We recently conducted a successful festival in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. The festival occurred during a turning point in Burundi’s history. The week prior, a national election was held in the country and for the first time a born again believer was elected as the President. I had the opportunity to share and pray with Peter Nkurunziza, the President-Elect, as he and his wife attended the closing day of the Bujumbura festival. He spoke to the massive crowd, telling them the festival was part of God’s divine plan for reconciliation and restoration of the Republic of Burundi.
He affirmed his belief in Jesus Christ before the people, encouraging them to believe God’s message of love and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a difficult word for the people of Burundi. How does someone forgive those who murdered their family? Johnson, one of our team interpreters, testified that he was full of revenge toward the killers of 70 of his family members until he had a revelation of how much Christ had forgiven him. The love of Christ brought healing and change, and he offered the killers a job on his farm as an act of unconditional forgiveness.
Over a thousand pastors joined us for a 3-day seminar designed to empower leaders to lead a Gospel Revolution in their city and village. They committed to impart the fresh revelation to their congregations.
One pastor personally shared how his view toward unbelievers had changed and he was ready to win them for Jesus. Miracles flooded the platform every night and thousands responded to salvation. You could sense a willingness and eagerness in the people to be reconciled to God and receive Christ’s forgiveness. After 11 years, they were weary of holding bitterness and hurt in their heart and were ready to forgive. One of the notable miracles was a little girl named Nyabenda, paralyzed and twisted since birth.
The masses rejoiced in her healing, but greater joy was experienced by Sarah, the sister who had carried her for 8 long years and watched her limbs straighten and strengthen before her eyes. The final evening, pastors and bishops from many denominations shared over dinner how the Bujumbura festival had impacted their lives, churches, and community. Hope for the future was strong as they talked about uniting together to see every person in Burundi know Christ as their personal Savior.