There's really so much more to say, the memories are richer every day that we are not in Burundi - we realize over and over that God did a miraculous work in Karusi and we were so blessed to witness His power and Spirit in that place, transforming people's lives for eternity! We received a couple of letters from team members after we returned home. Thought I'd conclude with excerpts, few more photos, and the "numbers."
... The overwhelming "YES" responses we received is something I will never forget! God sent those who have never known the Lord, the totally uneducated farmer and herdsmen to the down trodden who spent much of their day and nights in sin drinking banana wine to drunkenness or worshiping idles to converting a Muslim to accept Jesus Christ. Auzelio and I were rewarded with over 295 in the province of Karuzi who accepted the LORD as we planted a church before we departed.
I returned on June 24th to the USA more humbled and blessed by this new chapter in my life in knowing GOD's disciples are present with so many around the world who love the LORD so much! I am "on fire for the LORD" ...
From Ray and Mary...
...God blessed our efforts there and we were able to share our personal testimonies and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with over 4,040 people in that remote and primitive province in Burundi. There were 2,002 people that prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and our 8 teams started 8 new churches which are now meeting each Sunday with a newly trained pastor for each church. Additionally, 1,188 of the new believers were discipled in their newly found faith.
The new churches will be supported by the original 8 churches who will help the new churches become self sustaining, viable churches as they move forward and disciple the new believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Karuzi is the poorest province in Burundi (Burundi is the third poorest country in the world) and there are many needs. Many of the children were dressed in dirty, rotten torn rags that would fall apart if you tried to wash them. They were also infected with malaria and various skin diseases, as well as suffering from malnutrition...We are thankful to be able to serve the people in Karuzi, and we are especially thankful to be able to bring them genuine hope through Jesus Christ...
I sent this letter out when we returned to Bujumbura from Karusi...
We are back in Bujumbura, Burundi after spending 5 wonderfully challenging days of ministry in Karusi, Burundi. We encountered profound physical and spiritual poverty. 50% of our luggage didn’t arrive (Dan wore the same pair of pants for 12 days). The accommodations were, well, primitive. But, we can honestly say that Karusi, by God’s mercy and grace, will never be the same again! We literally saw darkness turn to light as people were set free from the bondage of sin, demonic strongholds, religious misconceptions, spiritual hopelessness and despair!
Our team consisted of 8 North Americans, 6 translators, 4 e3 Committee members and 8 TCCP pastors. 27 ordinary people committed to God’s extraordinary work in Burundi! We were astounded and blessed by the “numbers” – our challenges seemed insignificant when compared to:
4047 Gospel Presentations, 2002 Professions of Faith in Christ, and 1188 New Believers Discipled!
We are so thankful for your faithful prayers – may God richly bless you for your prayer and financial partnership – you have made a difference in our lives and in the lives of 1000’s of Burundians who were walking in darkness and are now walking in the light!
Christ Is All,
Dan and Marina (Team Berryman)