This glowing smile would seem out of context anywhere in Burundi these days. While the rest of the country is suffering a deep food shortage and increases in the cost of living, the people of Matara are enjoying God’s goodness. There is an abundance of life bursting forth this week everywhere you look!
First came the birth of two precious new babes… both arriving on the very same day!
INEZA means ‘we are so happy’ and MANIRUNVA means ‘God heard us.’ Such joyful names for babies born amid famine and economic woes. There seems to be this realization that God is present with them amid the hard times, transforming their land with a fecundity that only He can deliver!
The next day there was another birth… a new calf!
And later that same week came some kids… baby goats.
And as if that is not enough… there were piglets born that same week!
One week with so much life bursting from every corner of Matara – it is almost embarrassing! It brings to mind another group of people who experienced such robust growth… the Hebrews in the brickyards of Egypt. Exodus 1: 7 tells us that they were “fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.” Everything they touched prospered and grew – and it was noticed by the Egyptians. I wonder if our neighbors notice the teeming life in the village of Matara…
Our friends in Matara, aware of the hardship others are experiencing, decided they did not want their abundance to be a threat to the neighborhood but rather a blessing. So they all agreed to give the piglets, 20 in all, to the neighbor families so that they could share in the life, in the goodness, in the extravagant blessing of God.
Claude returned from Matara with bright eyes and a joyful heart. How could you not after seeing God’s goodness on such glorious display? He just kept commenting on the new life in Matara against all the odds – only God could bring such transformation in land, livestock and lives!