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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

Categories: Africa, Mission, Outreach


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