Well, we’re here. We’re home.
It’s crazy to think that this has actually happened, but Nadine and I have moved to Gitega, Burundi. We arrived safely in Bujumbura, the capital city, in the evening on Sunday the 27th.
Everything made it safely, minus my acoustic guitar that Air Canada wouldn’t let on the plane. Airlines are a necessary evil in order to get to Burundi. The check-in attendant in Brussels weighed and tagged our carry-on items, and told us it was standard procedure because the plane was full.
The plane flew on to Bujumbura with approximately a billion or so empty seats. I may be exaggerating but it’s gotta be close.
But let’s move on, shall we?
France was amazing. First let me tell you, my wife and I are best friends. We get along great. At the worst of times, we’re the best of roommates. Since this past fall, life has been pretty busy, demanding and hectic. It’s been hard on both of us not to enjoy precious time together as a married couple should.
I could tell you all about the Eiffel Tower, or the Louvre, or the beautiful walks through Nice, and some of the great food that we were able to enjoy, but honestly my favorite thing on the trip was spending time with my wife, making up for lost time. We had an awesome time.
Now on to Burundi! Coming here to stay has been very different from our time here as visitors last summer. It’s hard to explain. The guesthouse is not yet ready, so we still feel in limbo a little bit. We are staying at the Homes of Hope Orphanage while workers finish up with the house. Hopefully we will be able to move in before the end of February. So for a little while longer, we are still living out of our duffles.
We are busy studying Kirundi, which is coming slowly but surely. We have been spending time reconnecting with friends and old contacts, and making new ones as well. There is a small community of North American volunteers here in Burundi that we are becoming fast friends with. The Burundians that work with Youth For Christ have been their usual hospitable and kindly selves.
So, for the next few weeks, we will be focusing mainly on acclimating to our new surroundings and immersing ourselves in the culture here. The hard work will come very soon. After we have moved into the guesthouse, we have been invited to spend sometime working in the local government-run hospital in order to get a first-hand look at the practices and standards here. We plan on visiting a number of established clinics, here in Burundi and potentially in neighboring countries. We have many contacts to reconnect with and many new relationships to forge. We are excited for the work to come!
We wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support. Financially, emotionally, spiritually, each of you who reads this blog mean so much to us. As we got off the plane and touched Burundian soil, we remembered all of you who made this possible. Please, continue to share this blog on facebook, twitter, at your churches, with your families, friends and co-workers. Help us share the story of Burundi.
God bless each one of you for your actions, thoughts and prayers in participating with us in this.
Look for more updates, including some stories and pictures, soon!
Please keep Burundi in your prayers and thoughts. A few hours before our plane arrived, a massive fire burned the entire marketplace in the capital to the ground. Many people lost their lives, and many more lost their livelihoods. The market was the major economic center for the entire country. It is a horrific economic setback that makes things so much harder for a country already in dire circumstances. There were many who died attempting to save some of their life’s work in the blaze, and there were many Burundians who simply threw themselves into the massive fire, committing suicide because their entire lives had been destroyed. The Burundian dollar has already depreciated, and the impact of the blaze will be measured in months and years, not days. Our friend Simon, a UK missionary here in Burundi, will be updating his website with some small ways in which you can help make this tragedy right. Please read his stories at www.simonguillebaud.com
We love and miss you all. We are healthy, happy, and blessed. Talk to you soon!
Josh & Nadine Guenther.
P.S. Our kirundi is coming along nicely. We can say things like “the man and women are hoeing on the hill” and “the old man has darkness in his heart.” That’ll come in handy in the clinic. Haha!