Editors 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 message of encouragement from the president of the Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, to the members of Burundi.
Dear Precious Brothers and Sisters of Burundi,
What a privilege to address you again. We will remember you in prayer as you face challenging situations and difficulties in worshiping under normal circumstances. Maintain your faith in God and His precious Holy Word, the Bible, as you read it every day. Maintain your commitment to following the instructions from the Spirit of Prophecy in your daily witness for Christ. Maintain your prayer connection with God on a moment by moment basis. Never lose hold on the promises of God. He is by your side and with you in all you face. Over the last four weeks, I have been at four division year-end meetings in a row—the West-Central Africa Division, the Northern Asia Pacific Division, the Southern Asia Division, and the Trans-European Division. God is blessing His people around the world just as He is blessing you in Burundi. At the most recent meeting in the Trans-European Division, we were specifically praying for you and Pastor Lamec Barashinga.
In prayer to God, I lift up Pastor Lamec, the other church leaders, and all of you as members. God will take care of you. There is a wonderful hymn that says, “Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you. God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you…….No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you; Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you. God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.”
For your difficult situation in Burundi, please claim the following wonderful promise of God for you found in Philippians 4:19, “…..my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Also, be of great courage as you reflect on the Lord’s instruction in I Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
Be encouraged from the following quotation from the Spirit of Prophecy found in Prophets and Kings, page, “In the darkest hours, under circumstances the most forbidding, the Christian believer may keep his soul stayed upon the source of all light and power. Day by day, through faith in God his hope and courage may be renewed. ‘The just shall live by his faith.’ In the service of God there need be no despondency, no wavering, no fear. The Lord will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him. He will give them the wisdom their varied necessities demand.”
May God be by your side, my dear members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Burundi. We are supporting you and praying for you. God will not forsake you as you carry out your evangelistic work in Total Member Involvement—–everyone being in Christ and doing something for Jesus. Be of good courage and the Lord will see you through everything culminating with Christ’s soon second coming!
With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,
Ted N C Wilson
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists