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Important Meetings In Burundi

FH Canada has been working in Burundi since 2006 delivering refurbished hospital equipment to hospitals and clinics that were damaged or destroyed during the civil war. Early in 2007 I visited Burundi to inspect the medical equipment distribution process and observed a significant food shortage.

After I returned home, FH Canada began to work on obtaining food aid for some of the most affected regions of Burundi. In 2007, we were able to send over three million servings of dehydrated soup mix supplied by the Fraser Valley and Okanagan Gleaners. The Canadian Food Grains Bank also assisted by supplying grains and seeds to these same areas. By November 2007, I noted some positive changes in Burundi but saw that many people, including vulnerable children and women, were still unable to obtain food in sufficient quantity to be food secure.

The need for more food is still urgent. There is need for more cereals and grain to supplement what has already been sent. Many young people have been forced to leave school due to this lack of food. Either the students are so hungry they can't learn or they are needed by their families to work. The poor education of these future leaders contributes to the cycle of poverty.

An encouraging factor is that the local churches are very involved in their communities and are working to engage each of their members to reach out and provide help to people poorer than themselves. This is making a big impact on the way they work and live together but they have limited resources to do more at this time. They have been praying for help from their government and other Christian agencies. I was encouraged and inspired by the way the churches have built credibility by being a relevant force in their communities.

This past February I had the privilege of meeting the President of Burundi. During our time together, I explained FH Canada’s efforts in Burundi and our desire for continued involvement. The President responded by asking me to return to Burundi in early June to meet with him and his senior leaders in order to further understand plans for development in Burundi and FH Canada’s capacity to provide assistance.

I also had the opportunity to meet with the Special Advisor to the President of Burundi, who knew about the work we had already accomplished in Burundi. He asked me if FH Canada could supply more food and I committed to sending another couple of containers. We currently have one 40 foot container and the funding to ship it to Burundi but are still waiting on a second container. FH Canada has been working with the Canadian Food Grains Bank on the development of a program that could complement what we are already doing and strengthen the current efforts. All of this is being supported by Canadians who are making a huge difference by extending the Kingdom into hard places by their generosity.

This is a message I love Canadians to hear. So often we learn about all of the things that are wrong with Africa and how there will never be enough money to "fix the problems". There may indeed be a shortage of money, but we do have a truth that changes the hearts and minds of people. The truth that there is a God who created each person in His own image, loves them, and has a plan for their life. This simple but profound truth helps people of all walks of life find their own and unique God-given potential.

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Food for the Hungry: Important Meetings In Burundi
Important Meetings In Burundi
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Food for the Hungry
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