Heart & Soul

by Jess Cropsey

It just so happened that a Baptist, an ecumenical charismatic, a Christian Reformed, a non-denominationalist, another charismatic, and a Lutheran "randomly" met at a Presbyterian church in Ann Arbor, MI in the early 2000s.  This special place called Knox Church became the birthplace of our team so many years ago.  And so, it was with great delight that we welcomed three couples from that church to Burundi in May to go through the "Heart & Soul of a Real Marriage" course with our team.

The three team families sent by Knox (first to Kenya in 2009, then Burundi in 2013) with the 3 couples from Knox (Tom & RuthAnn, Steve & Mary, John & Kathy)

They arrived loaded with all kinds of necessities (standardized tests for the kids, math books for next school year, parts for the solar power pack, a replacement for a broken computer monitor) and LOTS of goodies too -- special kits for couples and singles, individualized requests from each family unit (cheese was a popular one!), at-home date night ideas, books & resources, and games/snacks/crafts for the kids.  It was like Christmas!

We crammed the first 6 (of 12) lessons from the Heart & Soul program into an already busy work/school week (the May 1st holiday was a big help!).  John & Kathy put together an amazing program for the kids while the adults were in "class".


Each visitor also brought along additional gifts and interests to bless our team.  

Tom and John busied themselves in the workshop making shelves for the school and the hospital

Mary taught a couple watercolor classes to our kids

She also taught knitting to some of the missionaries as well as some local women

Steve took on juggling and yo-yos!

Kathy helped organize our school library

John taught the kids a lesson about banana trees

We managed to fit in some cultural experiences too -- a trip to the nearby waterfalls, hearing the testimony of a local Burundian couple, a home visit, and a tour of the hospital and its various programs.

Although we had lots of fun together, we also waded through some deep waters -- past wounds that impact our relationships, protective layers that we put up to avoid getting hurt again, God's design for marriage and relationships and how that has been damaged since the Fall, and how the gospel relates to each of these areas.  Please pray for each of us as we process and discuss the material that was presented.  Pray that our marriages and relationships would grow deeper as a result.  

We want to say a big THANK YOU to the many people who worked hard to make this trip happen -- those who helped with logistics, those who traveled to be here & all the preparation that entailed, those who prayed, and those who gave gifts and/or financial support.  It was a really great week!  

We look forward to welcoming the team back in February 2020 to go through the second half of the course with us!

Our traditional team send-off, the "tunnel of love".  

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

Praising God for the opportunity your team had to do this course and for the many hands that brought it to fruition!