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Burundi

Training in Burundi

By Burundi, Tanzania, Training

Heavenlight Luoga is a key APF training partner from north-west Tanzania. Alongside Kesia, his wife, they use eVitabu to run workshops for untrained pastors from rural communities such as the recent programme they provided in Burundi.

The training was an amazing time. My wife, Kesia, and I based our training on resources from APF’s eVitabu app. eVitabu was a great help in preparing the programme for the pastors and wives. The key resources we chose on eVitabu were from Next Leadership and written by Revd Dr Kate Coleman.

Revd Kate’s material covered many important aspects of family life and marriage. We explored together how marriage was designed to reflect the God who created us in His image, both male and female, and who is recreating us to be like Him in loving relationships, deeply connected with each other and in partnership through agreement and cooperation in a way that honours the marital bond.

We looked at how unresolved issues can wreck marriages and destroy families and discussed problem solving and conflict resolution in marriage.

We also talked about repentance and forgiveness within family and married life. At the end of the training, there was an opportunity for husbands and wives to renew their marriage covenants together.

So many pastors told me that this teaching was completely new to them. Wives were praising God and even during breaktimes they gathered into groups to continue to discuss the teaching. Pastors were so happy to sit down side-by-side with their wives. This is not a normal thing!

Altogether, over 60 attended the training. We had hoped for 50. But success is not just about numbers, it was found in seeing husbands and wives together, repairing and building their relationships and hearing their testimonies after the training.

One of the pastors at the training was a Church of Burundi pastor called Revd Maendeleo. He enjoyed the training so much that he made a call to Bishop Evariste Nijimbere from the local Buhiga Diocese. I then received a voicemail from the Bishop asking me to come and join him in June to lead some seminars for the Diocese.

In more good news, a wider door has been opened for the next year. All pastors in the training programme agreed to sponsor themselves for three days of training next year if I can cover the transport cost for Kesia and myself. Kesia will facilitate the pastor’s wives training and I will facilitate the pastors training, then in the evening all of us will come together. We are told to expect 100 or even 150 for that training. I am not the one who asked to do this but the idea came from within the group themselves. Of course, for me this is a great fruit.

The journey from Karagwe in Tanzania to Buhiga in Burundi and back is long. We travelled by bus, taxi and motorbike and had to negotiate the Covid-19 testing challenges at the border between the countries. I was tired and suffered from fatigue at the end of training and after the journey but I had no regrets at all.

I look back to what God has done for me and for all participants and, for the sake of God’s Kingdom, I am full of joy in my heart.

Tearfund pilot eVitabu

By Burundi, eVitabu

“Without eVitabu, essential resources for church and community transformation are difficult to access even electronically.”

Revd Dr Sas Conradie, Tearfund Theology and Networking Engagement Manager (Africa), describes how Tearfund are preparing to use eVitabu to support church and community mobilisation in Africa:

Tearfund’s vision is to see people freed from poverty, living transformed lives and reaching their God-given potential. To achieve this vision, Tearfund partner with local churches to bring restoration to those living in poverty.

A priority area for Tearfund is church and community transformation (CCT) whereby we seek to bring whole-life transformation to communities through local churches. CCT consists of various approaches including the church and community mobilisation process (CCMP). In CCMP, facilitators and trainers are equipped to journey with local churches to help them work with their local communities and together identify and respond to local needs.

In our work with churches and communities, we know the importance of getting good resources to CCMP facilitators and trainers which they can use as they work with churches. This is why we were so excited when we were introduced to APF’s eVitabu app. We immediately realised the potential of eVitabu to provide our CCMP facilitators and trainers with access to good theological resources.

Barnabe Msabah, Tearfund Church and Community Transformation Lead for East and Central Africa, and Martin Uswege, Tearfund Church and Community Transformation Lead for Southern and East Africa, believe that eVitabu will be extremely valuable for their work. eVitabu could support the training of CCMP facilitators and trainers while the facilitators could be encouraged to use the eVitabu app when they work with churches. Barnabe and Martin suggest that the eVitabu tablet is made available to CCMP trainers at a subsidised rate to motivate them and to show appreciation for their work.

Martin has invited APF to equip Tearfund CCMP trainers in Tanzania in using eVitabu during a workshop in September. Barnabe requested APF visit Burundi in early 2020 to train CCMP trainers on eVitabu. By next year, we expect that about 30 Tearfund CCMP trainers will be equipped in using eVitabu. The Tanzania and Burundi pilots could then be expanded to more countries to provide CCMP trainers and facilitators with easy access to resources that can help them in their work with churches and communities.

Without eVitabu, essential resources for church and community transformation are difficult to access even electronically. We believe that eVitabu can greatly enhance the work of hundreds of Tearfund’s CCMP trainers and facilitators across Africa. In time, we believe that eVitabu will also be the go-to resource hub for theological leaders and students across Africa.