What tangible impact can words of truth have on a broken society? As the recent DNA Vision Conference in Rutana, Burundi showed, the words of Scripture can begin to bring about community transformation.
In Burundi, about 65 percent of the population lives in poverty, and the life expectancy is only 54 years of age. Despite these unfavorable circumstances, the land is fertile and with over 60 percent of the people living in the rural areas, there is great potential for community development.
Christian organizations like the Disciple Nations Alliance and Harvest Foundation have organized Vision Conferences in Burundi to begin healing the brokenness. Through these conferences, indigenous trainers use the teachings of the Bible to train local pastors in wholistic transformation.
In 2005, the General Chaplain of the Burundi Police, Canon Onesime Nimbeshaho, attended his first DNA Vision Conference. Since then, his heart for wholistic ministry has led him to be involved in several training events and to head up the recent Vision Conference in Rutana. Forty-one participants attended this conference and, afterward, many said it was the most beneficial conference they had ever been to because it gave them practical, hands-on advice on how to bring healing to their nation.
The Vision Conference encouraged the participants to put the teaching into action by doing Seed Projects in their local villages. A Seed Project is a small, church-initiated outreach that allows Christians to identify needs in their communities and practically help meet those needs using their own resources. The goal is for Seed Projects to become ongoing initiatives working to bring wholistic restoration.
Because of this conference, local Christians planned 11 new Seed Projects, including:
- Supporting orphans
- Visiting 200 prisoners and providing them with food, clothes, soap and shoes
- Visiting the sick in hospitals
- Feeding malnourished kids
- Cultivating lands for poor and elderly people
- Purchasing utensils for the elderly
- Building toilets for the elderly
Pray that the Church would begin to make positive impacts in every area of society. Finally, the Pastors of Rutana are virtually illiterate when it comes to understanding the Bible, so pray that God would raise up more educated people to train the pastors and further this ministry.