Please continue in your prayers for Burundi.  Prayer changes things and brings encouragement to the churches and also to the team at Living Hope Ministries. Thank you.

LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES

Richard Brunton from Living Hope Ministries has asked Downs Baptist Church to pray for Burundi which is served by Richard and one of his teams.  The work of LHM is to teach pastors and leaders to build effective churches all over the world.  This includes the discipling of new believers.

The key person to pray for in Burundi is Pastor Eddy Bukeyeneza who works with four other pastors there.  In 2023 the pastors were responsible for the outreach ministry and preaching of the gospel in different communities and churches throughout Burundi.  They sent back reports of the number of new believers, which totalled 1254.  It was good to hear that some other believers were baptised roundabout Christmas time.

INFO ABOUT BURUNDI

The republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Africa at the junction between the African Great Lakes region and East Africa.  It borders in the north with Rwanda.  The capital city is Gitega, and the official languages are Kirundi (national language), French and English.  It is densely populated and one of the smallest countries in Africa.  It is primarily a rural society, and the land is mostly used for subsistence agriculture and grazing.  As of 2005 the country was almost completely deforested.  It is probably the poorest country in the world with widespread poverty, corruption, instability, authoritarianism and illiteracy.

It gained independence from Belgium in 1962 and has been ruled in the past by Tutsi dictators.  It experienced a genocide of Hutus in 1972.  55% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsis and less than 1% are Twa.

The Burundi constitution guarantees religious freedom, but several churches have been banned.  67% of the population are Christians, of which 62% are Roman Catholic and only 5% are Protestant.  32% of the people practise indigenous religions and 1% are Muslim.

If we look at the history of Richard’s team ministry in Burundi before it developed into the lively ministry of outreach and evangelism which we find today, we see that a door was first opened into Burundi, pioneered by Richard himself, in 2016.  Richard later handed over the baton to a team or group of people, so that they could take care of the visits to Burundi.  However, Richard continued to oversee them when they went out on mission. The job of the team or group was primarily to build friendships, to provide teaching for the pastors so that new believers could be discipled, and to encourage and support the churches, which they are continuing to do to the present day.

In particular, a telephone ministry has developed in the countries served by Richard and his teams.  This takes place when people in Africa gather in crusades, seminars and Bible study groups.  Gatherings of leaders pause as a live telephone message produced by Richard himself is translated into their language.  One such group who use this telephone ministry to share the word of God operates in Burundi.

As has already been mentioned, Burundi is very poor and mostly rural.  The pastors therefore have to go into remote  areas to plant churches where people generally are unreached by the gospel.  Pastor Eddy is assisted by Peter in the work who also serves the Lord in Kenya. Eddy’s job is to provide teaching seminars and to develop his friendship with the key country contact who stands with him in his ministry and in the ministry of the other pastors.

Please pray as follows:-

  • For the new converts – that they will grow in their faith and be a witness to others.
  • For Eddy, Peter and the other pastors as they conduct the outreach  ministry, preaching the gospel in different churches and communities throughout Burundi.
  • For Richard’s team as they build up the pastors with their teaching as well as supporting the churches.
  • For their telephone ministry.
  • That all the resources that the team members need are released to them.
  • That they are free to pursue whatever they see appropriate to the spiritual needs of Burundi.