Tough times and a cry for help…

It’s bad. Really bad…

In the area around Thierry’s house, seven people have been killed by hippos. Then there are the crocs, snakes, mosquitoes, parasites, the open sewage leading to cholera… the list goes on.

Thierry, my Anglican pastor friend, has lost his house (and his church) to the huge floods in Burundi. Lake Tanganyika has risen by twelve feet to its highest level since 1960, displacing 200,000+ people, many of whom are utterly destitute. Take a look at this clip filmed by my colleague Raissa from a dugout canoe.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Staple foods like rice and beans have increased in cost by 40% in one year. I can’t imagine not being able to feed my kids, or having to choose who eats on which day. Added to that, there is a crippling fuel shortage so folks are walking several hours each way to work every day.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Video by GLO partner, New Generation, who are providing relief to those living in makeshift shacks.

Brothers and sisters, the struggle to survive is worse now than at any time since the extremes of the 1993 genocide – worse even than the war years. I hate writing that, but despite the insecurity back then, at least prices were more manageable and most people could afford to eat.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Raissa surveys the damage

So we cry out in lament, and respond in hope. What was extraordinary was how Raissa, having filmed those distressing scenes the other day, returned home feeling inspired.

Inspired? Seriously? Yes, because she was blown away that Thierry still laughed, still had hope, still trusts Jesus. What resilience! Thierry believes God hasn’t abandoned him, and he has a role to play in his nation.

Our partners are under such intense pressure, and yet are doing stunning work. But they’re struggling to feed their own families, let alone help others, be they victims of the current floods or all the other compounding problems, affecting daily life in the world’s poorest nation.

So we want to help our partner organisations so they can continue to provide for their families, and the work can continue to thrive in this, the most difficult of seasons.

How to Make a Difference…

It’s as desperate a heart-plea as I can muster on behalf of our suffering brethren. We’ve recently sent out money to build ten houses, and there are so many more needs to be met in Jesus’ name.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

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