CMS Ireland’s Partners in Burundi Appeal For Prayer.

Posted by Colin Corbridge on Tue, 06 May 2008 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

‘Instability’ has been the key word in Burundi in recent weeks and CMS Ireland’s partners are asking for prayer as the situation worsens.

“An upsurge in violence and recent heavy rains have left thousands of people fearful, homeless and without food,” says CMS Ireland’s Regional Mission Partner for Mid-Africa, Niall Manogue.

He goes on to say, “At the moment things are not looking good. We are in close contact with our partners and more than anything we are aware that they want us to pray for them at this time.”

Burundi’s last remaining rebel group, the FNL, began a new wave of violence at the end of April, with the capital, Bujumbura, facing a number of days of shelling. Outside of the city sporadic attacks saw more than 30 people killed, as the violence spread.

In the weeks since, heavy rains in the northwest of the country have destroyed homes and crops – leaving approximately 5000 people without shelter or food.

Tensions remain high and compound the difficulties already faced by a country that is looking to build a peaceful future, while meeting the challenges presented by poverty and significant numbers of internally displaced people.

“Burundi is emerging from a pretty dark period in its history and these issues make that transition more difficult,” says Niall. “But the Church has a big part to play in that future – and I know that its leaders are hopeful.”

“I was speaking to Archbishop Bernard this week and he has asked us pray for a number of things. Specifically he would like us to pray for wisdom and guidance for the parties and individuals taking part in peace negotiations. It is vital that these people position themselves for peace – not just for upcoming elections. He has also asked us to pray for a regional meeting, taking place in Kampala (Uganda), that it would bring an end to the deadlock that has gripped the country.”

“As he looks at the country as a whole the Archbishop would value our prayer for the economic situation. The current instability means that prices are rising and putting further pressure on people who are struggling to survive.”

“And finally he asks us to pray for leaders of the Anglican Province who are meeting on the 7th and 8th May – particularly for safe transport to the meeting and a productive time together as they look to face the challenges presented by the current situation.”

Niall concludes, “Standing alongside our partners at this time of need is what it means to be part of the Body of Christ. I would urge our members and supporters to take the Archbishop’s requests seriously in the weeks ahead.”

If you would like to learn more about our work in Burundi please “contact Niall Manogue”:help/contact.