On August 10th, 2012, Cornerstone Medical Recruiting led a mission trip to the beautiful mountains of Burundi, Africa.
The land of Burundi is exceptionally beautiful, but beneath the beauty of the mountains and the rolling hills, lies pain and suffering of a people that have endured years of civil war, disease, and poverty. However, even amidst all the poverty and pain in this impoverished country, the people of Burundi are a kind, loving, and generally happy people. They are always quick to greet you with a smile. The lesson quickly becomes clear, that happiness is not dependent on wealth or material possessions, but is a decision that must be made on a daily basis.
Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world. It has one of the lowest per capita GDPs of any nation in the world. Burundi has a low gross domestic product largely due to civil wars, corruption, poor access to education, and the effects of HIV/AIDS.Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries, owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of economic freedom, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundi’s population lives in poverty. Famines and food shortages have occurred throughout Burundi, most notably in the 20th century, and according to the World Food Programme, 56.8% of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition. One scientific study of 178 nations rated Burundi’s population as having the lowest satisfaction with life in the world.As a result of poverty, Burundi is dependent on foreign aid.
For the past three and a half years, Cornerstone Medical Recruiting has been supporting the missions efforts of The Cries of a Child, a non profit missionary organization that focuses on helping orphaned and abandoned children, and vulnerable people suffering from poverty to be restored and given a hope for their futures.The Cries of a Child was founded in November 2008 by Isai and Samantha Torres.Isai and Samantha Torres moved to Burundi in February 2009 to follow this mission.Isai and Samantha are still living there as Executive Directors over the work. All the projects of The Cries of a Child directly target the spiritual and physical needs of the children and the surrounding community through “The Village of Jeremiah 29:11”, located in the mountains of Bukeye upon 4 ½ acres of land. The focus of the children’s village consists of children’s homes, a meeting room, clinic and trade school. The long term goal for the children’s village is to make it self – sustainable through various trades and agriculture in-country.
Many memorable experiences were part of the trip to Burundi, but the most powerful message that came to the staff of Cornerstone Medical Recruiting, as well as two friends, Joshua Botello and Kelly Thoenen that also participated in the trip, was that we in America are truly blessed. We take so much for granted, and have so much to be thankful for, yet Americans are often some of the most discouraged, disheartened, grief stricken, and overwhelmed people in the world. This undoubtedly is due to the materialistic society that is prominent in the United States. In Burundi, even though the people have virtually nothing, they are a comparatively happy people that are content with what little they have.
The Cries of a Child is doing a terrific work in Burundi, Africa. If you would like more information about the Cries of a Child, please visit www.thecriesofachild.org.