Reign of Christ

Did you realize that this Sunday is the last Sunday of the year in the church calendar? It is called the Reign of Christ Sunday and precedes the first Sunday in Advent. (It used to be called the Sunday of Doom by one Swedish denomination. That one might get some traction today, don’t you think?) But I digress…


The focus of this last Sunday of the church year has traditionally been on the return and reign of Christ. The reign of Christ makes us think of his Kingdom, present and coming, which supersedes all of the other kingdoms to which we give our allegiance. This compels us to pray and work to see that Kingdom come in our world- in our relationships, our work, our questions, our sufferings. We prepare to remember Jesus’s birth but also to “advent” his return and to welcome his presence in every corner of our lives.

End of Year Activities

As we try to make space in our schedules for Advent and for reflection, we are also surrounded by the busyness of the end of another Hope Africa University (HAU) academic year. The students are already shifting into end-of-year mode as they prepare for final exams, thesis defense, graduation ceremonies and family celebrations. Graduation is December 20th.


December will also be full for our family as my parents arrive on Samuel’s 9th birthday for a month of memory-making. We hope to take them up country to see the “real” Burundi as well as make a quick trip up to Kibogora, Rwanda (about a 3 and 1/2 hour drive) after Christmas.

Medical Student Transitions

Today was my final session of Introduction to Clinical Medicine with the third year preclinical students. During this semester we covered most of the basic physical exam in our weekly gatherings. This is one of the priorities we have had since arriving almost 2 years ago- improving the clinical or hands-on skills of our medical students. We think this is a good first step. While these sessions end this week, the work at Van Norman Clinic will continue with 5th and 6th year medical students to oversee as well as patients to consult. A group of 15 seventh year medical students are among those graduating from HAU this year. They still face challenges in Burundi as they look for jobs and more training but this is a milestone for them and a good first step.


Many of you are also entering a busy season of church and family obligations. We pray that these activities and gatherings will extend Christ’s reign in your life and in the world around you. Let’s pray that for each other…