, nurses, hospitals, teachers . . let us heed the call of the generation past, and join in prayer that God would send them.

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