Burundi is a small, landlocked, tropical country.
For more information about Burundi you might
want to check out our friend's site:-
18th April 08
We are very concerned about the situation in Burundi at the moment.
This is directly effecting a lot of our friends there.
Here is some information from our friends in Burundi
for your prayers:
Last night was the biggest attack on the capital for several years.
Earlier in the day policemen were stationed on every street corner and
rumours were flying around. Then at about 8:45pm gunfire and shelling
kicked off in a big way as the FNL rebels embarked on an
audacious/futile attack on various military installations about town.
Keep praying for Burundi, for lasting peace.
People expect there to be more attacks over the next few days. An
aircraft flew overhead this morning to do some ‘mopping up’. Hopefully this violent episode is just a blip, but the
truth is that the economy is trashed, inflation is soaring, there have
been fuel shortages and a recent substantial price hike, regular people
struggle to afford to even eat, and with the alarming rate of population
growth there simply isn’t enough land to for everyone. Through human
eyes, the outlook is bleak.
The death toll will be given in due course. However many it is, last
night’s attack highlights the urgency of our situation and our
need to get people ready to meet their Maker – wherever we are. Maybe
bombs aren’t raining down where you are, but I suspect many of us need a
good kick up the backside in terms of complacency and priorities. It’s so easy to get distracted and caught up in things
of little eternal significance. The battle is raging, but are we even
As Piper says, “Until you know that life is war, you cannot know what
prayer is for… But what have millions of Christians done? We have
stopped believing that we are in a war. No urgency, no watching, no
vigilance. No strategic planning. Just easy peace and prosperity. And
what did we do with the [prayer] walkie-talkie? We tried to rig it up as
an intercom in our houses - not to call in fire power for conflict with
a mortal enemy, but to ask for more comforts in the den.”
So as the battle goes on in each of our different contexts, I’m
challenged to consider that if our lives
are a lesson to others, what are
teaching them about how seriously we take
our faith in God, how
passionately we care about the fate of people around
us, and how
sacrificially we are willing to follow Jesus? It’s a sobering thought…
|| It has had a recently ended civil war. The national language is French.
It is 70% Catholic. 25% Protestant. 5% muslim. Protestant is made up of
Pentecostal, Anglican, Evangelique, Baptist and Adventist.
Many children were recruited into the army during the war as child
soldiers. A large percent of these became Christians, joined ‘born
again’ churches and are now youth. In many cases they are up to
80-90% of the congregations. They have difficult backgrounds;
psychological trauma, drug abuse etc. Churches are full of youth,
but there is little follow up or discipleship. Youthworx is being
asked to help.
Transformation Church Youth Team
These are the young people who we worked
directly with both in preparing for the concert on 1st December and in
planning how to develop the discipleship
|The way forward?
We will work in a partnership with Florent Bahizi, assistant pastor
of Transformation Church in Bujumbura.
He has contact with the youth ministry of many churches within
Burundi and with Scripture Union.
Edgar (our Nairobi co-worker) went to meet with Florent to begin
to plan the way forward and a group from Burundi visited Kampala in
September to make more detailed arrangements.
A key unifying point for Burundi youth is music, so we agreed
that a first step was to send VOW choir in
We also hope to work with
Message from Florent
Burundi churches are mostly full of youth and women. This began
when the war broke out in 1993; many of them saw terrible
things and still others were used by politicians in war. Their
only hope was God and which means churches played a big role in
bringing those lost soul to God in dark period the country was
touched Burundi in a special way. Revival took place and youth
were more touched and they flooded churches until now. But they
were left to themselves. I mean they had no help or follow up
for their spiritual growth and guidance to know how to serve
God. So what the youth did was to do it in their own way, like a
sheep without a shepherd. Which at last didn’t work out for many
of them, they were discouraged and failed to live the life which
pleases God, new to them. For me, I thank God for He sustained
me to continue up to now.
big problem is how can churches help the youth today?
In the light of the Word
of God and through Christ ministry we know that Discipleship is
the best way for their growth (youth or Christians) and
especially that is the great commandment God gave us all.
I believe, it is very important and the right time for the team
of Youthworx East Africa ( VOW CHOIR) to come in Burundi by
introducing discipleship principles which is our vision and the
needs of churches.
is to see you in November . The team of Youthworx East Africa
(VOW CHOIR) together with the Burundian youth learning
discipleship principles and then end with the concert.
May God bless us all!
