My friends, Jesus is good. And He lives! I begin to write this on my way home from Burundi, Africa, which is a small country in east Africa, west of Tanzania and south of Rwanda. My dad was there in 2000 when he went for the second crusade that our ministry ever conducted. Burundi is a beautiful country, with rolling hills everywhere and trees that look different from ours in North America. The people there are very kind and welcoming. Burundi has faced some very difficult times; the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990’s took place in Burundi as well. There is also great poverty. But in the last few years, things have begun to improve. One really significant thing is that the country now lives in peace.
I went to partner with a bishop of the Assemblies of God in Burundi; his name is Jérôme Ndayisaba. Pastor Jérôme is a spiritual authority for, and support to, other pastors in Burundi. He planted the church that he currently pastors and desires to plant more churches. He really loves the people of Burundi and desires to grow God’s Kingdom there. His humble and sincere heart and his happy attitude were a blessing to me. He gathered pastors and young leaders from many churches for training, and organized the three-night crusade meeting.
I am thankful to Jesus for the work that He accomplished this week. I proclaimed to these people that Jesus welcomes sinners and will give life to all who call upon Him. I proclaimed that Jesus is the hope and light of the world, and that through the cross, there is forgiveness of sins. I called them to repentance, to turn from their sin and follow Jesus. And they responded! Each night, people came forward to pray and accept Jesus. Hallelujah! He saved them!
After calling upon Jesus to forgive sin, we prayed for healing for those who were sick. God performed many miracles; each night, between ten and twenty people testified that Jesus healed their bodies.
On the first night, this woman (first picture) testified to being set free from smoking (just before her, another woman testified to being freed from smoking as well). She said she wasn’t able to sleep without smoking and she felt that she was freed from her addiction.
This woman (second picture) shared her story on the third night: she explained that she had been struck by lightning eight years before. Every morning since then, she had had pain in her back and feet. The first two nights of the crusade, she had prayed for her healing, and on the morning of the third day, she woke up without any pain. Praise Jesus!
The crusade meeting went from Thursday to Saturday night; on Sunday morning, we gathered again at the crusade grounds for a church service. We wanted to welcome these new believers into the church. I shared with them from Acts 2:42-47, which describes the life of the young church and how the new believers from Pentecost were incorporated into that life. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Since that time, Bishop Jérôme has updated me about how things are going with these new brothers and sisters. He told me that forty people have gathered to form a cell group in Songa, which is the village where the crusade meeting was held. A couple of days later, on Sunday, he explained that sixty-five new people had come to the church where he pastors, a few kilometers from Songa. He wrote, “We need to add 100 chairs. There is a revival.”
This is wonderful news! I thank God for His continuing work. He is faithful to carry on the work that He began in these people. Please pray for them. Specifically, pray:
• that the Lord would empower and encourage Pastor Jérôme and the church there to disciple these new believers—to walk with them and love them, and help them as they follow Jesus.
• that these new believers would continue to trust in Jesus, and grow in love and obedience to Him.
• that the Lord would motivate a spirit of generosity in the church, so that our brothers and sisters provide for one another’s needs. As we pray for this, we can also ask God to give us opportunity to share with our brothers and sisters in need, both here and abroad.
• On the site where we held our crusade meeting, the Assemblies of God have begun to build a Bible school. Pastor Jérôme said this about it: “My vision is to train many people, to train many pastors who will plant the church.” He still needs financial support to finish constructing the Bible school that they’ve started. The alternative has been for students to go to Kenya for Bible school because there are not options in Burundi. But it is really expensive, and only a few students are able to go. Please pray that God would provide the means necessary and, more importantly, that the church would be strengthened and grow because of this school.
Thank you. We are thankful to you that you pray for us and stand with us and support us. We love you all.