I have been so blessed to have met so many people who devote their lives to serving the Lord. Many are involved in missions. I enjoy getting letters from them filled with their successes, hardships and prayer requests. My grandmother loved when her church would have missionaries come and visit. She would call or visit with me and tell me all that these missionaries had seen and done. I really think she wanted to be a missionary. Although she never became a missionary in Africa or any foreign land, she was a missionary to many of her children and grandchildren. If it were not for her influence in my life and her relationship with me I might not have become a Christian myself. Thank you Grandma!
Today I got a letter from an acquaintance in Africa, Simon Guillebaud. This young man’s life was influenced through his relationship with his grandma. It is a rich legacy that he is a part of. Simon works in Burundi, a very volatile area in Africa. Watch Hotel Rwanda for a history of what happened in that area.
My grandmother never got to go to Africa physically but she sent tons of money, support and prayer to the missionaries there. Her only request was that the Gospel be spread. Many of us may never get to go to Africa but we too can help spread the Gospel through our support. Below is a letter I received from Simon sharing a part of his past and his prayer for the future of his ministry. I pray that we can help Simon spread the Gospel.
Dear amazing cyberspace community!
It blows my mind what has come out of this email network, from the very first day I arrived in Burundi. It was 23rd January 1999. It was my first email ever from Burundi, I had found an internet café, and wrote to everyone I knew who had email access (about 50 contacts at the time) highlighting my need for a computer. That morning, a friend in London had woken up and prayed: "Lord, I've got this computer I don't need. Who do you want me to give it to?" He logged on and got my message requesting a computer!!!
The following weekend, I made my first evangelistic trip with the Scripture Union team upcountry. It was a disastrous outing with four breakdowns, so we missed most of the meetings. I returned angry and discouraged that so many people had missed out on hearing the gospel simply because we did not have a vehicle which worked properly. SU was in debt, but had huge potential to be used for God's glory. So I sent out an email asking for prayer for two things: i) to get SU out of debt, and ii) to buy a truck for evangelism around the country. In response to that email, I envisaged $25,000 coming in over the following month. What happened? A cheque for $8,000 arrived, earmarked specifically for a vehicle, and over the coming month $25,000 came in. God answers prayer.
I could go on, but the above are just two examples of how many of you have been caught up in this exciting adventure of seeing God's kingdom come in power in Central Africa.
This is not a prayer letter, but an update and a further call to arms. Do not bother reading further if I am barking up the wrong tree.
I returned before Christmas from a fundraising trip to the United States in time for Zac's birth (he's a little beauty, by the way, extremely loud both ends!). The fundraising was for Scripture Union to build a conference/training centre which will generate funds and make SU self-sustaining. I would love you to pray into that, and do click here so that you can really understand in more detail the vision and purpose of what we are aiming at visit: "http://www.greatlakesoutreach.org/building_project.html". This is GLO's biggest immediate project.
I am anticipating the following request being relevant to only 1% of you, which would be c.75 people. I have always seen part of my role as envisioning, inspiring, and challenging people to dare to believe that casting their all on God is the safest risk, the most exciting adventure, and the most logical step to take if Jesus is who he claims to be.
As our work has expanded so dramatically over the last seven years, I have been getting sucked into activities which are neither in line with what I have been gifted to do, nor ones which I can get myself excited about. I am an evangelist, a pioneer, and out in Burundi my role has become progressively more and more to identify the best people and empower and enable them to achieve their dreams for Christ. I am not good at fundraising or project-proposal writing or being a businessman - in fact I hate those things, whilst recognizing how crucial they are! But I often meet people who offer me their skills and want to be more involved. The time has come to formalize this and maximize the potential. I want to invite any of you who feel your skills could be used for God's glory in Burundi to become, if you like, GLO Associates, or Regional Reps.
Many of you are far too busy and tied up with other things; but others are itching for more involvement and this could be for you. This could mean just a couple of hours a week. Your roles would be a mixture of networking on GLO's behalf, maybe coming out and seeing the amazing stuff going on so can you 'sell' what we are doing, enlisting more pray-ers for the work, writing to trusts and grant funds, doing local fundraising, you name it, let's do it! That would enable me to be freed up from what is not the best use of my gifts or time. If that's you, I can't wait to hear from you.
Burundi is one of the most exciting places on the planet right now. We are seeing peace come after twelve years of horrific war; there is a deeply-committed Christian President leading the country; the churches are growing fast, and there is a new move towards unity; I am one among many Christian nutters, dangerous people who are willing to lay down their lives for the Prince of Peace.
So, amazing cyberspace community, let's rock Burundi and take this to a new level! Thanks to everyone for their prayers, which underpin all we do. God bless you all. Have a dangerous 2006,
Visit Simon’s web site and see what is happening through his ministry. If you can help financially great! If you have access to ways, thoughts and ideas to help support this ministry email Simon or me. Let’s help spread the Gospel!