Dan had a full day of church follow-up planned on Friday. Two years ago, Dan and Charlotte (she’s from Florida and was part of our team) planted a church in a place called Mugaruro. Charlotte was deeply impacted by the experience and returned to America knowing that she couldn’t go back to life as usual. She was able to return to Burundi with us a year later. She and Dan visited their church plant and were encouraged to see that the church was growing and God seemed to be blessing the people who were part of the church. Charlotte continued to be in contact with the pastor of the church and Pastor Manasseh from the “mother church”. She finally knew that God was calling her to do something more than visit Mugaruro once a year – after a lot of prayer, she took the ultimate plunge and moved to Burundi in June of this year. She had only been in town for about 3 weeks when we got there. It was so great to see her and to know that she’s completely living and working by faith in this crazy endeavor. She found out that around 7,000 people live in this village. Approximately 200 people attend the church that she and Dan planted. The church now owns a small piece of land and has built a wonderful church.
Charlotte is determined to share the Gospel through prayer, words and deeds until all 7,000 people are a part of the faith community there! She and her translator, Ildephonse, have begun 2 Bible studies which meet every Saturday. She brings food and water to the church twice per week and spends time talking to people, praying for them and with them, encouraging them, ministering to the kids, and just trying to live out the Gospel of love. She is an amazing young woman with a huge vision of how God could redeem an entire community!!
We spent 2-1/2 hours doing person to person evangelism in Mugaruro. The team was pretty small – Dan and I, Ken and Sharlene, Charlotte, 2 translators (Ildephonse & Frank), Pastor Manasseh and eight men from his church. When we met back at the church for the discipleship meeting, the church was completely packed with kids and adults. Charlotte had witnessed to a group of men in a bar. They all wanted to pray to receive Christ but didn’t feel right about praying in a bar – they all followed her to the church and sat in the front row. When Dan asked who wanted to come up front to pray for salvation, these guys all stood up and came to the front to pray. It was amazing!
After the discipleship time, we went outside the church and had a good old fashioned "drug-burning" ceremony. One of the new Christians had pockets full of drugs - I wasn't sure what kind of drugs, just looked like piles of straw and weeds to me. Pray for the new Christians in this church, that their faith would grow strong, that they would be committed to studying the Bible and gathering for worship, that they would join Pastor Manasseh, Charlotte and the other Christians in the church in sharing Gospel and be blessed as they watch it powerfully impact the lives of all who live in Mugaruro!