News From Burundi
Amohoro “peace ” a typical Burundian greeting.
Imana Ishimwe “praise God” we are well, encouraged and excited about all the positive and thoroughly wonderful things that God is doing through the work of New Generation.
Oh for more understanding of Kirundi (the Burundian language) to understand better the amazing testimonies of faith in Jesus and the miracles the people experience daily. Evidence of Holy Spirits grace and strength is in their faces. The poverty and difficulties of ordinary people and children are beyond what we can imagine. The country struggles on, overcoming the frustrations and injustices. We stay (comfortably) at the Kings conference centre very near to New Generation centre. right now the generator is running loudly giving us electricity, those without generators will have no electricity. The power cuts are daily and for many hours during the day (and always at night after 7 or 8pm) There is much to say about military and police activity!
At New Generation and Oasis church there is prayer every weekday from. 6am -7am the children have breakfast and the morning children go off to school!
They return for lunch and they eat rice and beans together, then those who attend school in the afternoon skip off down the dusty pot holed road to return about 6pm then all have supper together. In the new dining /living area that has been finished since our last visit, the children have a few small toys ( k-nex, jigsaws, simple board games, and TV when there is electricity.) Part time staff (i.e. physiologist) and volunteers facilitate helping with school work, drawing colouring and listening to children. They now have a folder for each child in the “road to school” programme. (74 kids ages from 5 to 16 or 17) The children’s abilities vary and many are extremely bright some are traumatised so much that time will tell; (all are loved and encouraged) NG teaches them to value education and work hard.
The weekends are full at Oasis church with youth group on Saturday and a very lively and long Sunday service!
A new development since our last visit, is a cooperation with a private school (which teaches the English system) the primary school children of NG benefit from the extra resources. An English volunteer (teacher) is actively involved and the interactive learning in this environment is having fantastic results!
A team of 3 Ex street boys are employed as outreach workers! They identify the most vulnerable children. They seek to befriend kids and record their names and information about them. They give them a form of identity “known by NG” should they be arrested or need medical help.
The dream of the outreach team is to have funding to help more of the street children directly at the centre.
3 ex street boys now attend university, a first for NG. In return for their fees they volunteer in various ways at the NG centre.
No time to tell you of other activities: entrepreneurship training, healing of memories and peace and reconciliation events. Football and NG clubs! Extra English lessons, computer training, and simple music lessons.
We continue to pray for Gods work here. It’s a privilege to be part of it in some small way. In practice Rod is advising and enabling better organisation structure for the staff and volunteers (especially financial management) I mostly watch the daily activity, pray and encourage, children, staff and volunteers and participate as opportunities present. Rod and Anita Whitehead.