Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fish & Loaves

A letter from a brother abroad:

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I want to write to each one of you personally and I hope I will get to do that over time but it's been two months since I've arrived in Thailand and so many months since I left the U.S.A – so I thought some news was due.
Well, above all I want to share about Burundi. It was AMAZING. I wish I had the time and space to tell you of each day's events but I will just share some highlights. I got to see my first large scale practical – physical miracle. There are some pictures on Facebook and our team is putting a film together too that we might be able to put on our Facebook accounts. For the time being it will be on under teamburundi. God provided for our safety even as we heard grenades in the distance. While we were there, the final peace treaty was signed and hostilities between the warring tribes of Btutsis and Bhutus were ceased. Please do pray for this poor and severely wounded country.
As I attempt to conclude on Burundi news for the time being, I want to tell you of the miracle I got to witness. We wanted to do a week-end of Bible club or VBS for the children of the neighbourhood, one of the poorest in this city of one of the poorest nations in the world. We wanted to serve them at least one or two hot meals but by the end of our month there, our budget was limited, we had ended up contributing more than expected on some items for the building and so we decided to do one day and a half and expected about 60-80 children. We made announcements and rounded up children on the first afternoon. We handed out coloured pencils and asked them to draw beautiful things for which they were grateful to God. We led them in songs and games and then invited them to come the next day. We counted about 85 children and expecting more the following day, we asked the cooks to make food for about 150 children of all ages. We thought that would be more than enough. There was going to be singing, a programme with sketches (skits) and a short message. We sat the children down, and started passing full plates around of rice, beans and a thin meat sauce. We could not really calculate portions and then we ran out of plates. We picked up empty ones and quickly rinsed them, filled them up again and gave them to the other children. In the end we started counting how many had been fed, when we got to THREE HUNDRED, we stopped counting. There was even enough rice and beans left for the 5 cooks to grab something to eat. We had NOT made extra. There was a large pot of rice, a large pot of beans and half a large pot of meat. I could wrap my arms around each pot and they were each about 18 inches deep. We FILLED each plate; the children were of all ages, shapes and sizes but ate everything that was on their plate. We were all so very moved and the Pastor said that God's miracle in such a small thing of providence was prophetic of things to come and confirmation that He had not forgotten about them. All were very encouraged. Thank you for praying for us and helping us go.
We are now starting to pray about next year. We are excited that many others want to join us and come to see, to learn and to help. We don't believe in short term but in long term eternal relationships as created between us and Christ and with His body all over the world. He has placed Burundi and this little church at the centre of our concerns. The apostle Paul had some churches that were his special concern and our team has this one in Burundi. We want to continue to invest of our time, efforts, money and all that is precious to us that God calls us to give up on, to give away, and to surrender for the good of His body and the extension of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Will you join us again and tell others? Thank you."

Mark 6

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