Miguel traveled from Costa Rica to Burundi to meet up with Claude and see first-hand the communities in Burundi. Claude also invited him to come and share his expertise in appropriate technologies, to see if there are things that he has learned over the years in Mexico that can have some traction in an African context. It was our hope that this would be a rich time of fellowship and well as sharing of knowledge and mutual encouragement.
Miguel visited Matara first. Then he got to see Bubanza, the project that is set to launch this week! He spent some time with our agricultural engineer / project manager, Little Claude, and was able to share some ideas and even co-host some trainings on methods for livestock management and care.
But then Claude thought it would be really fun to expand his African experience a bit and take him to Uganda! There we have so many great friends, some that are also COF friends. Miguel visited Cherish, a village for orphaned children, and helped them dream about sustainability in their community. He also worshipped with Moses at Worship Harvest church and shared meals together, learning about more of the work happening in Kampala.
Then Claude took him to spend time with another dear friend, Caleb. In the past year Caleb has built a water well with cistern on his property. But he always has the community in mind, and allows 100+ neighbors to access the water for free, as a gift and expression of true neighborliness. But the women spend hours purifying the water – gathering firewood and then boiling pots of water for use in cooking and drinking. This takes time but also depletes the local environment with the cutting down of all these lush, green, productive trees.
Enter Miguel… he came with water filters and McGyver-style know how to bring a great improvement to the water system! He spent the day with Caleb and taught him how to make a filter system, how to install and maintain it. This will allow the community to enjoy clean filtered water for about three years… cutting down fewer trees, overseeing fewer fires and enjoying cleaner water. What a great gift to Caleb and his community!Our Ugandan friends seemed both excited and a bit skeptical… will this water really be clean? Experience tells us it takes about a month for the mothers to learn they can trust the new filtration system and give up all the hours of boiling water!
It was so wonderful having Miguel in Burundi and Uganda – for the friendship and filters! We love seeing our COF family grow – allowing communities in Mexico, Costa Rica and Africa to cross-pollinate their experience, knowledge and dreaming. Imagine the reunion in Cypress for Serve the World Weekend… when all the COF International staff come together on Texan soil to celebrate God’s goodness. It is so amazing to be part of the COF family and really work together for God’s purposes in the world. We are blessed…
Our Batwa families are still working on the permanent houses. They had hoped to finish them all by the end of this month, but were set back due to some illnesses within the community. Everyone seems to be on the mend now, and building is underway once again. So give them a couple more months, and the homes will all be completed!