Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Burundi Stories Part 4 - Joy in the Suffering

Break Out Sessions

Dave and Layla chatting with January and Milchiade (shout out to Lori for helping me with my brain freeze)

One of the most impactful times when we were in Burundi was spending time with the university students for a day and half of training. We taught on evangelism, discipleship, and leadership. However, we learned just as much if not more from them. Their passion and commitment was amazing. When we asked them what they do for fun or in their spare time, nearly every one of them said something to do with their Christian walk.

Several of the students spent most of the rest of the trip with us as our translators. I really liked that because we actually got to spend time getting to know them on a more personal basis. The last night some of them started to open up some about the atrocities they experienced. Milchiade shared with a couple of us a story about how his parents died in the genocide. He was 10 years old and at school when the rebels raided his town. When he got home from school, he immediately ran to his house to find both of his parents in his house with their heads chopped off.

I just teared up hearing his story, but he had so much joy in his life. So, I asked the obvious question, how did you get through that to where you are now filled with so much joy. He said about 3 months later a friend of his invited him to Church. After a couple visits he wanted the peace and joy of those at the Church and he gave his life to Christ. He then said one of the most incredible statements I've ever heard, I lost my parents but I found my Father and He became my parents and for that, I can't help but have joy in spite of the pain. We saw that from many of the Christians we met. In spite of more pain and trials most of us would ever face in our entire lifetime, they had such peace and joy in knowing Christ alone.

1 comment:

Go Global Everyone said...

Love reading of your experiences in Africa.