New Beginnings Church (NBC) Bujumbura was planted On 13th October 2015. It took some time, but we eventually were able to find an affordable place which we could pay ourselves by the tithes and offerings of the members. I started the system of teaching, training, and empowering all of our members in the form of a school of discipleship called Bible Speaks Training (BST). This school helped us to develop a membership class, discipleship class, and pre-marital and leadership training.
Out of the BST school we planted a daughter church in Kagwema, which I have written about in the previous two Field Reports, and I would like to share a few highlights from this year. The first is from a medical mission outreach that we did in Kagwema in March. We have done many medical missions in Burundi, even in Kagwema, over the years but this one was unique because it was the first time we did it on our own without the help of Bazungu (Americans/white people). Leaders and members from NBC Bujumbura spent the day serving alongside NBC Kagwema, providing medical care, food relief, and evangelism to the people in the community. It was planned, led, and executed entirely by Burundians.
Not only were the people of Kagwema impacted, but even our own church members as well, many of whom are more affluent and not used to such a rural, impoverished setting. A woman in our church who serves in women’s leadership gave a testimony of how this mission helped her grow in patience and self-control. She used to be easily impatient and angry with people, but when given the responsibility of helping with the people in Kagwema she encountered the hard people who don't understand the language of order. Another man in our church was so moved and transformed by what had been done in the mission that he treated the entire ministry team (30 people) to dinner in a good restaurant.
A second highlight is the impact that our Gospel-centric teaching and preaching has had on church members. In Kagwema we have 5 couples that, after hearing the Gospel on biblical marriage, discovered that they have been living a sinful life when it comes to their faithfulness in marriage (men living with or married to multiple women). Now they are asking us to officially wed them in the church to their first lady after saying no to polygamy. We are now challenged to organize a simple wedding ceremony for all those 5 couples. This is to support their good response to the gospel and also to help others in that area to do biblical marriage.
After a few years of training the pastor, Abimalec, and his team, they went and planted another church some 40 km away in Cibitoke. NBC Bujumbura and NBC Kagwema are helping to strengthen and equip this new church in Cibitoke and we give glory and thanks to God for using our sponsors and support to buy the land for the church. By God’s grace the church is growing and we are praying and mobilizing the funds to construct a facility where they will have a shelter as Cibitoke’s campus. Through our BST school we have trained a group of 30 leaders from whom we will ordain a group of church leaders (Elders and Deacons) on 3rd December, 2023.
My passion is to multiply disciples through church planting using a strategy that focuses primarily on training. Pastor Eric and I have trained hundreds of church leaders in different denominations across Burundi, DRC, and Tanzania. Dozens of churches have been planted and hundreds have trusted in Christ and been baptized, including dozens of prisoners and prison guards. By God’s grace, we are looking forward to starting a school ministry, women’s ministry, and planting more churches in Bujumbura City, Congo and Tanzania. This year we have seen what what was a dream of starting to reach the whole of Africa become true through a mission outreach we did in Tanzania. Now we are currently equipping, empowering, and sending a local missionary to Tanzania to preach the true Gospel of Christ and make disciples for all nations through biblical church planting. My family is taking this opportunity to say big thanks to our Heavenly Father and all of you who have stood with us to support these works through our TRN family.