BURUNDI – AFRICA
Burundi Mission Jan. 18 – 29, 2013
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Why Burundi? What About the Needs of Charleston?
So often when we talk about missions to places like Burundi, I often hear in response, but what about Charleston? Why do we need to go so far to do mission? The short answer is that our vision demands it, in fact, our vision and Scripture demand it! The Vision of St. Michael’s Church is to Transform Hearts through Jesus Christ in the Home, Holy City, Hurting Coast and Hungering World. This isn’t something we invented, but it is the Biblical imperative out of Acts 1:8, where we find Jesus saying, be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. We translate those destinations this way:
Jerusalem = Heart and Home ~ Judea = Charleston ~ Samaria = Hurting Coast ~ Ends of the Earth = Hungering World
Jesus didn’t insert or in the middle of those destinations, in fact he said and between each destination! He is calling us to minister in all 4 areas. Yes, it would have been easier if Jesus had given us a choice, but the fact is, our ministries in the home have to be as vital as they are in the larger city, the coast and locations beyond our borders!
The Preaching and Teaching Ministry in Burundi
When you go on mission with an investments advisor (Joe Nicholson), an attorney (Bill Lyles) and a banker (David Soutter), one can wonder, how will we all do in a foreign land? More specifically in Burundi, there is a tendancy to be asked to preach or give your testimony at the drop of a hat. I couldn’t be more proud of our St. Michael’s team! When asked to preach and teach, they more than willingly did what they were asked and did it well!
In 1 Peter 3:15 we find these words: Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is within you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
What’s Next for Burundi?
Burundi, while only the size of Maryland, yet with over 9 million people, is a scarred nation. For 13 years, this country fought a civil war, and during that time, most of the infrastructure was destroyed. For two years there has been peace, a peace that now hinges on the Presidential elections going forward this summer. If those elections are anything but peaceful, it could throw the nation back into civil war, which would prohibit us from sending teams in. Our prayer, hope and expectation is that we would be able to respond to their greatest needs, which after many listening sessions, include the following:
Continued financial support for the staff’s and operating budgets of the ministry partners
A healing ministry to come in and train their clergy and pastors
Doctors and nurses to come over to help start and maintain their clinic
There are so many more needs, but these seemed to be the big three. It is also exciting that St. Michael’s Church is not alone in the support for Burundi. The Church of Our Savior on John’s Island, as well as St. Andrews Church Mt. Pleasant are also looking to send teams over.