We spend Sunday filming in Bubanza. We loaded a bus, along with 20 Batwa secondary students, for a 40 minute ride to this Batwa village in Bubanza. The students were so excited, as if going on a field trip. They were singing, giggling and laughing the entire way... so filled with expectation. These students are quite unique, as few Batwa make it to secondary school. I was aware that I was amid an esteemed group, that I was on the bus with these students bursting with potential.
As they sang, I was overcome with emotion and could not hide my tears. I felt like there was this very holy thing happening as we drove together - that we were beginning a journey together that was more than just a Sunday drive. We were beginning a partnership with these friends, saying we wanted to see them succeed, that we were committed to them and their families and their people. Most people do not see a bus full of Batwa and think of potential... but I felt like I was feeling what God was doing in them, what He wants to do in them and through them. In a way, I felt like I was seeing what most miss, I was seeing what is invisible to many outside the bus.
Claude often says, "Something is wanting to happen in Africa." I felt that... something is wanting to happen with the Batwa people, with this one village, with this busload of Batwa students. So I share with my friends and hope that you will hope with me, pray with me, believe with me that God is doing something for the Batwa. Maybe you are even part of it!
We arrived to the village and were met with loud and joyful singing. These friends were so glad to have visitors, as most people forget the Batwa and never come to call. So they danced and sang and welcomed us with such excitement. With us were the 2 Batwa parliament members, and they introduced these students to this very poor village. It was like a Batwa family reunion with all these friends gathered! But the secondary students shared their stories, to encourage the primary students in this poor village. And the government leaders encouraged the parents to help their students to succeed, to see that they can progress to secondary levels, and to show that there are others (us, you) who believe in them and will help them. It was wonderful to see the Batwa community coming together to encourage one another, to be strategic about the need to invest in education for their collective future, and sharing in some good news together.
We filmed parts of this for a video we will be sending to our friends, Community of Faith, in Texas. They share our love for the Batwa and want to share the stories of these amazing students in an effort to raise school fees for them to continue in their studies this September.
We are so blessed to have others who want to encourage the Batwa, to join in this new thing God is doing for them and their children.