Yours in Christ
BAHIZI S. Florent
Tel: +257 77 740 581
PO.BOX: 7019 Bujumbura.
Florent's Report From Burundi - Dec 07
YOUTH WORX EAST AFRICA MISSION REPORT (BURUNDI)
Greetings to you all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
We had been praying for your coming over here in Bujumbura (Burundi) and thank
God you came and ministered to our people.
I thank God you all arrived safely as you returned back to Uganda. I also thank
God because some of you continue to be in touch with us and our youth through
e-mail and phones. Your stay here made a real Impact on us and created a true
sense of fellowship between us.
In short this was the program:
First morning from 8h to 12h , 26/12/07 – 29/12/07 we had seminars in Minevam
Church Town and youth were around 50 from different churches within Bujumbura .
We learned principles and methods of Discipleship. The method of sharing in
small groups helped us and we found out that it is the best method to be used
while discipling our peers.
Secondly, from 12h to 2h pm we were invited to two universities in their
fellowship and we met around over 50 youths in each university.
Thirdly, in the evening from 26/12/07 – 29/12/07 we also had evening services at
Minevam-Kigobe Church and it was for encouragement we had over 50 youths who
Members of Youth Worx East Africa taught the whole book of Philippians and many
were reminded on how to live in Christian circles.
Lastly, we finished all the programs on the 1st Dec, 2007 with a Concert at
Minevam-Ville Church. It was marvelous we had VOW choir, Minevam Ville Church
choir, another local group named DIVINE GLORY and a team from Kenya.
In conclusion, I thank God and you brethren for the time you spent here though
it was short it was very helpful and precious.
On behalf of the youth here in Burundi, I thank you so much. You really used all
the means that this mission would happen. We request you to not stop coming
again, we believe now that the doors are wide open to you. We hope that by God’s
grace some of us will come in January when the event of “Power of Worship” takes
place in Uganda. So pray for us so that some who are students will be able to
come. May God bless you abundantly!
Yours in Christ,
Bahizi S. Florent
Prosper's Report From Burundi - Dec 07
(Photos to follow in January)
I had always believed that Ugandans were the
most hospitable people on earth. But to my surprise, I was disproved when I got
off that Gaso bus in Bujumbura.
Well, like the Baganda say, “He who has not moved places always praises his
mother as the best cook.”
Two weeks ago, I had an opportunity of being apart of a Christian mission team
that went to Burundi. The team is from Kampala Baptist Church (KBC). It
comprised of two branches. The YOUTHWORX-East Africa branch went first to hold
a week’s discipleship seminar for youth workers and leaders in the different
churches in Bujumbura and the Voices Of Worship team which was to hold a concert
to climax the whole event.
Burundi is one of the countries that are found in the great African Rift valley.
Therefore, the first thing I noticed about Burundi is the mountainous country
side with extremely steep escarpments. The journey from the border to Bujumbura
is therefore very exhilarating. The bus has to literally go over mountains
before it gets to the very flat, low-leveled capital city of Burundi.
Because of the recently ended civil war in Burundi, the church is just being
rebuilt to offer the much needed spiritual healing to the citizens just like all
other sectors of the country from infrastructure to the government itself.
However, it is noteworthy that Burundi is a very spiritual nation having a born
again president as proof of that. The population is mostly catholic dominated
though due to the Belgian, cultural influence.
One thing you can never fail to notice in Burundi is the big smiles that are
always on the extremely beautiful and handsome faces. Despite all the hardships
that the Burundians have gone through they have very warm hearts and probably
the most hospitable culture known to man. The greatest way of extending their
welcome usually comes in form of a delicious meal. The recipe in Burundi
definitely beats Uganda’s hands down. It is not that the food cooked is unknown
in Uganda, it is just that the style of cooking that makes the difference. With
a lot of Western influence in Burundi it would not be a surprising sight having
chips, a sandwich and beef for lunch in a very ordinary family. Something very
unheard of in Uganda.
The YEA team, comprised of 5 experienced Youth Workers. Our task was to
introduce the skills and discipline of discipleship in the churches. We
therefore met Youth Leaders from at least 8 different churches to go through the
basics of Discipleship. These will in turn carry on the work in their specific
Churches, even after the team leaves. We also did a series of teaching through
the 4 chapters of the book of Philippians every evening with the same group.
This helped to bring the practical part of Discipleship in the whole picture.
