24 Hours of Prayer for Burundi
Written by Plant With Purpose on April 29, 2015 in General, News & Events
The country of Burundi is in a state of crisis. The capital city of Bujumbura is experiencing extreme unrest due to the upcoming national elections. Areas throughout the city are blocked off with protests taking place daily. On Sunday and Monday, several people died and many others were severely injured during demonstrations and the violence is expected to increase. Many Plant With Purpose Burundi staff cannot leave their homes due to blockades or security issues. In addition, several staff members have lost close family members due to the rise of violent crime in Bujumbura over the last few months.
To escape the unrest before violence escalates, Burundians are fleeing the country. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 21,000 refugees have already entered Rwanda and at least 4,000 more fled to The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thousands are also expected in Tanzania.
Communication is challenging at the moment as some phone lines, internet connections, and major radio stations have been cut or shutdown. On top of that, social media and most text messaging programs have been disabled.
Up until this point, Burundi has experienced a decade of peace that followed a bloody civil war where more than 300,000 people were killed. The current peace is delicate and Burundians fear that the situation could worsen.
With 19 full time and 60 part time staff members, Plant With Purpose is taking precautions and asking for all non-essential staff to remain home. Those who are able to make it to the office are traveling during daylight hours. The majority of the 63 partnering communities are on the southern border with Tanzania away from the hotspot of Bujumbura but 1,169 families live in rural areas immediately surrounding the capital. We expect that many of the 6,430 partnering families are being impacted by this unrest.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Please join us in praying for Burundi and ask for God’s help and mercy to rest on this country and its beautiful people. For 24 hours, Plant With Purpose’s international family will be praying for Burundi starting on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m. (PDT). You can sign up at this link by simply selecting and reserving an available half-hour prayer slot. A reminder email will be sent one-hour prior to your prayer time.
Please use these requests to direct your time of prayer:
- Safety of Plant With Purpose staff and partnering families
- Wisdom for political leaders
- Democracy to be sustained
- Violence to cease
- Peace to be sustained across ethnic lines
- Successful elections to take place on June 26
Plant With Purpose has been working in Burundi since 2008. Below is a story of transformation from one of Plant With Purpose’s partnering families.
Burundi is the hungriest country in the world, by far. With nearly three-fourths of the population undernourished, there seems to never be enough food to go around. In Kiremba, Plant With Purpose partners with farmers to equip them to make the most of their land. Through a little training and a lot of hard work, women like Espérance Nahimana are growing enough food to feed their families.
Espérance is a farmer and mother of ten. She and her husband Arthémon tend a small plot where they grow vegetables and breed farm animals including chickens, cows, and goats. In partnership with Plant With Purpose, Espérance joined a Farmer Field School where she tests different techniques and receives training in sustainable farming. “The experience I have after nearly a year spent in a Farmer Field School opened my eyes. I look forward to putting into practice the techniques learned,” she shares.
Her improved farming methods mean Espérance can feed all ten of her children nutritious and well-balanced meals. “During this period of time working with Plant With Purpose I am very pleased to see how we can improve the nutrition of our children with vegetables that can be grown even in a very small garden.” Even though the family’s garden is small, it produces a multitude of vegetables. It also feeds their chickens, which in turn fertilize the soil.
Even more important than improved nutrition, Espérance’s partnership with Plant With Purpose has transformed her spiritual life. “They urged us to come together regardless of gender, ethnic group, or religion. This allows us to build relationships with neighbors and other people we were previously indifferent to.”