Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. Psalm 34:9
What an amazing promise from God – if we fear (revere, worship) him we will lack nothing. This is a promise we hold on to as we are constantly surrounded by people in deep need and the numbers of starving children soar here in rural Burundi. We first have to lay down our lives in worship and reverence of our Lord. He then gives us what we need spiritually, emotionally and practically to reach out to those around us to encourage them in turn to fear God and seek Him for their every need.
Burundi already had the label of the ‘Hungriest Nation’ and the current situation is now dire due to crop failure from delayed rains earlier in the year and recent heavy rain causing landslides and flooding. Additionally, food prices have increased due to the economic crisis in the country so many people are struggling to survive. Our hearts break as we here stories of Mamas selling their bodies in prostitution to get money to feed their children. This is happening right here in our community. We see children screaming with hunger. We see the pain on the faces of the Mamas who struggle to produce breast milk due to their poor diet. We see children with protruding pot bellies and wispy brown hair – clear signs of malnutrition.
In the first 3 months of this year TCOAC have taken in two children who were severely malnourished and without intervention would have surely died. Firstly, Benit (pictured above) who is 3 years old and when he came to the office weighed only 7kg (14 pounds). His feet were infested with jiggers and he kept asking for beer, probably what he had been given to keep him quiet. He is now in our family, has gained 3kgs and keeps us all entertained with his witty comments and giggles.
Secondly, Ornella (pictured below) who is 5 years old and only weighed 7.5kg (16 pounds). Her legs have not developed well due to lack of protein and calcium and she struggled to hold her small frame up with her weak bony legs. She is now part of TCOAC family and is gaining weight and smiles the most beautiful smile. Ornella has had a very traumatic background and in addition to a good diet we are helping with reconciliation with her birth mother and helping with emotional wounds.
TCOAC continue to help other families in the community through our social project – babies are receiving milk formula or cows milk, food packages for those most in need and medical intervention at a malnutrition centre for children most severely affected. In every situation we seek to put ‘God first’ and encourage the people we help to fear and worship God. We have a weekly worship and bible teaching service attended by staff, missionaries, kids and now many of the people we help practically are coming with a spiritual hunger to hear the word of God. It is truly beautiful.
‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.’ Psalm 34:8
Please join with us in prayer, and financially if you can, so that we can continue to reach out to these hungry people both practically and spiritually.
With all our love
Isai, Samantha and all TCOAC team
On February 11th we celebrated the wedding of Claude Baraberewe TCOAC’s Human Resource Manager and Ruth Ackers a long-term missionary from the UK. It was such a happy day with TCOAC kids, staff and people from the community coming together with family and friends to praise God for this joyful occasion. The Baraberewe’s will continue to serve with TCOAC for a couple of months and then will take some time away to attend a mission school and visit family and friends in the UK.
On March 20th we welcomed Lydie Wolff a missionary from France who will be with TCOAC for a year. Lydie is part of WEC mission organisation and joins another couple who are in Burundi. We love how God is increasing the links TCOAC has with other mission partners. Lydie is a nurse with experience working in Congo, Madagascar and Haiti and will therefore spend most of her time at Cornerstone Clinic, but will also help with a kids project, French teaching and she will learn Kirundi too. Karibu Lydie!