In 2011, Regions Beyond began partnering with Evariste Ndayirukiye, who has a vision of transformation in Burundi and surrounding nations. As many of you know, in 2012, God amazingly provided us with £100,000 to buy a piece of land at the ‘city gate’ in Bujumbura, Burundi, which had previously been the site of one of the worst massacres in the civil war. We believe God has promised us that thisarea will become a place of hope, healing and restoration.
We have plans to establish a base there, including a church building,trade school and training centre, with accommodation facilities, plussome demonstration plots for teaching Foundations for Farming. This facility will both serve the community and be used by those coming from surrounding regions and neighbouring nations. The aim is to train and equip people in theology and church planting, as well as in business skills, trades and farming.
In January this year, a team gathered in Bujumbura to seek God for the next phase. A prophetic word came, ‘Redeem the land, and the people will be restored.’ Less than a month later, Bujumbura suffered a terrible natural disaster with severe flooding and landslides, which killed many and caused great devastation. Over 15,000 people were displaced. Most are still living in camps.
One of the worst affected areas is right where we have our land. Over 400 homes in this community, Gatunguru, have been totally destroyed or badly damaged, leaving over 2400 people homeless. Many have alsolost loved ones. One lady, Odette, lost 5 of her 6 children when the house collapsed on them. Others saw their children washed away. Many bodies have never been recovered. Most households lived off the land and so have lost their livelihoods too. Many are now malnourished. In the camps, some have already died.
Yet, in the midst of such devastation and desperation, we have an incredible opportunity to bring hope and practically demonstrate God’s love. As a family of churches together, we want to stand with the people of Gatunguru and help enable them to rebuild their lives, their homes and community. In doing so, we believe that we will see a church established in this community and God’s promises of hope, healing and restoration come about. As we redeem the land, the people will be restored!
Right now there is an urgent need to help people get out of the camps and into safe, temporary accommodation before the rains come in August. If people remain where they are, thousands of lives are at risk. The surrounding area is badly damaged and further landslides, rockslides and flooding are almost inevitable. Meanwhile, we want to make longer-term plans to improve the surrounding infrastructure tohelp prevent the same thing happening again, while also helping to build disaster-proof homes.
There are 3 phases of work needed;
Phase 1 – Emergency Intervention
Help get people out of the camps and disaster zone. (£100 is what’s needed to get a family out of a camp and into temporary accommodation for a few months.)
Provide funds to enable people to re-start businesses or start farming again to that they can sustain themselves. (On average, £50 per household is adequate.)
As a church you may like you commit to supporting a specific family until they can sustain themselves again and then commit to rebuild a house for them.
Phase 2 – Land stabilization, Community Development
Assess and improve the infrastructure in the region includingplanting trees, which will help to protect the community and prevent the same thing happening again in the future
Help finance the research, design and rebuilding of homes
Phase 3 – Development of Our Land and Facilities
Please consider giving to this work. We can directly affect the lives of hundreds of people with our giving. There is no large charity we are working with, this is a Regions Beyond initiative where the families are personally known. We have the opportunity to see the birth of a whole new work in Burundi.