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  Revd Canon Jeremy Kabuye

 

     Link to EAB Press Report

 

Revd Canon Jeremy Kabuye, died  aged 92, on 3rd September 2011. A funeral service was held in Matana on 5th September to give thanks for and celebrate his life of faithful and loving service. 

 

Baptised in 1936 he was among the first group of pastors ordained in the Anglican Church in Burundi. His widow shared that despite the hardships he continually praised God and lovingly encouraged people.

 

We extend our sympathy to his wife Ruth and the rest of his family

 

Canon Yeremiya Kabuye
an appreciation by Pat Brooks

Yeremiya was one of the first to commit his life to the Lord – as a teenager - when the missionaries came from Ruanda in 1935.  He spent the whole of his life serving God with joy as a church teacher and then in 1955 he and Yoasi Karenzo were the first Barundi to be ordained in Buye cathedral.  For the first 20 years he and Rusi were posted to many remote areas, often lacking food until they had had time to plant and harvest their crops.  They walked everywhere and worked very hard shepherding their congregations.  Yeremiya and Rusi always worked together as a team, bringing up their 8 children.  Two other couples were their contemporaries – Yoasi and Eyodia Karenzo with Paulo and Doroteya Rutwe and all 3 couples were posted to many different locations.

On one occasion Paulo and Doroteya had no salt.  They prayed that the Lord would send someone with a gift for them.  The Lord spoke to Yeremiya and he walked for a whole day with  salt wrapped in a banana leaf for them!  He lived close to the Lord and was obedient to him.

Yeremiya and Rusi’s 8 children all passed into secondary school and most of them finished university and some have gone on to serve the Lord in key positions.  Their parents would undoubtedly have also gone to university had they had the chance of a formal education.

After ordination Yeremiya and Rusi  were posted to Nyabigina where they were greatly loved by the people.  They built up the congregations and encouraged the church teachers in charge of the satellite churches.  In the 60s and early 70s Yeremiya was the Principal of the Bishop Barham Bible College at Buye and then in 1972 he was posted to Bujumbura .

Yeremiya was enthusiastic and dedicated in his use of time and in his care of people.  After the genocide there were many seeking his counsel and his help.  His house was always full of people, some staying for many months as they tried to settle court cases or were looking after relatives in the hospital.  He never turned them away.  He was a wise, discerning pastor, amongst the best at chairing a meeting when he quickly saw through idle talk and brought people back to the main issue.

In Bujumbura he encouraged young men to learn for the 2nd and 3rd ‘Letters’ by extension and was rewarded when they did well in the Matana Bible College exams.  He had a vision for the suburbs of Bujumbura and established a church in Musaga using the Roman Catholic church and then others in Ngagara and Cibitoke using schools.  All three areas now have purpose built churches.

Yeremiya was a candidate to be the first bishop of Burundi , but Yohana Nkunzumwami was chosen and Yeremiya worked faithfully with him.  He combined quiet authority with an easy approachable manner and was greatly loved by all the congregations in Bujumbura .  He leaves a widow, Rusi, and six of his children.  We praise God for every remembrance of him.

Pat Brooks

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