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.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update on conditions in Burundi

My colleague received an email with our friend in Burundi concerning what has been happening. Here is his letter:

Thank you for your email.  We are all well here in Burundi; my family and my ICCC Team. We have been working on the visit with my team and also with Bonaventure. We are ready to meet you.  We welcome you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We rejoice of your arrival. We do't have any problem. You don't cause us any  problem. We love you, we are excited by your work to serve our nation.The situation is quite good. Yes, we still have some problem. I wrote to Dale that your presence will be a part of the answer to our problems. We are waiting for your schedule of your workshop and for your visit in order to start to work on the practical aspects and details of your visit like date of arrival and depart, hotel reservation ….
(name omitted)

So, I guess things are ok on their end. Now to secure the funding!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Burundi Tribune - Rising violence rising among young militants in Bu

Burundi Tribune - Rising violence rising among young militants in Bu

Posted using ShareThis

As you can see, there are some things going on in Burundi with the upcoming elections in the air. The president is trying to make sure all is peaceful, but I am learning one will never know.

I received my malaria pills today, and am waiting for some other meds in case I get sick while traveling. We are still awaiting word as to when we will be going and whether there is funding available from the university. If not, I don't know if we will be making the trip. Do continue to pray for the country and for the educational mission we have been asked to provide.

Monday, February 8, 2010


My colleague and I are going to be asking people from Biola (other colleagues, alumni) to sponsor a Burundi teacher for $100 to attend the conference we are putting on in August. The average teacher in Burundi makes $30 a month. We wish to pay for their room/meals/misc items and give them a stipend for the two day conference. Please let others know and pass this along. If you do wish to sponsor a teacher, please let me know.
Also, I am praying about other items regarding international education/teaching.

In today's Burundi news, a solder opened fire and killed one military person and injured a civilian. Do keep us in your prayers to see if God wants us to go to Burundi in March, but do pray for continued peace for the government as presidential elections are coming up.

Here is the article:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Much to do

In my last post, I plugged in a news article about a recent coup attempt in Burundi by military soldiers. Funny thing, I just added the article at the end of the post without really thinking about the implications. As I awoke, I was struck with what this means for the country, its people, and for efforts such as the one my colleague and I are wishing to do. If you didn't read the article, here it is:
My question is why does the BBC report this and our media hasn't mentioned a word? The same is true when I speak to people about Burundi. They know about the genocide in Rwanda, but not the genocide in Burundi.
Here is a story of a woman who needed to fight in order to survive:
Yes, my colleague Tim and I are still scheduled to travel to Burundi next month. There is much to do for current and former students. We are hoping to first focus on the current students from primary to secondary school. We are then hoping to build a gap within the current structure to assist in establishing "vocational" education for people not wishing to continue with their formal education.
Today, please offer your prayers and thoughts for the President and the country. It wasn't that long ago that over 300,000 were killed and many, those that I have personally spoken with, wish for peace to continue.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


One of the most common issues that me as a "Westerner" confronts while going to Africa is being on "their" time. The last time we went, we didn't know exact dates until a couple weeks before when they would be available to meet. So, we needed to get our visas asap! I am hoping that this trip we will know exact dates this upcoming week. However, I understand that I am a guest and do behave properly. My dad would be proud.

Went to the doctors today to examine my injection records, and the PA wanted to know why I was going to Burundi. I shared with her the story, and she looked at me and said, that I "had a calling." I may have a calling, but each of us does. Each person on this planet has a calling to do something greater than themselves. What's yours?

My shots are still good, just need more malaria pills. Plus, this time of year, I get to face warmer weather and rain:
Next issue to be patient about? Airlines and airfares.

Also, if you wish to find out why my colleague and I are doing this, the President of Burundi, is serious about education:

However, just this past week, soldiers were arrested for trying to start a type coup:

Do pray and keep the country in your thoughts!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Going to make the rounds again!

My colleague Tim Stanske and I will be heading back to Burundi to plan for a teacher conference to be held in August. Tim has been back a couple times to video tape and record teachers performing in their classrooms in order to bring best teacher practices to the teachers of Burundi. The issue still up in the air is finances. Burundi is a very poor country and is unable to assist in bringing us to their country. If you are able, can you pray for the country of Burundi and the teachers so we may be able to raise the funds to bring them to the conference in August, and for future funding efforts.
Already, there have been other African countries interested for us to bring to them what we are proposing for the people of Burundi.
As I am writing this, it seems so long ago that I visited this country. I still see the faces of the children and the conditions they face each day. I am also thinking about the tragic earthquake that occurred in Haiti and the work that needs to be done there as well. Then my mind floats to other countries where other work can be accomplished. So much to do.