I recently received an email from my good brother Kazingufu Kasirusiru Floribert (Flory Zozo for us westerners) requesting that I come teach the pastors of REMAC (French acronym for The Association of Missionary Churches in Christ) in Bujumbura, Burundi.
This wasn't really a surprise as I had taught this fellowship of Pastors before on a previous trip to Africa. But my situation was different then. I was the pastor of a church to which I could appeal for help in raising the funds necessary for such an endeavor. That is no longer the case.
I tried to tell Flory that I couldn't come because I didn't have the money and didn't know how to raise it. Here was his response:
I would really love to be with you during our general assembly... REMAC is your church and i sense that you can help us in many ways. Please, i need you to help me here. The vineyard of God here in Africa needs you, remember you have an African heart...
God is more than able to give you all what you want to come...
He's right. I do have an African heart. I fell in love with the people and the pastors on my previous two trips. And he is quite correct that God isn't poor. He can accomplish anything he desires, regardless of the circumstances. So with this in mind, I'm appealing to you.
Africa is awash with the prosperity gospel. The pastors of REMAC have recognized that this gospel is really no gospel at all. But rejecting false doctrine is difficult enough as it is. When you haven't been trained in correct doctrine, the problem becomes that much more challenging. What these pastors desperately desire is for someone to come and teach them basic Bible doctrine. Someone to give them an overview of the faith with regards to the Bible, Salvation, the person of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the nature of man, and so forth.
Just as they desire someone to come to them, I desire just as strongly to go. I’ve taught some of the pastors of REMAC before. What is really humbling is the extent these men are ready to sacrifice to learn. Above is a photo of the class itself. What I didn’t learn until the end of the class is how far some of them had come on foot. Everyone in the picture below walked over 400 kilometers to attend the class. Two of these men walked over 600 kilometers.
I know, I know—it’s difficult to believe. But it’s true. I’ve never seen men so hungry for the Word. It is my strong desire to travel to Burundi to teach these men. But I need your help.
God willing, I will be leaving for Burundi on Aug 16 and be returning Aug 31, 2010.
The cost for this trip will be about $3200. This includes my travel expenses, and food and lodging while in country. Anything in excess of these needs will be left as a gift to REMAC before I leave.
So here’s the deal: I will keep a complete record of gifts received and money spent (well, actually Bonnie will do that). If you give toward this trip, I will give you the accounting figures upon request. I’d love to say that your gifts will be tax deductible, but they won’t be. But that’s not the reason you give anyway (is it?).
Thanks for prayerfully considering this request. And thanks for praying for this trip. There’s a lot of people in little churches in one of the poorest nations of the world that will be grateful.