September 16, 2014

A Beginning in Burenza

Last weekend, I traveled to the interior of Burundi with John and Diana Nally who are visiting from Jackson, Michigan. Bishop Deogratias joined us on our journey to Mweya and Burenza. What a privilege to hear the Nallys’ heart for Burundi and to get a clearer picture of Deo’s plans for the coming months. Mweya […]

August 27, 2014

Doorbell Thieves and the Burundian Economy

Last week, a person or group made their way along our street stealing all of the doorbells. This practice is well known in Burundi and could perhaps be considered a micro-enterprise. An item is stolen from the house or, more frequently, from a vehicle while it is parked in town. The part is probably not […]

August 22, 2014

No Ebola in Burundi

Some of you have asked if we are afraid of Ebola or if it is a risk for us these days. Thank you for your concern. We are glad that there are no cases of Ebola virus infection in Burundi or in the surrounding countries. For the geographically challenged, Africa is a wide continent and […]

August 20, 2014

An Up-Country Review

On Sunday, we traveled up to Bugarama to join a group of Americans and Burundians serving on a Palmetto Medical Initiative team. This is the same organization with which I served in May of this year. Pastor Emmanuel asked me to take some leadership with this team since he and the Project Director were not […]

July 16, 2014

A New Church Leader in Burundi

On Sunday, July 13, 2014, Deogratias Nshimiyimana was consecrated as the newly elected bishop of the FM Church in Burundi. This outdoor service on the campus of Hope Africa University was attended by several hundred people including church leaders, government officials, pastors, and even a few missionaries. The 4+ hours were full of choirs, speeches, […]

July 7, 2014

Mid-Summer’s Graduation at Hope Africa

On Friday, July 4th, Hope Africa University graduated students whose ceremony had been delayed by a government inspection process in December. There were a number of Masters level graduates (in Theology, Business Administration, and Educational Leadership) as well as 7 of our M.D. graduates. I attended the ceremony as part of the Faculty of Medicine. […]

July 4, 2014

Independence Days Near and Far

On July 1st, Burundians celebrated 52 years of independence. Today, July 4th, the U.S. celebrates its 238th Independence Day. Here is some of what I saw and thought… Everybody Loves A Parade On Tuesday, Janette, Samuel, and I went downtown to see the preparations for the Burundian celebration. We worked our way in near the […]

June 12, 2014

Surge Soccer in the Stadium

Yesterday, we enjoyed a “friendly” match between the Surge Soccer team and the Burundian Friends of Jesus team (a second tier team in the Burundian league). Surge is a soccer ministry that brings players from the U.S. to play against local teams and share the gospel in those venues. Our friend Simon was playing with […]

June 6, 2014

Medical Mission to Muramvya

Last month, I (Joel) joined 9 Americans, 3 Burundian doctors, 1 English medical student, and a bunch of Burundian translators and helpers for a 5 day medical mission in the Muramvya District of Burundi. The campaign was organized on the U.S. side by PMI, a charitable organization planning a clinic in the city of Bugarama […]

April 30, 2014

Remembering a Visionary Leader

On Wednesday, the Hope Africa University family paused to remember its first Rector. Bishop Dr. Elie Buconyori was one of the originators of the idea of a Christian University in central Africa that would train Africans to “face African realities”. Students, professors, church members, and various representatives from the community (including the First Lady) were […]

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