Return from Africa

Posted on by YFC Lincoln

Genocide, Civil War, Poverty, City Life, Sustanance Farming, Micro Enterprise, Education, Orphanages, Rape, Leadership Academies, Undeveloped Land...

On my recent trip to the countries of Rwanda and Burundi I clearly saw the effects or reality of each of the things listed above.

After much delay and travel issues we arrived in Burundi. While in Burundi we visited YFC programs in two cities: Gitega and Cibotoke. In both of these towns/c

ities YFC is attempting to meet the needs of youth and children that were impacted by the 12 year civil war and AIDS. One of the things that stood out to me about Burundi was the denseness of the population. 8.5 million people live in a country the size of Maryland, but the largest city is only 250,000 people. For 2 hours we drove to Cibotoke and constantly we saw 100s of people working small acre sized lots to feed their families. It was amazing to see how densly people were living in one of the world's poorest countries.

In Rwanda the effects of the Rwandan Genocide were so prevalent. The Parliament building still bears the battle scars from mortar rounds and bullet holes, but buildings can be repaired, roads rebuilt, but the hearts of people are ever impressed with the havoc wreeked  by the genocide. I talked to several people: Jean Baptiste the YFC director in Rwanda shared a bit about his experience. The mom of a child that attends a YFC school there talked with me about the rape that many women experienced during that time. Amdist the pain and continued healing lies hope. Jean Baptiste showed us their private Christian school and leadership academy. They also took us to a completely new piece of property they are hoping to develop into another school and outreach center in a more rural town.

Probably one of my favorite aspects of the trip was the opportunity to meet the Executive Directors of YFC in each country. Jean Baptiste and Freddie are men truly after God's own heart. Men who have given up much to see the name of Christ advanced. And while they would admit they are still learning, they are doing a great job and I count it a blessing to have met, encouraged, and learned from them.

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