Saturday, July 07, 2007

Gitega Conference - Pastors and Wives

During the conference, we would ask the participants to read the scriptures, from their Kirundi language Bibles.

We always ask them to turn to each other and express their acceptance of each other as God's perfect gift. The Burundians have many children. They bring their nursing children with them wherever they go. They wrap them up behind their back when they are not nursing. If the child is nursing, the mothers nurse wherever they are at the time.

Ed always manages to get the participants to laugh while they are interacting with each other. They are not accustomed to looking at each other in the eyes and talking. It helps to treat the exercise with humor. We always give a gift to the couple who had been married the least number of years. The couple below got the gift for the shortest marriage. She was the only pregnant woman at the conference. She already has given birth to four others. We asked when this baby is due, they didn't know. The dad has a child from a previous marriage; his first wife died.

The families in Burundi have many, many children. Most families have at least 12 children. They have lost so many to tragedy and disease that they have lots .... just in case. The couple below sat on the front row of the conference. They brought their youngest with them, he was less than six months old. When we were finding out how long each couple had been married, we found out that this couple had their 25th anniversary this year! (think about it for a minute - still having children after 25 years)