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).
There have been more than fifty children in the CRIB work, and they all are going, or have been, to The King’s School, a Christian school where students are educated in English, along with other folk from the city. Many of these fifty are now in secondary school, or have gone on to further education or work.
Chrissie wrote a book about her life with CRIB called "The night the angels came", and it is available on www.amazon.co.uk
visit CRIB's website at sites.google.com/site/cribburundi
CHRISSIE'S LATEST NEWSLETTER - 9 JUNE 2017
It is only when I come to sit down and write my newsletters in summer and at Christmas time that I really have to stop and think about everything that has happened over the last six months and as usual I find myself wondering quite where to start! So....I will start where I usually start, with family news.
Lydia is still living in Rwanda and seems to be very settled and enjoying life. She has just this week started a new job in the human resources department of a large insurance company. This is really a good move as Dylan, who is now growing up fast and will be two years old in a few months, will see more of his mum now she has no shift work and has weekends off and so everyone is happy!
Hannah is enjoying being back in University, is now over halfway through her GDL (law conversion year) which involves lots of hard work for this intense year of study but Hannah seems to thrive on studying.
Benjamin just moved into his own little apartment in London, still song writing and following his dream to get a career in music ..... and working at whatever jobs he can get to pay the bills until he gets an opening / contract in the music industry.
Life here in Burundi continues to present all kinds of challenges. Due to the ongoing political challenges, the poverty level in the country is just unbelievable with so many people just starving to death and the amount of children dying from starvation every day is overwhelming. It has been wonderful to be able to partner with a team of missionaries who are based up in the countryside and have started a feeding centre to help those families who are most desperate and many would certainly die without the food and medical help being offered there. It is great to be able to channel funds sent for helping to feed the poor through this feeding centre. It does seem like such a small drop in such a big ocean of need but to those who lives are saved it is a very big drop in their ocean. We have been able to feed a lot of families and literally save the lives of so many starving children, so thank you to all who have donated money to help with this famine.
Because there is no foreign currency in the country the government cannot buy fuel, so with very little left in reserve now and no sign of any change in the near future we are all pretty much house bound! We are also getting power cuts daily from 8am - 6pm... So, trapped indoors with no electricity and some days no water as well, the days can feel very long! However, even in the midst of all the daily challenges life goes on and this summer we have another nine of our CRIB kids who will graduate, which is a real blessing....they are all growing up so fast.
Moise graduated in Oklahoma and is now a civil engineer. He is just waiting to hear about a possible job offer with a large American Company in one of their plants in Africa and is praying it will be in Kenya as it is near home.
Grace has one more year in Oklahoma to complete her degree in journalism.
Keve and Enoch graduate college in California this year. Keve will probably then transfer to university in Kenya to study ICT , and Enoch to Uganda to take civil engineering.
Sam and Budusy are still in Universities in Kenya; Pacifique is still in Rwanda and David in Uganda.
In just a few weeks time the next graduates will leave, mostly to go to Uganda, Niyongabo to study medicine and Maria to take nursing training, and then to college for diploma courses will be Kosami for ICT , Ruth for child care and Estella for business studies.
We have three others who have got six-month internships here in Burundi with a Christian NGO called ZOA. Jesse is doing accounting and business, Esther business and then university next January, and Gideon is doing agriculture.
Four of our older kids who are hoping to get good enough grades to take the A level course next September will be spending a month up in the countryside helping out with the team running the feeding programme. This is good work experience and also good for them to see how blessed they are in CRIB!
So, this summer with just Rosa and me holding the fort for the 10-week summer break we calculate probably only having about 14 kids at CRIB....wow! All the rest will either be away at school, as summer holidays in the other African countries are different and they don't break for long summer holidays, and a few will be going to stay with family members for the summer break. So, probably some painting and decorating for those left, mixed in with some swimming and movie evenings.
At this point in time it is difficult to see clearly where Burundi is heading and how long a country can continue to function like this. We pray and pray some more and take one day at a time believing the Lord has all the answers to all the questions and challenges we live with.
I thank you for your continued love and support to me and my family and the work I am involved in here in Burundi. Please continue to pray for this little country in these days of crisis when the rest of the world really has no idea what is going on here - but Jesus does, He knows and He cares. He is our rock, our ever present help in times of trouble, therefore we do not fear.
I wish you God’s richest blessings,
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.