IMM at work in Burundi

Burundi is a small country in Central Africa, about the size of Wales. Despite looking green and fertile, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and the most densely populated country in Africa. Half the people live on less than $1 a day. The economy is predominately agricultural.

Located in the northern part of Burundi, there is a town called Butihinda where mining takes place. Most of the miners working in the artisanal gold mine area there have never been reached with the Gospel. Most never go to church, so it is not easy to bring the Good News to this group of people.

The men can earn a lot of money as they sell the gold they mine, but many use the money in drunkenness and immoral sexuality. However, the organization, ‘Harvest for Christ’ is doing its best to make contact with some of these people. To achieve this, IMM are part-funding an evangelist to reach out to these miners, by building bridges that help in drawing close to some of the 200 mining families in the area. ‘Harvest for Christ’ have appointed an evangelist, Etienne, to head up this work. So far he has established a youth club for young miners. Also a football club has been established and every week training sessions are organized. These activities are acting as a bridge to win the confidence of the men working in the mine. Etienne also has the help of members of the local Church.

Some of the challenges for Etienne can be listed below:
- Many of the miners are from other faiths and to tell them about Jesus requires wisdom and knowledge. In some cases they are slaves to witchcraft.
- Flooding of the mines is a constant danger when excessive rainfall hits at certain times of the year. Some miners have lost their lives as the crude mining tunnels suddenly collapse.
- The people are always busy in their mines, so there is not enough time to disciple them.
- Some people working in the mines are very poor and need help.

However, progress is being made and Bible Studies and literacy classes have been initiated for the miners and their families. Please pray for this work to grow.

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