By Alyssa 

A lot of this past year has felt like the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter morning to me. Christ has come, and his sacrifice on the cross opened the way for us to individually and collectively approach our Heavenly Father. The curtain of the temple that separated us from the Most Holy Place - the Holy of Holies - was torn in two immediately at Jesus’ death so we could access God Himself despite our sin and uncleanness. This is good news! 

And yet we are still waiting. Waiting for everything sad to come untrue. Waiting for the pandemic to end. Waiting for tiny premature babies and malnourished children and laboring mothers to get the care they need. Waiting for broken systems to be made new. Waiting for a world without suspicions and accusations and mistrust. Waiting for racial justice. Waiting for shalom - for physical, emotional, spiritual, relational health and peace. Waiting for resurrection. 

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Ps 27:13-14

The veil of darkness

transformed to the brightest light.

The most dreadful end

became the most beautiful


The depth of despair

fades to reveal HOPE everlasting.

The curse of death,

defeated by eternal life.

Author unknown

Friends shared the above poem with me this week, and it has been an encouragement to me. At times on this earth - including in rural Burundi - we see darkness, despair, and the curse of death, but that is not the end of the story. Light has broken in and brought everlasting HOPE. Christ has indeed conquered death. And this is just the beautiful beginning of the story that will be told for all eternity. We see dimly now, but one day it will all be clear. We only need to wait for the Lord. 

So where have I seen light breaking through recently? (All pics from the last 2 months)

Team Good Friday service

Beautiful Burundi - Karera Falls 

Waterfall adventurers 

Solidarity with women in Burundi with special fabric for International Women's Day

Rainbow over Kibuye Hope Hospital

New pediatric building - official opening coming April 16! 

Play area for hospitalized kids - first of its kind in Burundi!

Kids getting fed in the outpatient malnutrition program thanks to generous donors

Serge Area Directors Scott and Jennifer Myhre sacrificially undergoing multiple Covid tests and a 7 day hotel quarantine in order to come encourage our team at a crucial time 

Little ones surviving despite the odds 

And bringing joy even when they don't feel good

Saturday morning bike ride 

Affirming meetings with Burundian leaders of Hope Africa University, Kibuye Hope Hospital, and the Free Methodist Church 

Graduation of more doctors for Burundi

Teaching medical students 

A weekend away with friends including a hippo sighting (to my right)

More Beautiful Burundi landscapes

Safe travels even on muddy roads during rainy season

Sweet patient going home after months in the hospital due to a serious wound and malnutrition thanks to help from the Needy Patient Fund 

Sharing the burden of pediatric care and student teaching with Dr Jenn - and celebrating discharges together, too, like these twins

And this baby with congenital heart disease and prematurity going home after 3 months in the hospital

An ice cream treat during an exhausting day trip to Bujumbura for meetings

Hanging out with these awesome middle schoolers every Thursday afternoon

Rift Valley Academy team kids home for term break just in time for Easter. Hooray for negative Covid tests and lots of travel mercies! 

And finally, remembering that this is where I want to be! One year ago I was participating in Easter activities (Passover Seder service, Good Friday, Easter morning, Serge prayer time) alone in front of a computer screen at the beginning of the pandemic with no idea when I would ever get back to my Burundi home, team, patients, students. It took months of waiting, but God brought me back here in His timing and sovereignty. And thus I can trust Him to bring redemption to the things still broken around me today. 

And if you got this far in this long blog post, here is some entertainment for you - the blooper reel of the waterfall adventure as several teammates try to "help" me on the natural slip n slide. No worries - no one was injured in the making of this video! 😄 And laughter and fun with teammates are definitely glimpses of light in the darkness, too! 


Rebecca said...

Oh my gosh that waterfall adventure looks amazing and scary at the same time! 😂 Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and updates. Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Sarah Lorenz said...

Love all those pictures of those sweet babies and kids!