The Anglican Church of Burundi has been praised by the government for its contribution to the development of the country and its support of the community. The Senior Vice President of Burundi, the Honourable Anicet Niyongabo, expressed the government’s gratitude during an ordination service in the Diocese of Matana.
One priest and seventeen deacons were ordained by the Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of Burundi and Bishop of Matana. Earlier, six priests and sixteen deacons were ordained by the bishop of Muyinga, the Right Revd Paisible Ndacayisaba; who also installed 13 new canons.
An example of the Church’s contribution to the development of the country can be seen in the distribution of maize seeds to thousands of families throughout the dioceses.
The seeds are selected and developed in the Burundi Agronomic Sciences Institute (ISABU) to “respond to the need of the population in terms of quality and quantity of the crops,” the Province said. “In order to maximize production beneficiaries are trained in all the techniques needed from sewing to harvest.
“They are also involved in the programme for the protection of the environment and have so far dug thousands of kilometres of trenches and planted many trees in order to prevent soil erosion.”
Another example is the Church’s investment in a new UNICEF-supported project that will equip young people with “skills that help them to overcome the many challenges that youth face today.”
Fighting against HIV/Aids and gender based violence, helping to initiate income generating activities, promoting reconciliation in communities, and encouraging hygiene and proper sanitation are some of the important themes that will be focused on during the project.
The Diocese of Rumonge recently hosted a three-day workshop on life skills for youth living in the Nyanza-Lac and Rumonge areas.
“Nyanza-Lac is the most populated commune in Makamba province with many young people living in difficult circumstances and facing challenges such as poverty, school absenteeism, sexual abuse, early pregnancy, and joblessness,” the Province said. “The Anglican Church hopes to contribute to the project by supporting the leaders in communities who have influence on youth.
“Youth leaders in churches and associations will be trained on how to help young people in their localities by sharing skills that they can then use to improve their lives.”
At the ordination service in Matana, the Bishop of Bujumbura, the Right Revd Eraste Bigirimana, urged the ordinands to rely on the faithfulness of Christ who had called them.
In a sermon, he stressed that the ministry to which they are called is difficult without the strength of the Holy Spirit but assured them that God would provide the strength they need to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God and bring others to Christ.
“Compassion, wisdom, humility, faith and good behaviour are the characteristics that must be seen throughout your life”, he said.