This post was written by Dan - he emailed it to me today - actually he emailed it a couple of days ago and I never received it. Today I received 8 emails in a row from him. Must have turned the satellite switch back on!
Story of the Kanyosha Neighborhood, Bujumbura, Burundi Nazarene Church
Kanyosha Neighborhood is one of those neighborhoods outside the center of the capital city where the civil war was fought. Our translators remember the spots where the bodies were piled each morning after a night of violence. Most of the neighborhood was destroyed by war. Today it is a poor, peaceful suburb of Bujumbura. Refugees returning to Burundi are starting over here.
Marina and I started a church in Kanyosha near Lake Tanganyika during our first church planting campaign to Burundi in January 2008. Pierre Norman was one of our translators. He is a pastor for the Nazarene Church and wanted to be trained in the e3 Partners method of evangelism. He also wanted to plant a church. He planted a church in the same Kanyosha neighborhood, but up in the hills a long walk from our first church plant.
Nearly 2-years later his church was struggling because it never had a permanent home. People scoffed that the church was not serious because they had no place to meet. They had land but just a stick frame for a building. They tried to meet in a school but soldiers needed a place to stay and kicked the church out
In November 2009, on a Thursday, God led us to give $200 to this church. On Friday, Pastor Pierre spent $240 (he spent his money that he made translating for us) on building materials and added part of a roof and some walls. On Saturday, he called the church together and taught them how to share Jesus using the evange-cube and they evangelized the area. On Sunday they held their first official church service.
On Sunday, April 11, 2010, I returned to this church with a keyboard generously donated by The Give Worship Project. The church has just over 20 adult members and over 50 children. Several former Muslims and Jehovah Witnesses have converted and attend. There are two (soon to be) orphan teenage girls that the church members have adopted. Their dad abandoned the family and their mom is dying from AIDS. One neighbor started coming to the new church, but his wife refused at first. She now has accepted Jesus and is a member. Seven baptisms have taken place since November. One woman testified that she was happy to have a place to pray and worship near her home.
We gave Pastor Pierre a Proclaimer (audio New Testament) over a year ago. The church members listen to the New Testament before and after church service. The children of the pastor have listened to the Proclaimer so much that they have the New Testament memorized. They quoted Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus, Sunday morning for the congregation.
On Sunday, we delivered the new keyboard to the church. It made awful sounds as the people tried to play it. But they shouted and danced to the tracks the keyboard plays. After the service they started to practice using the keyboard. They will be experts soon. They were overjoyed with the gift and have plans to use the keyboard not only at church, but to lead worship/evangelism outreach at the beach along the lake.