The Youth in Burundi are very enthusiastic about God’s work. They are very
willing to learn and welcome all new ideas that come their way. This was visible
in the different lunch hour visits we had to Universities. Unlike our old
Makerere, Universities in Burundi seem to have had it more like a rule to spend
lunch hours in fellowship. The team members visited and taught in 3 different
public and private Universities. The youth in the Church are also very active in
Ministry. As a matter of fact most of the Churches are dominated by the Youth.
Whoever said that “it is never over til the fat lady sings” was probably having
my fun packed Burundi trip in mind. The 10 man team that is just a small portion
of the ‘Voices of Worship’ choir got to Bujumbura on the Thursday evening. They
had a Friday to themselves just to get accustomed to the extremely hot weather
before the big concert on the Saturday. The team doubled up with a local choir
from Bujumbura to hold one of the hottest Christian concerts ever witnessed in
Burundi. Minevam Ville Church, the equivalent of Kampala Pentecostal Church, in
the centre of Bujumbura filled up to capacity. The crowd watching the event from
outside the Church was nearly equivalent to that inside. The concert went on for
3 hours, running from 6pm to 9pm. Gods name was lifted in Bujumbura through
music and dance from a local traditional dance group.
What had started as a small conversation over a cup of coffee in the Jinja Nile
resort in April 2007, had actually turned into reality in December. The whole
event was organized and planned by Ian Wardle, the Ministry Director of YEA,
with the help of Florent Bahizi as the Burundi representative. We met Florent in
a KEST preachers’ conference held annually in April. After discussing a lot
about Youth work in Burundi we were very sure the Lord was calling us to work
there. The seminar and concert that were held this year were actually foundation
work for a much bigger plan.
Prosper Karatunga. 16/12/07
I have found a working internet connection so am making the most of the
Firstly for those who were praying for Ray, I am glad to say he reached
us on Wednesday evening with no problems at the border. At least we now
know the procedure although it was unfortunate for Ray that he had to
suffer. He was still here in time to do his teaching on Thursday
The morning discipleship training is now successfully concluded. It has
been well recieved by 50 Youth leaders from 8 of the Churches in
Last night Silver also concluded our teaching on Philipians in the
evening joint youth fellowships at Minevam Kigobe Church. These have
gone well, looking at one chapter each night. Myself on Ch:1, Prosper
Ch:2, Alex Ch:3.
While I have been having various meetings with city Pastors to discuss
our work and how to proceed in the future the rest of the team have been
in to 2 Universities for lunch hour fellowship.
Last night VOW arrived safe, well, excited and tired in Bujumbura. They
are resting this morning at the team house and this afternoon will be
rehearsing ready for the Worship event tommorrow. This evening we are
invited to another city church where they are holding a Youth Worship
rally. The team will present 2 songs and I will be giving a mini-preach
(whatever that is!!!).
Please continue to pray for us and I will try and keep you updated.
Detailed Programmed for Burundi Trip
|Mon 19th Nov
||Booking tickets at Gaso Bus
Ian leaves for Kigali
||Ian and Alex
||Ian in Kigali
||Ian leaves for Bujumbura and will be received by Florent
Alex leaves for Kigali
||Ian meets partners in Bujumbura
Ian sharing in the Evening service
Alex in Kigali preparing meetings with Zion and Miracle Center leaders
||Alex still in Kigali
Ian and Florent meet people in Bujumbura
||Prosper and Ray leave for Kigali
Alex meets Ray and Prosper in Kigali
The three leave for Bujumbura in the After noon
Ian and Florent meeting more people in Bujumbura
||Ian, Alex, Prosper, Ray and Florent Buju. Two morning
services - Ian to preach
Opening the discipleship seminar
Biblical Discipleship introduction
Practical Out Working
Feed back, Prayer and close of day one
|9.00am and midday.
|Ian and Prosper
Salvation by Grace intro
Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes
Relationships (Making and keeping positive friendships)
Prayer and close of seminar day two
||Alex and Ray
Follower to Role Model
Feed Back prayer and close
||Prosper and Silver
Feed back and questions
VOW arrives in the evening
||Practice the whole day ( VOW and Buju team)
|Sat 1st Dec
Set up of the venue
Worship event in the evening
||All leaders and Buju Tech Team
||Church services in different places
||VOW leave for Kampala
Alex and Ian stay in Bujumbura
||Alex, Ian and Florent still in Buju
Alex and Ian leave for Kigali in the afternoon. Arrive evening.
||Ian and Alex meet leaders in Zion temple
and in Miracle Center
Ian leaves for Kampala in the evening.
||Alex leaves for Kampala.