Stories of Hope: Volume V
Redemption Deep Inside the Mountains of Burundi
Dear TCOAC Family,
2020. What a year for all of us around the world. For us here at TCOAC, we faced challenges bigger and more complex than we ever have before. After the dust settled, the faithfulness of God was so evident! And once again, we remember that this is His story that He is writing in Burundi.
It has been a year of perseverance as we were separated as a family for six months due to COVID-19. Discouragement set in, at times, when we had to bury many young and old with whom we walked so closely. It was a year of hope when we experienced God holding our hand and walking us through the valley of the shadow of death. It was a year of thankfulness as we witnessed the heavens open and pour out provisions in abundance and provide for our every need.
We have had the honor of serving our Lord for almost twelve years here in Burundi and we are left speechless and full of gratitude. He has called an amazing team to serve alongside us on the ground, an amazing board (who are really the backbone of what we do here) and He has always provided above and beyond and always right on time. When we want to give up, He comforts and strengthens and reminds us of the example of Jesus. Jesus laid down his life and so will we. So again, we say “yes” to everything that comes our way, and may our lives be like an instrument in the hands of God.
We thank each person who is taking the time to read this. You have loved us so well. Thank you for your support, prayers, and for walking with us throughout the years. We are eternally grateful. May the Lord bless you and on behalf of the entire TCOAC family, Happy New Year!
Deep Love in Jesus,
Isai and Samantha
Cornerstone Clinic News
Pictured above: Top left: Eric; Top Right: Ruth and Abby; Bottom left: Abby on a home visit; Bottom right: our staff sharing the gospel at the Clinic
One of our children, Eric (pictured above), has been working in the Clinic for the past few months. Eric completed his formal education at a mechanics school in Bujumbura and is awaiting the next step in his educational journey. He will continue his studies and take part in an internship. Eric’s help at the Clinic has been a blessing!
We welcomed two new midwives, Ruth and Abby, to our staff at the end of last year. Ruth and Abby are originally from the UK and have come to serve the Lord at the Clinic. The addition of both of these wonderful nurses will enable us to extend more into the community for both pre and postnatal care. We will be able to perform more home visits and further support our staff with ongoing training.
Our medical team helped to bring 32 babies into the world in November with five births in one single day and 24 births in December! Unfortunately, we did assist with one miscarriage in November. We served eight mothers by referring them to another clinic for cesarean births. We are looking forward to the completion of our maternity wing so we can serve these mothers on-site with the best care possible.
The needs of the Bukeye community are increasing and we are working on ways to respond to further support our brothers and sisters. We ask that you continue to pray for our staff, patients, and TCOAC family and if you are called to make a gift, we are grateful for your trust in our vision.
We are bringing you a little closer to Bukeye with our staff spotlight that shines bright on Chanel. Visit our blog to learn more about Chanel’s journey to TCOAC and his passion to serve.
TCOAC Family "Amakuru"
(News in Kirundi)
We were blessed to once again host our annual Christmas party with our staff and their families. Festivities included a pig roast, a theatrical play, singing and dancing, and sharing God’s message about reconciliation and redemption. The ever-popular Staff Gift Exchange also brought joy and excitement to the party!
Days turn into months and months turn into years and we are so honored to have welcomed all of our precious children as sons and daughters in our big family. For some, we have been together for almost ten years–Glory to God! We walk together day after day with so much joy and sufficient grace! Above are some glimpses of our life, birthday celebrations, school breaks, and precious moments. God has faithfully knitted this family together by His will and grace. We are so grateful!
Social Program Spotlight
In addition to TCOAC projects at the Village of Jeremiah, we have been working diligently during the past six years to help the people from the local community of Bukeye, and surrounding areas. Our Social Program is designed to be the outpouring of love that Jesus has for each of us. We receive people, sit with them and hear their situations, counsel and pray for them and finally see how we can intervene, support, or refer their situation to other organizations with whom we work closely. We wanted to share some of the photos above of those we encounter and serve, as well as highlights of this program.
- We have been able to serve seven deaf children from the local community. In working with two different programs and sponsorships, these children are now going to Gisuru School for the Deaf and another school in Bujumbura that serves their needs. Without this intervention, these children would simply remain at home and would forego the opportunity of formal education. In addition to their own education, these programs also offer to teach the children’s families some basic sign language so they can interact and talk with their own children. What a blessing!
- A few other examples of the care being provided by our Social Program team includes seeing people with serious medical situations such as burn victims, people living with life-threatening tumors, neighbors struggling with mental illness, patients suffering from skin diseases and other illnesses caused by the lack of access to good personal hygiene and ongoing medical care.
- Our team works with severely malnourished children and offers mothers formula and milk, as well as food packages for families trying to survive on very little income and food accessibility. In addition to these services, we help build community gardens and purchase livestock so families can take care of their own needs.
- Our team assists in helping abandoned children find new homes so they can rebuild their lives after such devastating losses. They want to walk alongside these precious children in mentorship and discipleship. We share the gospel with those who we serve and share that God has not forsaken them. Instead, He gives hope to the desperate and brings light to the darkness.
- We recently were able to help Lydia (her name has been changed to maintain privacy), pictured above, who was in desperate need of eye surgery in order to continue living a full life. We worked with our friends at Kibuya Hospital who helped make a connection to cover the cost of Lydia’s surgery and transportation to Kenya where the surgery must take place. We also worked closely with our partners at Kibuye Hospital on the actual surgical needs. We have been supporting Lydia with getting her passport and other plans in order to make the trip.
Our strong partnership with Samaritan’s Purse has led to the donation of critical medical equipment and supplies for our Cornerstone Clinic and future Maternity wing. Our alignment in faith and mission has enabled us to make a greater impact in transforming the lives in Burundi.