Dan and I were assigned to an area called Kigoma in the province of Karusi, Burundi. There was lush vegetation all around. Lots of bananas growing, mangoes, beautiful plants and flowers. In the morning we'd go separate ways, but by the afternoon we'd run into each other randomly in the middle of the camp somewhere. People were always quick to bring us chairs to sit and rest. We must have looked tired. Or old. Or both...
We've worked with Pastor Domitien from New Vision Church many times. His church in Bujumbura has planted several churches since we began going to Burundi in January 2008. This particular "new" New Vision Church was strategically planted in a displaced persons (re-patriation) camp. Pastor Andrew is the new pastor in Kigoma. He is a kind and loving pastor and he knows and preaches the Word of God.
This camp was within walking distance of our hotel. We did some research and discovered that around 12,000 people live in this particular camp. The people who live in the camp were forced to flee Burundi because of civil war. When they finally returned many years later, they found that their homes/land were now occupied by other people. Thousands of people were in this predicament so the government was forced to respond by creating these camps where people were given a postage-stamp-size piece of land and allowed to build a home on it. They also rounded up all the displaced orphans and placed them here because many NGO's have a presence in Karusi and they'd have a better chance of getting aid from a relief organization.
Dan and I spent 5 hours every day walking up and down the roads in the camp, sharing the Gospel with every person we encountered. Sometimes it was a single person, sometimes a group of friends and curious passersby, sometimes it was with an entire family. Between the two of us, we shared with at least 100 people daily.
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ ”