Mission Spotlight: Pray for Burundi

500px-Flag_of_Burundi.svgThe Crossing supports a number of missionaries in East Africa. Through these missionaries, we connect with a wider network of missionaries who are teaching, pastoring, church-planting or working in development and humanitarian relief. This week, almost all of them have communicated with us asking for prayers for Burundi. The escalating violence in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, has grown to such crisis that reports of genocide and mass killing are pouring out of the country despite denials by the Burundian authorities.

Burundi is a small Central African country that sits in the triangle between Rwanda, DRCongo and Tanzania. It is home to a little over 11 million people who are largely made up of the same Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups involved in the Rwandan Genocide. We do not fully know the extent of the violence but the reports and photos are alarming. BBC is running updates at this page.
Here are some excerpts of a few of the prayer requests we’ve received. I have removed any identifying personal information to protect those involved:

  • The situation in Burundi is very bad! We just received a message from one of the woman who used to attend…when she lived [here] saying, she is thinking of leaving her country and she needs God’s direction. There is no safety and only God can rescue her now as there are killings everywhere. May Jesus bring peace to these dear ones in Burundi. This was the very reason He came, God our Emmanuel.
  • I’m wary of sounding too alarmist…because frankly nobody’s got a clue as to how serious today’s events are, and how many people are dying right now, but suffice to say it’s serious enough to get an email out to you and ask for your urgent prayers for Burundi.
  • Today there were multiple coordinated attacks against military camps and shooting/shelling/grenade thuds reverberating over the capital from 4am. Many of my friends’ houses have been hit by stray bullets. All are hunkering down, and there are renewed attacks as I write this. I’ve listened to…constant gunfire. I’ve seen…about 60 young men rounded up and face down in a truck being driven away at gunpoint. What will be their fate?
  • Confusion, fear, uncertainty. PLEASE PRAY!

As we move toward Christmas celebrations with friends and family members, let us remember to pray for Burundi. Let us pray for all, whether near or far, who are hungry and cold, oppressed and living in fear. Let us pray also for those who are fleeing violence in the Middle East and around the world, for all who sleep in danger, who huddle clutching their children and elderly hoping to survive or who flee under cover of darkness, across dangerous border-crossings or through rough seas. Let us pray for those whose Christmas Eve will be neither silent, nor seem holy, but full of gunfire, bomb blasts and sobbing. And as we pray for them, let us also pray for ourselves, for our own fear that keeps us paralyzed. Let us ask for courage to live the gospel more deeply, with greater boldness and generosity. As we pray, let us remember and take heart because it was into this dangerous, sin-dark and blood smeared world, were martial law kept the people of Palestine under the terror of the occupying Roman soldiers, that our Lord came as a babe, sent to be God with us, Immanuel, the en-fleshed offering from Heaven, the God-man who is our hope. He is the only lasting hope for Burundi, for those fleeing ISIS, for all who weep this Christmas. May He be our Peace.

Sources:
bbc.com
en.wikipedia.org

 

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