A Prayer for Burundi
“The situation was very catastrophic and chaotic,” Ferdinand Nishirimbere, headmaster
Crowded classrooms can be a recipe for disaster! Diseases are spread, attendance plummets, and students easily lose attention.
This is the problem for many schools in Burundi, a land-locked country that is still reeling from the consequences of a civil war. Although the war ended in 2005, the recent escalation of tensions is complicating community development efforts.
The students of Matana need our prayers!
The church is expanding one primary school in the Diocese of Matana. At the New Wineskins Conference last week, Bishop Seth Ndayirukiye (of Matana) gave us an update.
Three new classrooms were recently completed and now they are occupied! The need is so great that the moment new classrooms are built, they are put to use. Hallelujah!
Bishop Seth gave us some additional context. The civil war in Burundi has had immense consequences for the nation. Development has been stunted and many people are feeling hopeless right now. The marginalized region of Matana lost a lot of men in the armed conflict and the church is now responsible for many widows and orphans. Because of this hopeless situation, education had been in disarray. When the church decided to invest in education, it offered hope and encouragement to the people of Matana.
Bishop Seth also shared that education is the key to church outreach. The government is supportive of new schools and will happily give land for educational purposes. Schools are allowed to teach the word of God. Even so, the government is less inclined to support new churches, especially in a poor area like Matana that the government does not see as politically important. The diocese, in its service to the community through education, brings the community the good news of Jesus and then plants a church.
ARDF is proud to partner with local leaders like Bishop Seth. We are excited that this project is moving ahead!
Please pray for Bishop Seth, for the hardships they face in this region of Burundi, for the lasting effects of the conflict, and for the promise Jesus brings through education to the community.