MATANA NEWS  
February
, 2008
Diocese of Matana, Eglise Anglicane du Burundi, DS 30, Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa


As we embark on this new- year ministry, we believe the Almighty God will preserve our lives, enable us to fulfil our commitment to proclaim the Good News and continue making us genuine instruments of community transformation.

BUILDING A NEW CATHEDRAL: A DREAM AND A CHALLENGE 
We praise the blessed work of our very first missionaries, Leonard Sharp and his friends, of building a very nice church that was completed in 1939 and fitted for a thousand people. Now that Matana congregation has grown big, the church building, which has become Matana Cathedral, no longer fits for the parishioners on monthly gatherings. It gives us hard times in rainy and sunny times. We thus need to build a new Cathedral that fits for a larger congregation, and the planning for this has already begun. The building of the new cathedral will involve the whole diocese.

PLWHA CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR 
The people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) so far identified in Matana surroundings celebrated the New Year on 5th January, under the guidance of the diocesan HIV and AIDS coordinator, Mme Eularie NDAYIRORERE. Thirty-six people turned up and joyfully testified to the goodness of the Lord for having preserved their lives all along the year 2007, and especially for having saved and gave them hope for eternal peace with God. As one could notice, those PLWA are suffering but have real peace of mind, even more than many of the non-infected people who always hopelessly complain of other life challenges. The celebration was enhanced by the presence of the bishop and other diocesan staff members.

TRAINING DISCIPLESHIP 
The Scripture Union Burundi, in collaboration with Matana diocesan youth department, organised an interdenominational Bible youth camp on 2 - 5 January, which involved pupils from more than 70 secondary schools of the south of our country, and some students from the university. The 400 people of the 600 expected attended the gathering and were given wonderful teachings focused on discipleship, as a means not only to make disciples for spreading the Gospel, but also to be future good servants for their communities, churches and the whole nation.

VISITS 
Matana diocese hosted our friends, Revd Pat & Pam Brooks, from the UK, from February 7th to March 13th. They came with Anne Grimwood, a retired midwife. We are glad to have Revd Pat healed because he was sick last year. Moreover, he's still strong enough to serve God. He taught at Matana Theological Institute, and Mrs Pam Brooks continued her Good Samaritan work of giving spectacles to aged people from all regions and denominations. Before Pat's departure, the students at Matana Institute had undoubtedly have got deep knowledge about 1 & 2 Timothy. We were blessed their presence.

We were also honoured to welcome our President in Matana Commune on 29th of February. He worshiped in Matana Cathedral on Sunday 2nd of March. He spoke to the congregation basing his message on John 15:7, and exhorted them to remain in Jesus and live according to his Word, so we may be granted whatever we shall ask for. He emphasised on the part of the Lord's Prayer, which urges us to wholeheartedly forgive others before asking God for forgiveness. This will harmonise our social life, and be a solid foundation of truth, peace and reconciliation, as we look forward to discussing on the sad events our country went through, the President concluded.


Visit of the President
PRAISES AND PRAYERS

PRAISES 
  • For the spiritual life change, impact of evangelical gatherings in our communities. 
  • For the wedding of Miss Frédiane NKUNZIMANA, a member of our diocesan staff, to Etienne NIYOKINDI of Gitega Diocese. They met during their days at Matana Theological Institute.
  • For the good harvest we hopefully shall have this year.
  • For the remarkable reduction of hunger in the country.
  • For the promise of the FNL, the remaining rebel movement, to resume participation in the Peace Agreement with the Government.
PRAISES 
  • For the bereaved family of late Celestin MBESHIMINWE, one of the deacons who was ready to be ordained on 20th January, but passed away the week before. He left a widow and 8 children. 
  • For the sick, especially church ministers, due to the kind of pandemic malaria that is raging in families throughout the diocese 
  • For the retreat of pastors and their spouses, which took place on 05-07 March, as the first-hand implementation of the diocesan "focus on the family" training programme 
  • For the forthcoming hard and long work of building the new Cathedral 
  • For the negotiations between the Government and the FNL. We pray that both parties keep their promises. 
  • For the increasing number of thefts and crimes all over the country. 
  • For better conditions of welcoming more than 200,000 returnees from Tanzania.

 

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