AFRICA Day 5:: drums, students

This morning, our group split into two groups and went to two different churches here in Bujumbura.  We were very welcomed there.  There was a special reserved section for us – and between worship songs, they invited our entire group up to stage to each say a few words.  PS. Their pastor is named MARK!!  But he wasn’t there, so another pastor spoke.  He spoke in Swahili and had a translator next to him speaking in Kirundi, and we had English translators interspersed between us.  It was crazy and awesome all at the same time!

Then, the lovely Kelley cooked lunch for us and served us at her house.  After lunch, we were sitting outside on their porch, and in the distance, we heard drumming.  Before we knew it, a group of men came marching (kicking) into our driveway and into the front yard.  They gave us two performances of traditional Burundian dancing and drumming!  One of the coolest moments in my life.

Michael auditioning for the team… he didn’t quite make the final cut, but came close!!Next, we headed to the beach of Lake Tanganika to meet up with our students to swim, play volleyball, and bond with each oher.  Notice the COF shirt and the Houston Texans shirt representing all the way in Africa!!!Our girls wanted to bury Samantha!!  They thought it was so funny!  Of course, Jana, Heidi and Sherry also participated.Some of our group including translators.  Thanks to Heidi for taking this shot!After the beach, we all headed back to our guest house for pizza with our students.  Here, Anna is getting to know our students a bit better.AND of course, there was music.  We took turns playing worship songs, however, they sang MUCH more beautifully than we did.  Their songs of life and joy and God’s love brought many of us to tears.Then is was our turn.  Our music sounded very slow and boring compared to theirs’.  But they were nice and gave us a beat on the table.Before we said goodbye, one student gave a lovely speech about how grateful they are for our friendship and support and wanted us to tell everyone at home hello and they missed them!  Then, they prayed over our group – asking blessings on us and Community of Faith and thanking God for bringing our friendship together.  In turn, we prayed over them – praying for their upcoming tests, their families and villages and also thanking God for our friendship.  Again, some tears of joy and love.Tomorrow, we head to Matara one last time during this trip.  We will spend the morning working hard on their land with the Batwa, and in the afternoon, we will play and color with the children.


Laura Shook - June 13, 2010 - 5:05 pm

Thanks Ellen!

Jennifer - June 13, 2010 - 5:38 pm

Wow!! Ellen these pictures are so great! Thanks for sharing these.
I will pray for you as you are on your trip.

Lynette Adam - June 13, 2010 - 5:58 pm

As sit in Gallup, New Mexico, planning an old fashioned “flannel board” presentation of Moses, I look at these pictures and realize what a blessing it is to experience “missions”. As I look at your pictures, I feel like I’m on two mission trips at the same time. The pictures continue to be incredible. Love you.

Lynette Adam - June 13, 2010 - 6:01 pm


As I sit in Gallup, New Mexico, working on an old fashioned “flannel board” presentation of Moses for the Native American children and look at the pictures you send, I realize how blessed we are to be on mission. I feel like I’m on two mission trips at the same time. Your pictures continue to be incredible. Love you.

kookie taylor - June 13, 2010 - 9:19 pm

Wow! All your pictures are so beautiful! You are not only a very talented photographer, but an excellent story teller also! Thank you for letting me join in your amazing mission trip! I wish you were in South Africa to capture all that Thad and Brian are experiencing…but they will do their best as amateur photographers! God bless you (and Randy as you are away!)

Natalie Kirtley - June 13, 2010 - 11:23 pm

It is so awesome to see what’s going on over there! I am so excited about how God is moving! What precious memories you are making!! I can’t wait to hear all about it!! I love you and I will continue to pray for you!!

lezlie armour - June 14, 2010 - 9:43 am

I feel like I am a part of your mission trip too! Your blog and pictures are wonderful. I know you are having an incredible time! It is so cool how God has placed you doing mission work for Him with the African people as I am doing mission work with the Navajo Indians! God is so good!
Love you!

Krista - June 17, 2010 - 1:40 pm

Your caring and creative heart shines through in these pictures. What a blessing to be able to see the peace and love you all are stirring up.

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