My friends Claude and Kelley Nikondeha sent out this newsletter regarding our recent time together in East Africa.

Amahoro Africa gathered over 180 leaders from 15 countries for a focused discussion on The Gospel of Reconciliation in Kigali, Rwanda.
The discussion took on a very concrete nature given our context, as we listened to both Hutu and Tutsi tell their stories of survival after the 1994 genocide that took place in this very city and surrounding hills. Our hearts were broken, our heads overwhelmed trying to understand how this could happen here, and yet there was a sadness knowing that genocidal tendencies are being made manifest across Africa and beyond.
Our Kenyan friends shared of their too-recent experiences in the post-election violence, and how there is a need for deep reconciliation between the tribes before another outburst erupts and threatens more lives.
Our South African friends struggle through the current outbreak of xenophobia in their country, knowing that healing needs to go still deeper in the townships and urgent work needs to be done to quell hatred and potential violence. It was evident to all of us gathered together that reconciliation is not merely theoretical discussion, it must move to practical steps we can take home with us to Kenya, South Africa, Burundi and beyond. Forgiveness, justice, pre-emptive peace-making are not mere words, they are now imperatives. It is also clear that this is just the beginning of a discussion, not the last word.

You can read the rest of their newsletter below … of special interest to me is Claude’s burden for the Batwa … I hope some of you will consider making a financial contribution to this good work.

Here’s the rest of Claude and Kelley’s email update:

This week we arrived in Burundi to set up our home for the summer. Kelley and I each have projects at hand. As for Kelley, she is working on the launch of the Amahoro Institutes. This is our attempt to bring the Amahoro Conversation content to smaller groups of regional leaders for deep discussion and collaborative dreaming in an interactive seminar format. Kelley will travel to Uganda and South Africa to participate with national leaders in hosting these more intimate conversations. We will also be hosting one in Burundi together. Amahoro Africa is also working on developing some other opportunities for friends to join in deeper theological reflection together in partnership with TREK (Theological Reflection for Emerging Kultures).
My work will be two-fold this season. I am working on extending our Amahoro network of friends while I can enjoy such ready access to local leaders in the region. I will be quite intentional that existing friendships go deeper during this summer in Burundi. But there is something else brewing in my heart these days – a way to make life better for the Twa people of Burundi. Most know about the two tribes, Hutu and Tutsi that comprise 99% of the population. But the Batwa tribe represents the other 1%, and these are severely marginalized and even ridiculed by both the other tribes.
They currently live in small rural villages with miserable conditions, no reasonable job opportunities or other means to better their lives. The government is forcing them out of the small land they have settled. This is certainly not God’s best for the Batwa, I believe He has a better dream for their future! I am excited to partner with others who share my heart and hope for the Batwa people to bring about a new living environment for them within the year to come. This will be quite an undertaking, but I sense God at work among us to bring tangible hope to the Twa, and this will be a primary focus for me this summer.
Please pray for Kelley and I as we work on the Amahoro Africa enterprises this summer from the home base of Bujumbura, Burundi. We are praying for financial partnerships to allow the Amahoro Institutes to happen with minimal cost to our African leaders. We are praying for new friendships with leaders who are hungry for deeper theological reflection in the African context. We are praying for favor with the Burundian government and other NGO’s who can assist us in creating a new community for the Batwa people of Burundi. Please join us!
For financial contribution to the Amahoro Institutes, please click here
Claude & Kelley Nikondeha

I’m hoping to work with Claude on this Batwa project in the coming months. Check out my posting here for my reflections on a visit to a Batwa village.

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