I have just received the following prayer request for Burundi from Simon Guillebaud (www.greatlakesoutreach.org) whom many of you know – he has been a speaker in several Newfrontiers Churches and at Newday.
‘This is an URGENT plea for prayers for Burundi. Few expect it to be peaceful this weekend.
‘Tomorrow we anticipate the President announcing his candidacy for a 3rd term, which many consider illegal. As and when he does, the opposition has vowed to pour out onto the streets. Small groups did last week and both tear-gas and water-cannons were used, but thankfully nobody was killed. I don’t want to be alarmist, but I have never seen such fear in Burundians. Thousands have fled the country. Concerned friends have told me to get the family out before tomorrow. We have stockpiled food, phone cards etc. I could write more, but you get the picture. If the embassy calls for an evacuation, I would send Lizzie and the children home, but not before.
‘The worst-case scenario is a complete breakdown in law and order taking us back to zero as a nation. The best-case scenario is that somehow God overrules through the millions of Burundians and others (like you) around the world interceding. That is what we are hoping/praying for, and hence this email to you before you go home for the weekend.
‘Meantime, believe it or not, life goes on relatively normally. We will be going to one of Grace’s friend’s birthday party tomorrow unless the streets are blocked off – it’s pretty surreal.
‘In any case, through our work people are coming to Jesus daily. Although it’s tempting to succumb to fear, we are called to live by faith. God is still on His throne, and we need to behave like we believe it.
‘So in the immediate, the next 48 hours are critical. I’ll update you again shortly.
‘Thanks for standing with us’.
I have been aware of the dire situation in Burundi for several weeks. The local person we are working with, who leads the initiatives related to Newfrontiers/Regions Beyond (Steve Oliver’s apostolic sphere), has already evacuated his family. I understand that the situation feels as tense as the pre-genocide era of the early 90s.
Please pray. Please ask your churches to pray. 1 Tim 2:1,2 exhorts us to pray for those in authority so that ‘we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity’. Please pray for those in authority and for those who cannot flee, including the gathering of believers we are in touch with that has been meeting in recent months. Also for those in the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps who are already living in extreme poverty; we have been helping with food through Regions Beyond, the Gateway Church, Swindon, and Hope for Tomorrow Global.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.