Chrissie Chapman, Burundi, Central Africa
CRIB (Children Rescued in Burundi)
During the genocide in Burundi in the 90’s Chrissie Chapman began a work to rescue children who had suffered unimaginable hardship and lost their parents in the crisis that took place then. Her commitment to these children has gone way beyond the call of duty, as she has adopted three of them Hannah (left), Ben, and Lydia (right).
Today there are more than fifty children in the CRIB work, who also go to The King’s School, a Christian school where they are educated in English, along with other children from the city. More than thirty of them are in secondary school, and others have gone on to further education or work.
visit CRIB's website at www.burundichildren.com
CHRISSIE'S SUMMER NEWS LETTER 2016
Greetings to you once again from Burundi.
These continue to be difficult and challenging days to live in Burundi, but I am still here and continue to give thanks for the Lord’s protection and provision. Since Christmas when I sent out my last news letter, I have to say that on the “surface” the situation here in Burundi seems much calmer. The nights of shooting and bombs exploding at regular intervals are certainly less; however insecurity in the country is still as bad as ever with random grenade attacks around the city which have taken many lives.
At the end of last year Burundi was named as the hungriest nation on earth …a couple of months later Burundi is now ranked as the poorest country in the world…tragic. It is a challenge each month to get the amount of food we need for so many but thus far we have managed to keep going. The prices are almost double on some of our basics, rice and beans, also charcoal that we use to cook on, and are in short supply and quite out of the question for many of the local people to even consider buying now. Large numbers of people now have no work as many work places have had to close and for others, salaries have been cut by as much as 50%. In many ways it would seem we are no further along in seeing any resolution to the issues here than we were a year ago, so we continue to pray and wait and take each day as it comes trusting the Lord for His continued wisdom, protection and provision as we go.
In mid January I was blessed to be able to take a few weeks break, some of that time in the UK and three weeks in America. When I booked this time out I had no idea that the day I arrived in the UK my book would be released: what a blessing to be able to visit a lot of friends and renew fellowship with a number of friends and churches in the UK, also having opportunity to promote the book. I have had a lot of feedback and it has been a tremendous blessing to me to hear that the book has been such a blessing and encouragement to so many. (Editor's note: Chrissie's book: "The night the angels came", is available at www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk),
I am thrilled that opportunity has been offered for me to go and visit quite a number of church contacts across Canada and America at the end of this year, to share something of what the Lord is doing at this time here in Burundi and also to have opportunity to promote my book. I will leave early September for Canada, starting in Niagara, and Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vernon and finally Vancouver, so seven weeks in total, then on to Santa Barbara for five weeks. So, lots of meetings, lots of connections and ministry and looking and believing for the Lord to do great things. I am actually planning to leave Burundi in July as I am delighted that both Benjamin and Hannah will graduate this summer and I am of course planning to be at their graduation ceremonies. Ben’s graduation will be early July and Hannah’s three weeks later at the end of July. Both Ben and Hannah are working through the process of “what next” so their next plans will be for Christmas news!
Lydia and baby are doing well, still in Kigali. Dylan was in hospital recently with pneumonia but recovered well after treatment. Lydia has got a new job and just started back at work. She is for now working in a small hotel on front desk/customer care and has a nanny for Dylan so they are getting into the routine of these changes.
The CRIB family are all working hard at school. It is wonderful to find many opportunities for the young people to leave Burundi for a season and go on for further education as there is nothing available here in Burundi for further education or work.
We have Moise in his last year now at Oklahoma Christian University, also Grace who starts her third year next Semester. Then Keve and Enoch are half way through their 2yr college courses at Santa Barbara City College and this summer two of our girls will join them. Janine and Belize are both going to do a 2yr diploma course in hospitality and catering at the City College.
We have Budusy and Samuel in Kenya and Niyongabo we hope will join them in Kenya in September to study medicine, also Maria for nurse training. Then David has been accepted in Uganda for a 2yr diploma course for sport science and Pacifique transferred to Kigali when his Uni here in Burundi closed.
So, our children are no longer children as many of them are taking off to all corners of the globe to follow their dreams. We still have thirty-two in secondary education at our Kings School where all the Y10 students had to repeat the year because of the school being forced to close a whole term early last year. This being the most important year before the IGCSE’s, it was necessary for them all to repeat which means this year we only have one young man who will graduate and we hope he will get the grades needed to continue with A levels at the King’s School.
Providing the situation here in Burundi does not escalate, I will be out of the country for approximately five months from July to early December and during my absence I have an excellent team in place who will take responsibility for the oversight and care of the CRIB family. We trust and pray that the political situation will not escalate again in the foreseeable future.
Once again I thank you for your love and support. I ask that you would continue to pray for us and for this little war torn country where so many are suffering so much from the effects of starvation and sickness which takes so many lives on a daily basis. We press on to do everything we can to help those who come to us, and the children we often fall over in the streets as they come begging for any scraps of food to fill their bellies and keep them alive to beg another day. It is heart breaking and challenging to ones very core to see people living in such conditions.
Thank you for praying, thank you for all you have given to help us help these children.
The Cow Project, Burundi
We also are supporting a project to help hill farmers acquire cows and grow food so that they are well nourished and give good milk yields. Our support helps to buy cows, which are given to hill farmers who are also supplied with seed to enable them to grow suitable food for fodder. Once the cow has calved and the milk begins to flow the farmer is able to use some of the milk for his own personal needs, sell the remainder back to the project, and in time pay for the cow that was donated.
These cows are a real life line for villages and farmers. Their families not only get better nutrition and are consequently healthier, but they have a sustainable income too. The milk is also taken by the project and sold in the towns.
We are also contributing towards a machine which pasteurises the milk so that it keeps longer and is in better condition than it would be in its raw state.
As the farmers are able to buy their own cows and repay the loans this is then reinvested in the scheme to help other farmers obtain cows.
Evariste, who runs the Cow Project, has also started feeding milk to some of the approx. 5000 street kids of Bujumbura. He plans to open a street café where the kids can come and have a cup of milk for free.