Lemon trees and Perspective

There are many jobs always needing to be done inside and outside of our home here in Bujumbura.  One of these recent jobs has been to cut back the branches of our lemon trees. The huge amount of lovely green lemons we used to have now are huge amounts of sick ones.  There was a need to do something quite drastic.  Today, Ray and Gabrielle, Jean Pierre and Boss began the job of cutting branches.

I was up on the porch farther from the trees, therefore had a different view of what was happening. At one point the tree began to look lopsided with more branches taken off one side than the other.  I shared my perspective about how the tree was looking but until the men stepped back and looked from farther away from the tree did they understand what I meant.

Well, the trees got taken care of somewhat.  Perhaps the trees will again yield some good lemons.  This experience has given me some thought about how much I continue to look at life from”close up” and don’t often “step back” to look from another perspective.

Lately, I have thought about all that has taken place in the years we have lived here in this region of Africa.  Sometimes I have felt there hasn’t been much progress and it takes so much time to get anything accomplished.  Then I am reminded that our years here are all about peoples lives  and relationships, not just a project to be built and done with.

Children have been rescued from ongoing violence, been able to go to school, graduated, and are being healed from physical and emotional trauma.  Even though many have been displaced more than once from dangerous situations there is a resilience in their lives that is amazing

We miss seeing the New Hope children as frequently as we could when they lived here in Burundi but they are well cared for and every few months we can make a trip to Rwanda to visit them.


This is a grade one class of children from Emmanuel Centre children’s home in the high plateau region of E.Congo.  When these children graduate from primary school some move down to the city of Uvira to live with people who they can stay with to finish their secondary school.  There have been many children we have seen helped to finish school and now there are some entering college and going on to further education.

Thank you to all who have supported these children who would not have accomplished this without your help.

When I reflect on how much has been accomplished in children’s lives these years it changes how I see the future.  If we only see the close up challenges it is hard to see in faith for the future.

Recently I watched a short video on YouTube of an African professor from Ghana speaking.  It is a powerful perspective of how he sees the  future of Africa.  It is called “I see a new Africa…do you see it?”  (a well worth few minutes of your time)  I was encouraged to see the future on this continent differently.

Without vision we all live without hope.

Sir Francis Drake 1577 prayed…..Lord I ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope and love.

for now,  Mary Anne