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18th April 08

Urgent Prayer Update:

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 engaging?

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 we 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 November 2007.

We also hope to work with Simon Guillebaud

   Florent Bahizi

Message from Florent

               In 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 passing through.

               God 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.

               So, the 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.

             Therefore! 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.

               My prayer 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


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 attended.
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
P.O.B.O.X 7019
Bujumbura, Burundi

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

30th Nov

Hi Everybody,
I have found a working internet connection so am making the most of the opportunity !
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 morning.
The morning discipleship training is now successfully concluded. It has been well recieved by 50 Youth leaders from 8 of the Churches in Bujumbura.
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.
God bless

Detailed Programmed for Burundi Trip




In Charge

Mon 19th Nov Booking tickets at Gaso Bus
Ian leaves for Kigali
Evening Ian and Alex
Tues 20th Ian in Kigali   Ian
Weds 21st Ian leaves for Bujumbura and will be received by Florent
Alex leaves for Kigali
2.00am Florent
Thurs 22nd Ian meets partners in Bujumbura
Ian sharing in the Evening service
Alex in Kigali preparing meetings with Zion and Miracle Center leaders
Fri 23rd Alex still in Kigali
Ian and Florent meet people in Bujumbura
Sat 24th 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
Sun 25th Ian, Alex, Prosper, Ray and Florent Buju. Two morning services - Ian to preach
Opening the discipleship seminar
Opening worship
Biblical Discipleship introduction
Practical Out Working
Discussion Group
Feed back, Prayer and close of day one
9.00am and midday.


Ian and Prosper
Mon 26th Worship
Salvation by Grace intro
Discussion groups
Feed back
5.30-7.45pm Ian
Tues 27th Worship
Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes
Relationships (Making and keeping positive friendships)
Discussion groups
Prayer and close of seminar day two
5.30-7.45pm Alex and Ray
Weds 28th Worship
Peer Pressure
Follower to Role Model
Discussion groups
Feed Back prayer and close
5.30-7.45pm Prosper and Silver
Thurs 29th Worship
Servant leadership
Feed back and questions
VOW arrives in the evening
5.30-7.45pm Ian
Fri 30th Practice the whole day ( VOW and Buju team)    
Sat 1st Dec Worship event
Set up of the venue
Worship event in the evening
5.30-8.00pm All leaders and Buju Tech Team
Sun 2nd Church services in different places
Beach retreat
Mon 3rd VOW leave for Kampala
Alex and Ian stay in Bujumbura
Tues 4th Alex, Ian and Florent still in Buju
Alex and Ian leave for Kigali in the afternoon. Arrive evening.
Weds 5th Ian and Alex meet leaders in Zion temple
and in Miracle Center
Ian leaves for Kampala in the evening.
Thurs 6th Alex leaves for Kampala.