9 Mar 2020 • EAB PRESS
In February Tanzanian Christians hosted a three day Tukutendereza revival crusade for Christians from the East African countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Tukutendereza Yesu (The Lord Jesus be Glorified) was an emblematic hymn of believers who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour during the 1930s East African Revival that impacted the East African region and laid the foundations for Christianity today.
Each year this gathering is organised in one of the five East African countries. It is an opportunity for spiritual refreshment and prayer. Testimonies, especially from older more mature Christians who have experienced the joys of the Christian faith but have also gone through hard times when their faith has been tested provide encouragement.
Young people who participated in the crusade were amazed to hear strong testimonies from people of 70 years and older who had experienced the revival periods as they shared the joy and relevance of salvation in Christ as if their Christian journey had only just begun. The importance of younger generations knowing the fundamental roots of faith as they were found and experienced through such times of revival was clearly expressed.
The former Archbishop of Rwanda who attended the crusade said that church leaders today have to commit to pursuing the revival inheritance received several decades ago because it is the way that God has given for evangelism in the region.
ENTHRONEMENT OF THE NEW PRIMATE OF UGANDA
The Tukutendereza hymn was sung as Anglican Christians of Uganda celebrated on Sunday 1st March the enthronement of the 9th Primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Rt. Rev Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu. The ceremonies were attended by many delegations particularly from Africa, America and Europe.
Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho, the Primate of Burundi, the Bishop of Bujumbura Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Eraste Bigirimana, and the Bishop of Matana Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Seth Ndayirukiye represented the Province of Burundi. The presence of the delegation from Burundi evidenced the good relationship between the Province of Burundi and the Province of Uganda that has existed since the 1930s when the first missionaries came from Uganda and inaugurated three mission stations in Burundi.
Many priests who are serving in the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi were trained in Uganda where they received advanced theological studies.
VALUING YOUTH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Anglican Church of Burundi in collaboration with UNICEF has conducted intensive training of youth in peace building and social cohesion. This training has resulted to the implementation of solidarity groups in which thousands of young people in the southern communes of Kibago, Mabanda, Nyanza Lac and Rumonge are running social activities aimed at deepening social cohesion between members.
The training has raised the capacity of girls and boys to think about the way they can address issues related to root causes of social instability such as poverty due to lack of employment. During meetings held once a week the young people engaged in deep discussion aimed at solving problems and issues. In order to strengthen relationships they have also initiated common income generating activities to help them address issues of poverty that have often led to social instability.
Through the solidarity groups young people are helped to get loans for income generating activities. One solidarity group in Nyanza-lac mainly made up of young girls have invested in growing rice. Such commercial activities are helping many young people to face issues related to unemployment.
The initiatives that the youth are undertaking are assisting adults and even entire communities to find solutions to the challenges they are facing as they engage together in organised discussions that highlight the key role to be played by youth in sustainable development.
This training has been particularly important at this time as Burundi is heading into elections. It is among a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Anglican Church to encourage people to approach the election process responsibly and engage in peace building before, during and after the elections within their communities. Youth are being urged to be examples to their peers of those who promote and keep peace.
In Matana Diocese, for example much is being done in the area of building sustainable peace and reconciliation so that some of the problems that emerged from the 2015 elections are not repeated.
Bishop Seth Ndayirukiye who leads the initiatives said that the elections should be considered as a normal process that has the potential to help the country progress towards further development rather than as a source of conflict and crisis.
BUILDING PARTNERSHIP AMONG CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITIES
Christian universities in Burundi hosted a partnership meeting with Day Star University from Kenya to look at ways in which the universities could collaborate. Such a partnership would include exchange of professors and students and would work on joint research. One major advantage of the partnership would be that students would be skilled in the use of English, something that many students want in order to increase their opportunities when seeking jobs.
Day Star University is an example of an African university that has successfully implemented programmes that have impacted education in Africa, particularly in the countries of East Africa. The University has already trained many Burundian students who are now serving the country in a number of areas.