DISCIPLE MAKING

Standing in the Gap for Burundi

Barry Whatley / Monday, August 12, 2019

 

Jean de Dieu is one of the key young African leaders of his generation.  Against the odds, he has pursued higher education, worked tirelessly many jobs that barely met his family’s needs, and eventually found himself leading a significant NGO in the country.  His commitment to his densely populated nation of over 11 million people (470 people per square kilometer) is remarkable. 

In his desire to provide opportunities for other leaders to rise with him to the challenge of seeing his country transformed, he and other Christian Burundian leaders, together with Barry Whatley, Canadian professor, missionary and educator, have formed a network-partnership dedicated to helping the church fulfil its critical role in seeing the nation transformed.   

This networking and training initiative, “Rethink Development” (RD), is an official partnership between a Canadian mission, Outreach Canada, and a local NGO, Partners Trust International.   But the scope of its reach is nation-wide, church-wide and NGO-wide. 

What is the mission of Rethink Development?  To inspire and equip the church to fulfill its God-given mandate in helping communities experience sustainable development, and the country be transformed, for the glory of God.

Strengthening the Hearts and Hands of Leaders

Burundi needs transformation, and the church is a key player. 

The Human Development Index (measuring financial stability, life expectancy and access to basic services) places Burundi near the bottom of the barrel of the 200 countries surveyed.  Most sub-Saharan African challenges are endemic in this country:  food insecurity, lack of access to basic services; a faltering education system; unemployment and underemployment.  But added to the mix here is a history of conflict and ongoing political instability.  The instability has led many NGOs to curtail their work, and others to even leave the country.   

But the bright light is the omnipresent church and a growing commitment among its leaders to be at the forefront of community transformation.  We want to strengthen the “hearts and hands” of these leaders, helping them have even greater “leverage” as the lead churches, NGOs, and other community service organizations.

Three Strategies of Rethink Development 

The strategy of RD is unique and three-fold.  First, we bring Christian leaders together!  Collaboration is key to learning from each other and working more closely together.  Our yearly conference is our show-case event, gathering over 100 leaders from the broad spectrum of churches and NGOs. 

Our second strategy is to learn together!  The scope of the needs in the country are so staggering that we can’t afford to not identify and research the best practices and learn from them!  Finally, we provide practical training for those Christian leaders who feel the need for greater clarity and more capacity in their important work.

The dream of this committed group of leaders is taking shape.  Our two conferences have been well attended and inspirational, and a third is on the horizon for November.  A learning cohort is being launched in September with 20 committed practitioners.

Thanks to this partnership initiative, Christians are rising up to stand in the gap for the development needs in their communities, with stronger hearts and hands.

Join the Story

To find out more about this partnership initiative, you can contact Barry Whatley at bwhatley@outreach.ca

 

 

 


print



A Community Living Toward Wholeness A Community Living Toward Wholeness

“Yes, I love Jesus Christ, but I don’t go to church.” Over the years, I’ve heard similar state...
Read More..

Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality

Jesus demonstrated how one can balance the tension between pursuing holiness and being a friend of ...
Read More..

Hospitality in the Early Church Hospitality in the Early Church

Hospitality was one of the factors that led to the discipleship and rapid expansion of the early ch...
Read More..

Hospitality in Scripture Hospitality in Scripture

Hospitality is a powerful practice with the potential to bring restoration and revitalization to so...
Read More..

Better Together: The Story of Lazarus Better Together: The Story of Lazarus

Exploring the story of an East Side Kid & the story of Lazarus. Did Jesus believe in "Better Togeth...
Read More..

This is our Moment This is our Moment

I believe that the church is the essential service in a broken world, and this is our moment. Will ...
Read More..

Better Together Better Together

The Bible is rich with stories of people dealing with difficult circumstances. A brief review of a ...
Read More..

On Thresholds of Light and Darkness On Thresholds of Light and Darkness

We think— sometimes naively—that it would be a better world without darkness. On one hand, God does...
Read More..

Time For God? Time For God?

Encouraging fresh examinations and renewed beginnings in our relationship with the God who reveals ...
Read More..

Cristinas Story Cristina's Story

We love the stories of when God gives people new life! Here is Cristina's story...
Read More..

The Search for Meaning 2.0: Multiple Confirmations The Search for Meaning 2.0: Multiple Confirmations

Part 2.0 of The Search for Meaning. How should we pray when considering major life-changing opportu...
Read More..

Faith & Catastrophe Faith & Catastrophe

Meditations on Nature, Catastrophes & Everyday Suffering. Where do we begin to reason, those of us ...
Read More..

