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A battle for the heart of Africa - Burundi

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 4:05 PM

In Burundi these last few weeks, there has been moments of tension, conflict, celebration, overwhelming terror and periods of calm and storm. The last 18 hours has been a period of calm. Let me give you a little background; personally as to why am in Burundi and also I will put this political situation into context.

 

As a member of Homsexual Anonymous, I have likened the struggle within to that of a civil war, often characterised by the above-mentioned conditions and feelings. I moved to Burundi 5 weeks ago as I am a Director of a mission organisation, and we are currently initiating a farming project here. We seek to transform a community in one of the poorest parts of the world through the love of Jesus Christ and believe that reconciliation, between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, is a fundamental part of this. However progress has been hampered due to the political situation. However, I am convinced God is working behind the scenes….. what good are projects if the hearts of men and women are not transformed?

 

Burundi is a country that has been torn by civil war and poverty. Though the civil war ended 20 years ago, the current unrest relates to the fact that two weeks ago the President announced his candidacy for a 3rd term, with elections coming up in June. Many consider this to be unconstitutional and illegal. The opposition have taken to the streets of Bujumbura, the capital, but most of these protests have been blocked and streets barricaded. Several have lost their lives in this time but thankfully not as many as had been anticipated. Thousands have fled the country. Concerned friends and family have asked me why I have not left. If the embassy calls for an evacuation, I may leave but not now as God has told me to remain.

 

On Wednesday, when I got a visa extended for the next two months, things escalated and by mid-day a Coup d’Etat was announced by the military. That was when the dancing on the streets began; all while the President was in Tanzania. At 3.30am that night there was no dancing going on. Instead there was a torrent of machine gunfire and explosions about 1km from where I live. The target was the radio and broadcasting base which the opposing parties (ie., a divided army) were vying for. The President’s supporters won out and now on Friday, the President has resumed his position and is back in the country. After two days of being completely house bound, I sense pervading sense of calm which is almost “too quiet”.

 

The political situation here in Burundi may be far from stable, and the future far from certain, but I know that above all, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has a plan. My personal belief is that a Burundi is on the brink of revival but the battle is on. I am trusting that A National Day of prayer will be called. Please join me and many others in Burundi and all over the world as we pray for God’s healing and His glory to shine in this beautiful land. Thank you God for your perfect peace!

 

Tom from Ireland

Go Out and Make Disciples

Posted on February 8, 2015 at 8:40 AM

We as Christians are called to go and and make disciples. We should never content ourselves just meeting on a weekly basis like a religious club and listening to nicely sounding messages. Going out, however, means going out to those who need the Lord most: The poor, the sick, the lonely, the drug addicts, the hookers, the sexually broken, the gays, the desperate, the criminals, the inmates and many more. That means diving into their (!) waters. Only working on finding new ways to lure people into the Church (building) won't cut the deal. Those people will not even waste a thought on our nicely thought-out programs. If we go to where they are at though, we need to be aware that this is the kingdom of the Prince of the Air. These are highly dangerous waters, even though they offer us the greatest challenge for a rich harves for the Lord. To go there means to prepare - to put on our spiritual armour. Having a daily spiritual structure and surrounding ourselves with good and solid Christians is crucial if we want to face the evil. Then again - there is nothing like that. THIS is what Jesus wants us to do and where he wants us to be at. All the angels in heaven will cheer for each sould saved, for each sheep that finds its way back to the flock! Hallelujah!

Stop the begging!

Posted on September 21, 2014 at 7:45 AM

We know them all – Christian ministries that beg for money, using more or less sophisticated means of publicity and modern media. You get to see those poor little children with the sad eyes, or they try to get you with all sorts of tearful stories.

Anything wrong with that? Yes, a lot. Besides the fact that we should not abuse pictures of dramatic situations for fundraising, we forget why we are here for at first place, what the center of our focus should be – and what not.

So accepting money is wrong? Not necessarily. Begging for it is.

How that? Look at Jesus and the apostles. Yes, when something was offered to them, they accepted it, but they did not go from house to house telling people stories of their persecuted followers to get them to donate them a couple of coins.

Almost all of the apostles knew some trade – and most likely used it. So can we. We can use simple methods to meet our daily needs and teach others how to do that. Example: Dr. Douglas McIntyre serves as a missionary in Uganda right now. Among others, they lack electricity there. So instead of begging others for money, he learned how to build a simple wind generator by using a barrel – and he taught others how to do that so they don’t have to beg either.

Whatever ministry you are having: Accept what is offered to you, but don’t send out emails asking people to give you money and don’t organize events with the sole purpose to raise cash.

That stinks.

As Christians, our purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment: leave everything behind, take up our cross daily, love the Lord with all of our hearts; go out, baptize people and make them disciples – and love everyone in word and deed (like by feeding them or teaching them how to get food). The apostles did not care whether or not they received donations. They lived a very simple life – even for the times back then – and look what they did with that.

So can we: Cut it down to the basics. You don’t need to act like a worldly company. We have a love burning within us that is beyond anything the world could possibly offer. We do not share that burning love by raising huge ministries who make millions of dollars, but by loving them, living with them, being there for them and make Jesus become present in us.

Go out and become a true disciple before you call others to. Leave the world behind – and with it worldly methods – and become more like Christ. Jesus did not start a fundraising campaign among the Jews or the gentiles either: He owned nothing and asked for nothing. He taught us to become the lowest of the lowest.

Think back of Mother Theresa. I cannot remember ever having heard from her she wanted money. And yet she saved so many lives – and souls!

We should do no less.

Robert