by Julie Banks
International Women’s Day is an enthusiastically celebrated day here in Burundi. On March 8th, women come together in their individual communities and share a Fanta, a meal, and some laughs. We join in the festivities with the hospital staff each year, which is so fun.
One particular way Burundian women celebrate Women’s Day is by making dresses and skirts from the same fabric. I wrote about it last year, so feel free to read that blog for more fun details on the matching dresses!
I shared the story of how Mary (sister of Martha and Lazarus) poured oil on Jesus’ head and feet and wiped the run-off oil with her hair. When she poured this oil it signaled to Jesus that she understood who he was, and what he was going to do. This was an anointing of Jesus, the King. The perfumed oil was also reserved for burial, and she understood that he was going to die for them. While some men balked at the idea of “wasting” this expensive perfume, Jesus praised her and promised that her story would be included any time the Gospel was preached. The Bible says that when she poured out this perfume, the fragrance filled the whole house. The whole house smelled like Jesus, the King. And when Mary wiped the perfume with her hair, his fragrance was now on her, a part of her. Her hair was right under her nose, so she carried this aroma with her as a reminder that she is part of Him, and He is a part of her. And anywhere she went, she carried this fragrance of Jesus the Savior King with her.
I encouraged the women that as daughters of the King, we carry this fragrance with us. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 says that Christ “uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” To remind them that we are to God this beautiful aroma, I let them use my perfume at the end of the party. We wrapped up the afternoon with dancing, singing, and passing around perfume!
Burundian women are amazing, strong, and beautiful. Thank you for your continued prayer and support for these ladies.