We thank God for our safe arrival in Burundi. The trip included an overnight in Nairobi, and then a drive from Bujumbura to Ngozi (about a 2.5-hour drive on a very curvy road, uphill most of the way, with numerous blind spots and lots of people and bikes on the road). To boot, our car has the steering wheel on the right, even though they drive on the right side of the road. All that to say, when we say we are thankful for safe arrival, we really mean it!
On Sunday, I was blessed to lead the commissioning service at a Baptist Church in Ngozi for 25 Marketplace Ministers who had just completed their training. Dr. Walker led a commissioning service in Gitega which commissioned 28 new Marketplace Ministers. What a privilege to commission people to be ministers in the Marketplace, doing their work as an act of worship, with integrity and excellence! And what a blessing to hear the congregation say that they will support, pray for, and encourage them in their various parishes, stretching their hands toward them in blessing.
I was also able to give the message on our call of working every day to bring the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. I talked about how God’s work brought order, beauty, provision, joy, and potential to creation, and how we do the same thing in our work. But I got a lot of laughs when I pointed out that the corn that I had eaten for breakfast that morning gave me the energy to be able to preach right now! And I thanked those in the congregation who grow maize, as it might have been from them! The resources that God has given us in creation, and how we interact with them, give potential for many things and great flourishing!
Monday and Tuesday we will have our foundational workshop in Ngozi for about 150 pastors and church leaders. Then we will drive to Gitega, where we will do the same workshop for about the same number of people. Then we will drive to Bujumbura, where we will do it again! Right after Saturday’s workshop, we will fly to Rwanda, where we will have to quarantine for a short time, before beginning a training in Kigali.
I’ll let pictures tell the rest of the story. Thank your prayers, and please keep praying!