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I Saw It Happen

Travis is from Wichita, Kansas, and serves with Multiply in Burundi where he recently hosted a team from TREK 2021. 

Their names are Josh, Maryn, Shanae, and Alex, and they made up a small TREK team that visited us in Burundi. The word that keeps coming to me when I think of them is “courageous.” They responded with faith to a call to fly thousands of miles from home during a pandemic and to live on mission in Africa. And boy, did they ever.

For three months, our team in Burundi was blessed to share our lives and ministry with this TREK team of four young adults from Canada and the US. Their experience of Africa included meeting with national leaders and evangelists, living with local church members, tasting new foods, sharing stories, learning, dancing, struggling, doubting, and laughing together. They experienced the full richness of the united body of Christ. And I saw it happen.

On Easter Sunday, I saw Revelation 7 played out at a church in Muramvya called the Shammah Temple Fellowship, with every tribe and tongue praising Jesus together. The bride of Christ brought together a spectrum of his created people—ambassadors of reconciliation—for his glory. That morning, I saw one of the TREK team members, a young lady from the US, interacting with an elderly lady from a small tribal people group, greeting her, honoring her, smiling. What a beautiful picture of unity in diversity! And I saw it happen. 

I saw these four young adults, armed with only a few choice words and their translation tools, boldly cross the language barrier to develop lifelong friendships. I saw it happen repeatedly during their stay. I saw them bury their pride and reach out for connection despite awkwardness and misunderstanding. They touched the hearts of the people in Burundi. And I saw it happen. 

I saw the Holy Spirit at work in amazing ways around this team. By chance, during their stay, we met a couple that splits their time between the US and Burundi, working with the hearing-impaired. It just so happened that one member of the TREK team had studied sign language in university, which opened a door for fruitful interaction with a local community of hearing-impaired students! It was evidence to me of Paul’s declaration in Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” During the past three months, I saw how God wove all things together for our good and for his glory.

By the end of their stay, the fruit of the Spirit within the TREK team was so visible to the people of Burundi that a whole fleet of hotel staff turned out to wave furiously and with deep affection as they said goodbye. It was only four young adults for three months, but the TREK team had an impact on Burundi. And I saw it happen. 

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