Monday, May 10, 2010

I've been absent

Although I haven't been posting much, there has been a lot of action on our part as we prepare for our next trip to Burundi to assist the teachers and the government. We are still trying to raise funds for the trip. Again, the gov't of Burundi is unable to fund what we hope to do, and our university has limited funding opportunities so we are reaching out to family and friends. To date, we still need about $20,000 to complete the editing and translating of dvd's we will to present to each teacher (about 500 teachers) who attends the education conference we will be having. If you wish to donate, please email:
To date I do have one restaurant in Chino Hills, CA that will assist in donating a portion of their receipts for this effort! Their name is Bravo Burger and if you are in the area, do plan on going for a bite to eat between June 7 and June 10. It's not that far away, so do go!
One need that I have which is not part of our "planned" commission, is to send books to Burundi. I have received books from one Jr High school, but the problem I am facing is how to get the books over to Burundi.The problem, of course, is cost. Any ideas would be great! Again, email us at the email provided.
Elections are coming up in May and June. Please keep Burundi in your prayers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Water update

The country of Germany has donated millions to assist in Burundi's water supply. While speaking to a principal at one school, he just said he wanted water for the kids. Many of the children would walk to a creek, get water, then return to school with their water bottle filled with brown water.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update from my colleagues trip to Burundi

March 10, 2010
Dear Friends of Burundi,
God did some amazing things that I wanted to share with you. I had the opportunity last week to go to Burundi to meet with 50 educators to plan a National Educational Conference. Here is some of what happened.
We spent approximately 8 hours together on Wednesday planning at the University of Burundi and decided to go to Gitega in the center of Burundi for our conference where it is cooler and less humid. The conference is scheduled for August 3rd-5th. God led us to a Catholic Seminary that was willing to host us and provide three large meeting rooms and 220 dorm rooms. They will also prepare three meals a day and refreshments (for a fee, of course.) Their prices will allow us to offer the conference for about $100 per student.

The delegates to the planning conference discussed issues thoroughly and asked excellent questions. They did at times want to use this forum to convince others of their political views but the moderator brought the discussion back on target and we agreed to focus the conference on direct instruction lesson planning, assessment, differentiation and providing means for 1st-4th grade students to learn to read and write in Kirundi and older students to study French in a way that will assist them to learn content while learning French.

On the last day of the conference we will also provide, for educational leaders, an extension of our discussion at the planning session to brainstorm ways that we can include some of the ideas presented at the conference in teacher education programs within the country and find means to make their schools more fair for those coming from homes where French is not spoken.
One of the special blessings of the trip came on the morning I left Burundi. A visitor to my church in La Mirada four weeks ago mentioned that their daughter was a missionary in Burundi working as an administrator of Discovery School. Their son-in-law contacted me while I was in Burundi and took me to Joy’s school. An important part of what we wanted to present to the 1st-4th grade teachers was a whole language approach where the children help the teacher write stories that are prepared as short reading books. Because children only have their reading text to learn to read in Kirundi, this method will allow students to have additional reading materials and provide teachers with material students can enjoy when they have learned something before the others in the class.
To my amazement, the Kindergarten at the Discovery School prepares student-generated stories for the children to later read. A Burundi teacher leads the development of the stories and assists in making the stories into little booklets. When we had a film crew in Burundi in September/October, I decided that I could not give the instruction for this method and expect a teacher to successfully demonstrate it so had thought we might not be able to present it at the conference. God had other plans and provided a way. Joy volunteered to have her teacher and students filmed to demonstrate how others could use this method to their students’ benefit.
We now have over $5000 toward sending teachers to the conference. God has been so good to us. Thank you for praying for this effort and for many of you that have supported teachers to attend or agreed to sponsor a teacher and director and write to them during the next year. We ask for your continued prayer as we prepare the DVDs for the conference, determine who to invite, secure those who will teach at the conference, and work with the Burundi officials and educators to provide follow-up implementation of the presented ideas.
With great appreciation,


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Update from Burundi and the upcoming elections

Although there are concerns regarding the elections in June and July, we are still pressing forward with our plan to hold and educators conference in August.
Here is the latest news on the political elections.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I can say that this past week has been quite stressful trying to secure airfare to Burundi. Unfortunately I will be unable to go to Burundi at the end of this week due to the lack of planning and there were a limited number of available flights. However, some funding has just been given! As it stands my colleague will be leaving to speak with the Burundi delegates.. without me.
I have started looking for flights in August (our time-frame for our conference) and already the prices are in the $2,500 range.
One word of caution for all out there: There are cheap ticket agencies on the web. However, understand that although they may offer a lower rate, they may not be able to secure you a ticket! That is what happened to me. Although the reservation was booked, they needed to finalize it with the airlines. It was the airline who responded that the rate was too low. So, for now, I am staying home.
Anyone have a private jet they can take me in? I'll pay for food!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Elections in Burundi

There are issues going on regarding the upcoming elections in Burundi. Do keep the country in your thoughts as this, still fragile country goes through their elections.

Also, continue to pray that we may be able to go to Burundi for finances are still a sticking issue for my colleague and I.