From Friday, 23 July, 2021 to Sunday 25, July, 2021, the United Methodist Church, Burundi Annual Conference organized the revival meeting at national level with the Motivational message: “Let the Holy Spirit lead you in each step”. Held in Kayero district, The national revival meeting was attended by many guests of honour from different parts of the country, among the few mentioned were:
- Honourables from Ratana and Gitega provinces.
- The Legal Representative from FECABU Church,
- Governor of Rutana province.
- Mpinga Kayove, Musongati, Gitanga and Giharo Communal Administrative.
- Church officials:
- Rt Hon. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera, Legal representative of BAC, UMC.
- Rev. Lazare Bankurunaze, Depty legal representative of BAC, UMC.
- All thirteen district Superintendents.
- Missionary from GBGM.
- Presidents of men, youth and women Methodist Organizations.
- Heads of departments.
The revival meeting was opened by Rt Hon. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera, the legal representative of Burundi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. After welcoming the official guests to the platform for an introduction, he then delivered his opening speech.
The legal representative said, “Allow me before I say anything, to give thanks to our Almighty God, Who matches with us day and night to protect the church of God and who have agreed to be with us in this holy place so as to share the word of God.”
In his speech he also said that worshiping God is not a new thing in Burundi. He told the present cloud that Burundi leaders are among the people who respect and teach others how to worship God. “You know that just one month ago you attended a national crusade in Gitega to praise God which was organized by the President of the Republic of Burundi, His Excellency Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE.”
The legal representative told the congregation to take advantage of this opportunity and not to allow time to be wasted. Rt Hon. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera said, “Let me remind you that we have many things that can make us thank God in this country. One thing we cannot forget is that if we did not have peace in our country, we would not gather together here to worship. It is another opportunity to praise the Lord for this security”. He also said that although Burundi is peaceful, the challenges remain our obligation and that is why we take this opportunity to call on every church member to make a contribution by avoiding anything that could undermine the security of the county.
“It is unfortunate to hear that some church members are among the citizens who cause misunderstandings and create endless conflicts in the church and in many cases claim the church as their own when in fact it is the church of God” he reminded. He thanked God for attending this national revival meeting when the church is united. We call on other churches that are still in conflict to stop immediately, the best way is to kneel and pray.
He reminded the church present about the theme which is found in Paul’s letter sent to the Galatians 5: 16-25. He said, “We are going to spend three days thinking about Life in the Holy Spirit”. “One of the things the Church finds in the Holy Spirit is peace. Every person need to feel peace in God’s church , if we are truly led by the Holy Spirit and truly need to travel in the same journey to Heaven”, he explained.
Rt Hon.Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera told the Church not to forget that they have also come to Kayero to praise the Lord, when the whole world is threatened by COVID-19. He said, “We praise our Almighty God for protecting our country. We should deeply pray for our country and obey instructions from the ministry of health on how to protect against COVID-19”.
Rt Hon. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Sinzohagera said, “The main purpose of this revival meeting is to build true unity in the United Methodist Church of Burundi. We therefore need to know the past, and then followed by forgiveness among church members which is a clear path to reach to the true reconciliation. ”
He said that, there will be different testimonies about the difficulties we went through. Church members will openly express their testimony about the conflict and the church will gradually find the root of the church’s divisions. He also informed church present that there after church would be able to set up development plans for the church and the country as a whole.
To make the congregation know more about the true reconciliation in UMC, he compared the work of the Burundi senate is currently doing to find out about the reality of killings that took place in Burundi in 19 72. Some may think this is a wrong direction. However, the Senate has never considered hurting its citizens other than bringing them together for friendly talks between its citizens. This will comfort the hearts of the people especially those harmed or involved in the 1972 killings.
It is time to stop pointing fingers at someone without having truth about certain accusations. You know that it is not a tribe or ethnic group that kills people, but bad leadership.
Rt Hon. Rev. Dr. Sinzohahera Emmanuel who is also the president of Burundi Senate took this opportunity to invite those who could not attend such gatherings across the country but have something to contribute, to joining others by submitting their contributions to the relevant committee so as to build a country devoid of ethnic origin. “As the legal representative who has chosen to represent you in this country, I assure you that I will continue to protect unity that began in 2018 in the United Methodist Church, and any form of divisions in the church will be discouraged and removed from the church members.”
He uttered to the cloud present to open their hearts and give the Holy Spirit a chance. He stressed that Kayero should be a place to get something through prayer and be a time to come to God’s fold. “Give God a place in your hearts”. He said.
He also took that opportunity to express his sincere gratitude to the government of Burundi for its clear support to many churches in the country especially the United Methodist Church in Burundi. He acknowledged that UMC church will be at the forefront in supporting government projects and below are some projects that are already underway in different provinces.
– The Church helps Mpinga Kayove Commune by providing medicine to Kayero clinic. The church is also trying its best to open a regional hospital owned by the UMC church and the work is progressing well.
– The Church in Mpinga Kayove is helping to fight malaria and COVID-19.
-The church is working specifically with 20 schools in this area of Mpinga Kayove commune to fight malaria.
– The church will continuing to support civilians in Cankuzo province by fighting malaria through Murore Hospital in Gisagara commune.
– The church plans to open two dispensaries in Ruyigi and Ngozi provinces.
– The church in Burundi contributes significantly to the various areas of development of the country, especially by providing building materials and essential equipment to vulnerable families in some provinces. The most recent event occurred in the Rutana province where the church contributed 3 854 000 burundians francs to support the construction of governor’s headquarters.
About 8,000 church members attended this revival meeting. More than 30 UMC choirs participated in the event. It was about three years without having a revival meeting’ and traditionally revival meeting was supposed to be held annually. Church members were very thrilled to see this event happened again. In April, 2021 during a special session this year, a new legal representative promised to hold a revival meeting in July. Praise be to our Almighty God for this event happened.