Shaping the Church of the Future: The Diaspora Effect Shaping the Church of the Future: The Diaspora Effect

Many of us have mixed feelings about the changes that diaspora movements have brought to the world ...
Read More..

A Story on Entitlement A Story on Entitlement

One morning in late October, while I was driving to the Outreach Canada office, a big rock chip got...
Read More..

An Epiphany Story An Epiphany Story

A story from the morning of Epiphany. Words of encouragment at the start of a new year. "On th...
Read More..

The Search for Meaning: 5 Simple Steps The Search for Meaning: 5 Simple Steps

5 Simple Steps to Search for God's Unique Purpose for your Life. How do we invite or search for a u...
Read More..

Future Hope: Things are not as they Seem Future Hope: Things are not as they Seem

It seems fitting to spend some time, standing at the beginning of a New Year full of potential and ...
Read More..

My Experience of Christs Power and Grace My Experience of Christ's Power and Grace

A Story of a New Beginning. This is Murray Moerman's story of his life and his experience of Christ...
Read More..

A Season for Peace A Season for Peace

We view Christmas as a season of peace, but does December really feel peaceful?  Jesus is refe...
Read More..

The Hope of Christmas The Hope of Christmas

I am so grateful for Christmas, for The Hope of Christmas. Not the sugar-coated, Hallmark movie kin...
Read More..

Giving Thanks: A Cure for Weariness? Giving Thanks: A Cure for Weariness?

Is there a cure for weariness in the Christian life? Christians know that they have every reason to...
Read More..

A Stone Named Ebenezer A Stone Named Ebenezer

I have this odd habit--I like to collect rocks. I find them fascinating—each one is unique and in i...
Read More..

3 Gospel Truths to Inspire Gratitude 3 Gospel Truths to Inspire Gratitude

Here are 3 truths from the gospel that inspire gratitude in me. Even though they may seem simple & ...
Read More..

Join the Story: Burundi Project Join the Story: Burundi Project

Read More..

Standing in the Gap for Burundi Standing in the Gap for Burundi

Jean de Dieu is one of the key young African leaders of his generation.  Against the odds, he has p...
Read More..

Mapping the Arenas of Discipleship in the 21st Century Mapping the Arenas of Discipleship in the 21st Century

This is part of the Discipleship Project within Outreach Canada, a think tank on future possibiliti...
Read More..

Disciple Making Disciple Making

Read More..

...

Disciple Making
Read more...
Mapping the Arenas of Discipleship in the 21st Century
This is part of the Discipleship Project within Outreach Canada, a think tank on future possibilities and opportunities within Canada. In this article, I try to map the fruitful arenas of discipleship that I believe the...
Read more...
The 4 C's of a Transitional Leader
The work of transitional ministry requires a certain type of leader. Experience and background matters but it’s more than that. So whether you’re in the trenches doing this work or looking to find someone to help a cong...
Read more...
Standing in the Gap for Burundi
Jean de Dieu is one of the key young African leaders of his generation.  Against the odds, he has pursued higher education, worked tirelessly many jobs that barely met his family’s needs, and eventually found himself le...
Read more...
Join the Story: Burundi Project
Read more...
3 Gospel Truths to Inspire Gratitude
Here are 3 truths from the gospel that inspire gratitude in me. Even though they may seem simple & straightforward, as I meditate on these ideas, my heart fills with gratitude. My hope is that as you lean into these tru...
Read more...
A Stone Named Ebenezer
I have this odd habit--I like to collect rocks. I find them fascinating—each one is unique and in its own way, interesting. I am as likely to come home from a holiday with a rock as I am with some other memento. I ...
Read more...
Giving Thanks: A Cure for Weariness?
Is there a cure for weariness in the Christian life? Christians know that they have every reason to be happy, to be joyful. Experience tells us, however, that the daily cares and pressures of everyday life have a w...
Read more...
The Hope of Christmas
I am so grateful for Christmas, for The Hope of Christmas. Not the sugar-coated, Hallmark movie kind of Christmas, where everything turns out okay in the end. Not the presents and candy canes and tinsel. Not even all th...
Read more...
A Season for Peace
We view Christmas as a season of peace, but does December really feel peaceful?  Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace. What does His peace look like in the midst of regular life, including the difficult time...
Read more...
My Experience of Christ's Power and Grace
A Story of a New Beginning. This is Murray Moerman's story of his life and his experience of Christ's power & grace. "I began to wonder about the purpose of life before I became aware of my need for God..."
Read more...
Future Hope: Things are not as they Seem
It seems fitting to spend some time, standing at the beginning of a New Year full of potential and unknowns, to spend time looking at the things we're already certain of in the future. We know more about the future...
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5