A New Normal!

It has been a challenge to know what to write since the last post. Life has taken on what many of us are calling a “new normal”. The crisis in Burundi continues and is becoming increasingly worse. Almost nightly there is gunfire and explosions somewhere in the city and in the morning dead bodies found. We don’t know who is doing the killings and news is scarce. No one is untouched by the things that are happening at this time. It is unwise to say much more other than what we were used to here in the city is no longer the case. No one knows what to expect day to day.
For us we are committed to continue what we are doing in E.Congo and are still based here in Bujumbura for now. All plans are moving ahead albeit slowly.
The children in Rwanda from New Hope centre here in Bujumbura are doing well and coming to the end of this school term. We are considering plans for the next step for provision for them. Rwanda is an expensive place for them to be so we need wisdom for what to do now.

Plans are going ahead for Ray to make another trip to Rwanda to see the children and Ruben there. They will be discussing plans for the future. We are meeting with the rest of the team we work with here to plan for a trip into the high plateau of E.Congo and check on the projects there.
I was asking Ray how he feels our perspective needs to be as we continue what we know we are called to do. He said “to stand firm and keep on.” It is the way he is and I appreciate that. I see it is as though there is a track spread out before us and we can keep following on with determination and believe the plans and purposes are laid out. We don’t know how life will be as we move on but we are “moving on”.
Always when we come to the end of ourselves we see God has always been there ready to show us the next step. In our weak state He really is strong.
We have met such brave people these days who are committed to what God has called them to and are learning how to stand in a place of faith. It is challenging to say the least when everything around is shaking and one doesn’t know what will happen. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement.
We are keeping our eyes on the way ahead even when we don’t see clearly.
Words don’t come adequately these days. Emotions flood through minds and hearts in anger, sorrow and frustration. Helplessness is a common feeling. All around us people are suffering and yet the expat community has the privilege to be airlifted out of this time and space. I have heard some say the situation is not so bad here when they can still go to play tennis or go to other places where only people with some money can go. These people are not obviously touching the population in the depth of despair that so many are in. Some are speaking only positive words and dare not to join in with the reports of trouble. Others are only living in the rumours and reality of the violence. Somewhere in the midst of all the differing perspectives we live daily looking for the wisdom that only God can bring rightly. All over the city we see people calling out for help. Often when we are out in town Ray will be approached by mostly young men who quietly ask him to please pray for them in their situations as they are afraid. Many have had to leave the places they lived because it is no longer safe.

Ray just returned from Rwanda visiting the kids at New Hope children, Ruben and his family. The testimonty of the principal of the secondary school where the older kids attend is that they have changed the atmosphere of the school for the better. All the students have passed this term. Thank you to all who have helped relocate the children from Burundi to Rwanda.  We are praying about what to do regarding the New hope children in the future.
This weekend Ray spent time with Steve Thomas and David Freeman who we have had relationship with over many years. It was encouraging for Ray as there was prophetic words spoken into our lives here to continue to do what we are called to do and ride out the storm that is around us in Burundi at this time.
Inspite of the insecurity we are aware the work in the high plateau of Congo is going ahead with the school finished and the sixth house almost done. The security situation is such that Ray cannot go up himself to take pictures and see for himself the work that is being done. We are thankful for our administrator from Emmanuel Centre childrens village and the oversight he gives to the work there.
We are thankful to all who are helping with funding teachers salaries, child sponsorships and helping finish the school and sixth childrens house being built. As soon as we are able, we will send photos showing the work done.

This is a photo of Ray and some of the older boys at New Hope Centre in Rwanda.  They are always eager to talk with Ray about things.IMG_6047







lunch with New Hope kids Rwanda.  (bugali,rice and beans)

Vanessa the youngest of children in New Hope centre Rwanda.