Last day of teaching. A crazy-hectic day. Our host has planned some festivities for the end of the day and wants us to finish our teaching a couple of hours early. This was going to be some feat as we were already behind schedule thanks to my day of illness. We shortened their lunch break and eliminated their afternoon break. I taught non-stop for about two and a half hours and crammed in about four hours of material. I had fun, but the class was a little tired by the end. They all stayed awake the whole time, probably in hopes I would talk about sex again, which I didn’t. They appeared quite content with the non-provacative material. One of the great joys of teaching in Burundi is how eager they are to learn. They kept telling me they had never heard these things before and that it was revolutionary. This was particularly interesting since all of my teaching points come from the Scripture. The Bible has only been available in Kirundi for a short time so even the pastors have a hard time being proficient with the use of Scripture, not to mention the complete lack of resources to help understand the Bible. Once again I see how overwhelmingly blessed I am and how easy it is to take it for granted. The Accordance Bible study software on my computer puts more resources at my fingertips than are available in the entire country of Burundi. Teaching and resourcing these brothers and sisters that Christ died for is not optional. If we don’t go, God will raise up someone else and we will miss the blessing as well as the opportunity to be part of God’s plan.
The afternoon festivities were indeed quite special. First we watched as our young team members, (Christopher, Malachi, Lizzy, Julia, and Lydia, with the help of David’s children and under the capable leadership of Chris Champion) performed a drama depicting the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The seventy plus Burundi children were spell bound by the story and reacted with gasps and verbal empathy at what was happening to this man Jesus. After the drama, they made an assembly line of sorts and washed the feet of the children. A heart of stone would be required to not be moved by this scene. Our children who were shy, intimidated, and uncertain just two weeks ago, were launching into this task without a bit of hesitation. No one recoiled at deformed feet or noxious smells.
The love that had grown in their hearts for these precious children of God who have so little flowed out in their task of humility and service. The Burundi children beamed with delight as these westerners who have been so loving for these past couple of weeks now did something no one has ever done for them. The children were so dirty that the foot washing gave them what looked like an invisible pair of socks that changed their skin color. Each one hopped up from the foot washing and marched over to receive a brand new shirt – maybe the first new item of clothes they ever had. Not one child put their new clothes on, but reverently kept them neatly folded to take home. A couple of children had nothing to wear on the bottom half of their body and they were clearly aware of the stigma that came from being pant less in a clothed society. We put some denim shorts on them and all the children cheered. Whether from empathy or relief at not getting mooned all the time was unclear, but we were happy.
We finished the day with drummers and goodbyes. A few women from the village on the other side of the mountain showed up with pots they had made to thank our team for blessing their children. We gave them t-shirts and they were so excited they spontaneously broke into a dance. I have never been that excited in my life, but it was a joy to watch.