In my Advent devotional reading, I found this verse in Isaiah’s foretelling of the Messiah: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) When I consider what the Burundian people have been through in recent history—from colonialism to civil wars to economic hardship beyond what an average American can realistically comprehend—I stand amazed at the atmosphere and impact of Hope Africa University. The “impossible” is happening there: bright young people forging a future for themselves, their families, and their country, in spite of their personal losses and societal obstacles.

I traveled to Burundi with Betty Overton, who serves as the president of Friends of Hope Africa University (FHAU) and visits there twice a year, including several weeks as a teaching professor. We stayed just one week on this trip, but we packed a lot in! A few highlights:

This is a much-redacted report about some of the things I witnessed in Bujumbura and beyond. As I said, I do hope to return. But for now, I thank God that I am much better equipped to convey to fellow Friends of Hope Africa University what is going on there, how we can partner with our brothers and sisters in prayer and support, and how much Hope truly pervades the community there. We know the Reason for this Hope, and we join together in adoring Him this season and at all times and places: Jesus Christ our Lord. May His name be praised and glorified, and may He be pleased with our fellowship, FHAU and HAU working in harmony for His kingdom, which is forever. Amen.