Hello, everyone. [Insert generic apology for being a terrible updater.] In case you weren't aware, I went to Burundi this summer on a Jesus Film Mission Trip. I wrote a letter to my supporters about my adventures, and I thought you might like to read it...
I just got back from an incredible two-week journey to Burundi, Africa about a month ago. My experience was more incredible than words can express, but I will do my best to share it with you.
I left home on July 30th—the first of four flights all the way from Wenatchee to Bujumbura. I met my team along the way and we headed to a hotel where we would have training and a much-needed lesson about the culture before we began our ministry. In order to reach more people for Christ, we split into two teams: one went to a town called Macomba, and my team went to Nyanza-Lac, which is a lakeside town with a view of Tanzania.
We had 22 film showings during our time in Burundi, and we worked together with pastors in the communities to coordinate them with church plants. Over 15,000 people came to the showings and 4,496 people indicated a decision to receive Christ. This trip was much more about numbers, though. It was about making the Gospel accessible to the spiritually starving people of Burundi. The first film showing we had was in a Muslim community in Nyanza-Lac. Most of the villagers showed up after dark or listened through the walls of their homes so they wouldn’t be seen by their neighbors. We didn’t have a very big turnout at that one, but if even one person came to know Yesu—the Kirundi word for Jesus—it would’ve been worth it.
Aside from the film showings, we were very blessed to lead a pastors’ training and a youth conference. I didn’t personally get to speak, but many people on my team were able to share truths about the Bible and about God with the Burundians. My favorite part about the whole trip was, hands-down, the youth conference. I got to worship with other students who love God. Even though I didn’t know the words to the songs in Kirundi, I could worship right along with them.
The most beautiful struggle for me on the trip was that in reality, we didn’t do much. Most of the time I didn’t even set up the equipment. I literally just had my presence and my testimony to give, but bizarrely that was enough. Quite a few of my team members, myself included, struggled with this and eventually came to terms with the fact that God doesn’t need us to share the gospel. It’s not a specialized or privileged job at all. But although he may not need us, for some mysterious, beautiful reason, he wants us.
Friends, he chose to use us to share the most amazing message of redemption and life. I cannot quite grasp it. Thank you so much to those of you who supported me on this trip.