This post of for my non-COF friends! It's just such exciting news, that I have to share it with you! Our church has become friends and partners with a tribe of people in Burundi, Africa. They are the Batwa. This tribe has suffered many hardships and oppression from it's people, the government of Burundi ridicules them and they are considered outcasts in their society. They are very poor (in material wealth) and they've never really owned anything of value because the government will not allow it.
Our pastor and his children met the Batwa last year on a trip to Africa. In conversations with them, a vision was born between our Pastor and the leadership of the Batwa. We decided to form a friendship together. This past year has been amazing as we have prayed for the Batwa and began to partner with them by ways of education for their children and land.
Last year, just shortly after our friendship began, our Country Director, Kelley Johnson posted this on our blog, dated June 12, 2008:
"I believe that there is a Promised Land for the Batwa. I believe that God is bringing a blessed land into their possession in the coming season. I believe that the season of dislocation will soon come to an end, and they will inherit land....But something is coming for the Batwa… and many of you are part of that promised future. We are praying for, believing for, waiting for the Promised Land!"
Almost a year later on May 6th, 2009 - (just a few short weeks ago) here is her post:
"God has given good land to the Batwa. I was reminded of Isaiah 41, where the prophet speaks of transforming the landscape for the downtrodden. Where their land was parched and no water was in sight, God brings forth springs of water in the valleys, pools of water to nourish the community. God takes what is arid and lifeless, like the land where the Batwa now are consigned to live – and He brings newness! In this case, He is giving the Batwa a land with water, a river and even a source of water. He is transforming their landscape, and transforming their community and its future. Can you imagine what it is like for those who have never had ample water to wash, cook, drink and irrigate to now have springs of water in the heart of their land? This is Good News, this is Jubilee!"
A PHOTO OF THE FIRST FAMILIES MOVING ONTO THE LAND!!! Oh Happy Day!
Just this week a team from our church went to Burundi for a visit to our friends, and they are having a party of a lifetime! The Batwa greeted our team, and from the looks of it, the friendship between these sweet people and our church has deepened!
THEY WERE GREETED WITH BEAUTIFUL TRIBAL DANCING!
AND LOTS OF LOVE TO GO AROUND!
I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL IT'S MY TURN TO GO SEE MY FRIENDS WHOM I'VE PRAYED FOR OVER THE PAST YEAR!
I have tears in my eyes even now as I share about this special friendship! It's amazing how you can love a group of people without even meeting them face to face, and I can't imagine how it will be once we are in each others presence. So I'm counting down the days until it's my turn to go hug those that I already love! Keep praying for my friends in Burundi, that God's favor would continue to shine down on them and that our friendship will grow even sweeter over the years! A year ago they asked us "to not forget them," and we haven't!
For more info on this friendship or any of our other partnerships, please check out our website at http://communityfor.org/