Story of the month – outreach in Burundi

IMG_1216We have previously featured the remarkable ministry of Great Lakes Outreach and this month we’re happy to bring you their report from their summer outreach for your encouragement.  GLO National Co-ordinator Simon Guillebaud writes:

I asked you to pray for our incredible annual summer outreach for the first two weeks of August and the results are in.  They’re awesome, as ever!

  • We sent out 1010 evangelists in 42 teams around the country (554 from our group, Harvest for Christ, and 456 local church folk who could learn on the job alongside our guys).
  • 11,366 people made professions of faith, including 62 witchdoctors and 55 Muslims.
  • There were119 miraculous signs, including two blind people recovering their sight, two deaf people hearing, 13 paralysed people being healed.
  • 40 separated couples were reunited, 4 people intent on committing suicide were rescued.

A few stories:
Our team found a naked vagrant madman under a tree.  He couldn’t speak at all.  They prayed for him and he was healed, in his right mind now and able to speak.  When his family members heard he was no longer mad and running naked in the streets, they gave our team all the objects of witchcraft they’d used to try to set him free, and made a fire to burn them all, at which point the family gave their lives to Christ as well.

Karenzo, a young child, had lain paralysed in bed for two years.  The evangelists prayed for him and he was healed.  All his family and neighbours immediately gave their lives to Christ, and the miracle opened up the whole village to welcoming the team in to minister to them.

At Giheta, two of our team were arrested as they preached, and thrown into prison.  Whilst in their cell, they preached their hearts out and led four fellow prisoners to Christ.  They got to meet the head of police and other senior dignitaries.  Once it was established they hadn’t committed any crime, they were released and continued to preach further to a large crowd who were all the more impacted by their willingness to suffer for what they believed, and a large number responded.

Praise God, for these and many other stories of Him setting people free!  Thanks so much for your prayers.  Keep praying for the follow up too, that it would be lasting fruit as these new believers are built up into disciples, not just converts.

To see over 11,000 people saved, as well as all the other fruit produced, the outreach (bus tickets into the bush, minimal food, etc) cost us $32,000.  Please help us do it again next year by clicking here to contribute.  Do also check out our beautiful new website in the process –

Stories from Burundi

A couple of years ago Great Lakes Outreach was one of our Featured Ministries.  Its founder, Simon Guillebaud, recently circulated news from a recent outreach they held.  These stories are too good not to retell!

One of our teams went to a hospital to pray for the sick, but unfortunately started with a room where a young girl was in a coma, and presumed to be dying – to such an extent that her family had gone off to buy a coffin for her burial.  A friend said to them: “Listen, if your God is able, then pray for her and heal her, and then we’ll believe; but otherwise, please leave us, we don’t want to waste our time listening to you.”  Our team rose to the challenge, prayed for the girl, and she came back to life fully!  Some said she was resurrected from the dead – who knows, but whatever the case, two days later she was back home with her family.  That provided a massive open door of opportunity at the hospital, with many staff and patients giving their lives to Christ in response to that undeniable miracle.

Another team went to Kirundo prison to share the gospel.  They spent half a day with a group of interested prisoners.  Every single one of them gave their lives to Christ.  The following day, that group of prisoners were all released from jail!  One of them called Misago was blown away.  He said: “I knew as I surrendered to Christ I’d been set free spiritually, but now also literally!”  As a result of their story a number of people living around the prison also became believers.

A student team in Karusi province spent three days washing the sores of child lepers who had been abandoned by their families.  Observers simply couldn’t understand how students could show such love to these rejects of society.  A passer-by said: “We’d heard that true religion is taking care of orphans, but this is the first time we’ve seen it lived out.”  Many of them gave their lives to Christ as a result.

Suzanne had been in bed for two years, and had spent all the family’s wealth on witchdoctors in seeking a cure for her mystery illness.  Our guys came to her, shared with her, prayed for her, and she was healed.  Her whole family became believers.  I met her yesterday, and she was radiant with joy, talking about God’s miracle in her life.

And in terms of the longer-term impact, here’s what has happened in the last few years to one pastor and his church in the second city.  He planted it three years ago and was totally discouraged with the lack of any fruit.  So he asked us to send a team, which we did in 2009 and 2010.  On the back of that, his church is now full, they’re building an extension, and he’s set up a similar team which is resourcing other churches in the area!

Featured ministry: Great Lakes Outreach

One of the most moving incidents in my life was when my pastor’s 18 year old brother died in his arms just because he didn’t have five bucks for the medicine.  You can go to the chemist and you can see the medicine  (and I’ve had that disease umpteen times – amoebic dysentery) but if you haven’t got the money for it then, sorry – go home and die.  So his 18 year old brother died in his arms for five bucks.  That’s five bucks for a life.  You know, that fries my brain.  This is a sick, sick world.

That’s the sort of experience that drives Simon Guillebaud on.  Working in Burundi since 1998 to help heal that sick, sick world.  Founding Great Lakes Outreach (GLO) in 2003, he seeks to channel funding from Britain and the US into project partners who are engaged in a variety of ministries in the war-torn central African country.  Simon now spends much of his time travelling as a speaker, developing support for GLO’s work.

GLO works with well-known partners like Scripture Union and Youth for Christ as well as many other local organisations.  Their approach is to identify local leaders of the highest integrity and calibre, and forge strategic partnerships with their organisations to empower them to lead the way in transforming the country at multiple levels.

GLO’s website is well-designed and worth a visit, if only for the stunning photography.  GLO uses technology to communicate in ways which can inspire others, uploading photos and videos to YouTube and Facebook where they have gathered over 3,600 supporters.   Lack of media awareness is often a challenge to small organisations; the rapid and effective growth of GLO is proof that it is worth getting familiar with it.