Since May 2019, Seventh-day Adventist Church members in Burundi have endured ongoing persecution from the country’s government. On October 24, 2019, Lamec Barishinga, Burundi Union Mission president, was arrested. This arrest was part of an escalating series of threats and attacks on the Adventist Church by the government of Burundi. Below is a recent letter of encouragement sent to Adventist church members in Burundi from church president Ted N. C. Wilson.—Editors
Dear Seventh-day Adventist Brothers and Sisters in Burundi,
Thank you for your loyalty and faithfulness to God’s precious worldwide Advent movement. Thank you for continuing to proclaim God’s Word and the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and the fourth angel of Revelation 18. Even though you face many challenges and difficulties, God is by your side and will be your Protector. It is a privilege to continue to pray for you. Be of good courage; God will take care of you.
Remain focused on staying close to Christ each day through Bible study, study of the Spirit of Prophecy, earnest prayer, and telling someone else about the marvelous truth in Christ that is embodied in the proclamation of the Advent movement. As you participate in local church activities, please continue to support and pray for your spiritual leaders in local churches, local fields, and the Burundi Union. I will continue to pray for your Burundi Union president, Pastor Lamec Barashinga, and your many other humble, spiritual leaders. God will give them encouragement and spiritual strength for all they need to do.
Be encouraged with the beautiful citation from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Lean on the Lord with all your heart in every situation, and He will give you a beautiful spirit of love and a sound mind.
Also, be encouraged with this precious promise from Ellen G. White’s book, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, page 117: “God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.”
May God guide you during this new year of 2020 as you share Christ and His last-day message with others and remain faithful to God’s worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission. Jesus is soon to come. May He encourage you every day in your walk with Him as you are faithful citizens of Burundi and of God’s eternal kingdom!
You are in our prayers worldwide. Maranatha!
With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,
Ted N. C. Wilson
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists