"I had an interesting flight to Congo a few weeks ago. I was flying Rune Edvardsen, a Norwegian man working in a ministry providing homes for abused young girls, and also schooling, and counseling. We work with him quite a bit. They also do pastor training and musical concerts sharing the Gospel.
"After we finished there, we flew over to Bujumbura, Burundi, to visit with their president, Pierre Nkurunziza.
"We had a meeting with the first lady, Denise, in the morning. She is very involved in community service and hoped that Rune would help with schools. After that we drove to the home town of the president to visit him. That was the most dangerous part of the whole trip. Winding mountain roads with lots of traffic, and trucks with bunches of bikes hitched on back. It was really crazy.
"We had supper with Pierre from about 8 to 11pm and sat around talking. There were only 4 of us, and I had a chance to ask him many questions about his life. Pierre was a university professor when the genocide began in Burundi, and he ran to the hills and joined the Hutu rebels. He was just a 'private' starting out, and as leaders died or left the country, he worked his way up the ladder until he was their leader. He showed us his bullet wounds from the war. He said he had been left by the rest of the guys to 'heal' if he was lucky. He said he spent 4 months hiding, lots of the time in the bottom of a boat on the lake.
"Rune's dad was an evangelist and came to this whole region for crusades for many years. Pierre heard about a crusade in Bujumbura, and came by night to hear and gave his heart to the Lord. He then announced he wanted peace, and talks began. He was elected President in the end.
"It was fun talking. Before going, we had prayed that we would be able to encourage him in the Lord and focus him on the important things. That we could also encourage him to serve his people and be an example of a true Christian leader, unlike so many of the leaders who seem to only care about themselves. We really were able to do that and before leaving I asked if I could pray for the president. He was very happy for that. I put my hands on him and he put his arms around me as I prayed. It was strange, but cool. Amazing to think that God might use even me to help change leaders' minds for good."