Editor’s Note: Since May of 2019, the Adventist Church members in Burundi have endured ongoing persecution from the countries government. On October 24, the president of the Burundi Union Mission, pastor Lamec Barishinga, was arrested. This arrest was part of an escalating series of threats and attacks on the Seventh-day Adventist Church by the government of Burundi. For further reading about the situation of our Adventist brother and sisters in Burundi, please visit the Pray for Burundi website.
Below is a letter to the Adventist Church in Burundi from Seventh-day World Church President, Ted N.C. Wilson
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Burundi,
Be of good courage and lean on the Lord in all things as you face various situations including the continuing pandemic, challenges with the economy, and various other uncertainties. Thank the Lord for His constant oversight of your needs and situation. God has an everlasting love for you and your future which is in His hands. Thank you for your strong testimony for God amidst all the challenges you have been facing. Please remember that your world church is interested in you and prays for you…….your Heavenly Father is constantly working to provide you with encouragement and the opportunity to witness for Him. Remain steadfast in your study of the Holy Bible and learning the Lord’s instructions for daily living in the Spirit of Prophecy. May your prayer life be ever-increasing as you lean upon the arms of our almighty God. May your proclamation of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12 and the fourth angel’s message in Revelation 18:1-4 be a powerful witness to all who hear your testimony.
We will join you in praying for Burundi and its leaders as they chart the course for the future. May the future be filled with a recognition that it is only as we base our work and thoughts on God’s Holy Word that there can truly be religious freedom and a better life for all citizens of any country. Remain faithful to God in all that you face and He will honor your faithfulness.
Continue to reach out to your local communities in Total Member Involvement through public evangelism and daily personal witness. God will amplify your efforts and make your testimony a powerful witness for Him. Join with your worldwide church in prayer for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit so that God’s work on earth will soon be finished and we can go home to heaven. Join the world church in the strategic plans entitled “Reach the World—I Will Go!” Respond to the Lord’s call by saying, “I Will Go” and be an evangelistic witness for God. Truly, the second coming of Christ is very near. We will pray for you and your fellow church members as well as church leaders who remain so faithful to God including our faithful union president, Pastor Lamec Barashinga, who is still being detained in prison. Pray for God’s continued protection for him and others who may be detained. We thank God for the mission effort that Pastor Barashinga is showing in the prison where he has been detained. What a witness for our mighty Father in heaven……and all through His power.
May the following be an inspiration for you today as you see what Paul was admonishing Timothy to do in I Timothy 6:11-12: “…….pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” The Lord will give you victory in your daily walk with Him as you “fight the good fight of faith.”
The inspiring book by Ellen G White entitled, “Christian Service,” shares this gem of thought on witnessing seen on page 189—-“The love of Christ, manifested in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evil-doer than will the sword or the court of justice. These are necessary to strike terror to the lawbreaker, but the loving missionary can do more than this. Often the heart that hardens under reproof will melt under the love of Christ.”
May God guide you in your daily walk with Him and your daily witness to your family, your community, and the nation. Keep full Bible truth before your friends and neighbors and remain faithful to God’s truth regardless of what you may face. God will use you to be a mighty demonstration of His love to all those around you as you submit to Him each day through the reading of His Word, the reading of the Spirit of Prophecy, and earnest prayer. Jesus is coming soon and He will help you proclaim the three angels’ messages in very practical ways. Keep your eyes on Christ and only on Him my dear brothers and sisters in Burundi.
With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,
Ted N C Wilson
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
This article originally appeared on Adventist News Network.