Editors Note: This email from my Dad was very difficult to decipher. I am sure there were things lost "in translation". The technology there is somewhat lacking.
We are finally able to get to an Internet place. We were warmly received in Burundi and enthusiastically received in not only the town where the conference was held, but also in the two churches in remote areas that we visited. On Friday the 10th, some of us rode to the southern part of Burundi along beautiful Lake Tanzania. We saw many beautiful areas with all kinds of palm trees, which are harvested for palm oil and coconuts. On the way our van broke down, but it was very near to a mechanic, who fixed it really fast. The rear axle gears were out of oil. On the way back we broke down again within 100 yards of the first place. Any other place would have taken hours to get it fixed. We were on the road for nearly 12 hours that day after all the errand runs we had to make before the 3 hour trip and then the stops etc. The people were very happy to get the bibles and we had a great time all week giving out the eye glasses.
They responded well to the teaching Al did, following along very well. The pastors were coming from a very different background and Al helped them with issues ranging from eternal security to how to treat their wives. It was very interesting to see them struggle with loving their wives and helping them. Edie had a more difficult time working with the women, who were mostly uneducated and had a hard time following the teaching. She had a male translator who said he didn’t understand women’s issues. The Lord worked anyway. Many of the women were young and nursing babies. Edie was asked to address the issue of having many children, which many there think is a command of God. Al talked about that as well. Edie developed a good rapport with one young woman who was trying to learn English. There were some frustrations with organization and financial issues, but Esron, our translator from ReachGlobal, helped a lot with that.
Losing our luggage was a trial, but the Lord helped us. We went to the airport 6 times to try to get it, staying up to 2am and 3am on Saturday and Sunday nights. Al had only a couple hours sleep Sunday night and wondered how the teaching would go. We got our luggage Monday morning, changed to new clothes and began teaching. The Lord gave us strength and Al did not get tired until we left for home at 5 pm. Thank you for your prayers for us!
We had a great time with Esron who is the president of the Rwanda Evangelical Free Church. He is a great man and Al loved working with him. Our accommodations in Burundi were okay and the cold showers were exciting after a hot day. The food was simple but tasty. I think we are losing a bit of weight!
Our trip from Burundi to Kenya went fine except once again our luggage did not arrive with us. We got it three hours later and then traveled three hours to our housing. Again, our lodging is simple, and when we have water it is cold, but we do have a ceiling fan which helps a lot with the 85 degree heat and high humidity here. The teaching has gone even better here in Kenya. What a great group of men and women! Edie is having a much better time teaching with the women and enjoying it a lot. Again, husband and wife issues are at the top of the list of concerns, with the culture teaching men to treat women poorly. Some of the men have really been convicted and want to change. They are very happy with the doctrinal teaching and the method of using Genesis to teach theology has worked great. Pray that God will teach them in their hearts by His Spirit. We have two days of teaching left. Each day we have a question time, during which they can ask anything they want. There have been some really great questions which have stretched Al to answer.
Thanks so much for all your prayers! You do not know how much we need them and how much we realize their value. We will give a more detailed update when we return. We hope to write again when we get to the Czech Republic in a few days.
Al for us both