1st December 2007
On Saturday the 1st
December 2007, 62 people met at Highfield Church, Southampton,
to hear more of the spiritual and physical needs of Burundi.
Many had come long distances.
They arrived at midday and ate
their packed lunches together. Literature relating to those
associated with the Friends of Burundi was laid out on tables at
the back and in the case of letters, members had the opportunity
to subscribe to those they wished to receive.
The main meeting was chaired by our
chairman, William Challis. After a time of worship, led by Keith
Anderson, we read from one Peter 4 12--19.
1 Peter 4:12 -
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
19 So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Simon Guillebaud, an evangelist
working in Burundi explained how God had called him to work in
Burundi and how this had led to the founding of GLO, the Great
Lakes Outreach. He told how this had mushroomed into several
different organizations in Burundi - work in the schools,
evangelization, including Evangelization Explosion and help for
street children. He explained the competition that the churches
faced from Islam and how they sought to equip the Church to
confront this. He hoped to build up each group to make it
He described Burundi as a land of
amazing contrasts -- enormous poverty, but often great spiritual
riches. It was a land that had often been forgotten by the
world, but was remembered by God.
It was a land of amazing beauty
-- but one where probably 4 million people have died in the
internecine war. As Christians, we believe that when one
suffers, we all suffer. We need to know what is going on
The talk was split into two parts
and between them Simon showed a video of his work in Burundi.
He asked for prayer for the
president, Peter Nkurunziza who faces enormous challenges, that
he may have discernment in the midst of many different factions
and that he may be protected.. Politicians may resist
The meeting was then shown the
video from the Anglican church's web site.
The meeting split into groups and
prayed for the physical and spiritual needs of Burundi and for
those working there.
The meeting closed with a hymn
and prayer. An offertory was given to support the work in