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Miracles Follow the Gospel

Burundi is a country where witchcraft is prevalent. People do not find it easy to turn away from ancestral gods and traditions, unless they see a greater display of supernatural power. 

In recent years, God has been raising up a generation of young church leaders through a local ministry called Harvest for Christ. Since 2014, Harvest has been sending teams of young people throughout the country to proclaim the Gospel and display God’s love in Burundi. Our team in Burundi has been working closely with Harvest to support their evangelistic efforts.

This past year, the teams from Harvest were made up of over six hundred young people who were fervent for the Gospel and eager to see people encounter Jesus. Thirty-one teams were sent out in partnership with local churches and more than eighteen thousand people heard a message of healing and hope. Approximately half of those who heard the Gospel responded in faith and committed themselves to following Jesus. The following stories explain how this happened in the lives of several individuals. 

One day, a young man named Sindayikengera was sleeping in bed during the heat of the day when he had a dream. In the dream, he saw people coming with a message for him. When he woke up, he got out of bed and went to the door of his hut. As he opened it, he saw a small group of people in the distance walking toward his home. When the team from Harvest approached him, they asked if they could talk to him about something.

“I have been waiting for you,” Sindayikengera replied. As his visitors shared the Gospel with him, the young man wept. With great joy, he accepted the Good News and gave his heart to Jesus.

Ndayishimiye was crippled with a badly swollen hand and arm, leaving her unable to work in the fields and provide for her family. She was also afflicted by a demon. When team members came to her home and prayed for her, they took authority over the evil spirit in Jesus’ name and it left immediately. As they continued praying for her, the swelling in her hand and arm went down. Eventually, they watched as her entire limb was fully restored to health. With great gratitude and excitement, Ndayishimiye said yes to Jesus and embraced him as her Lord and Saviour.

In another village, a team encountered an elderly woman who had been sick for nearly three years, unable to walk. She had been reduced to crawling or staggering with the assistance of a stout walking stick. On a previous visit, just two days earlier, team members had prayed over her, but saw no obvious improvement. During the most recent campaign, I was able to accompany the team when they returned to her home with a local pastor.  

When we arrived, we were alarmed to see that her home was empty. We didn’t know if she had gotten worse, or if maybe she had died. But as we were leaving the woman’s home, a neighbour called out to us, saying, “She has gone back to work! Go, you will find her in the fields.”

When we found the woman in the fields, we were dumbfounded. There she was – hard at work with a hoe in her hand! The same woman who was lame two days earlier was now strong and healthy for the first time in three years.

In yet another village, young parents brought their one-year-old boy named Simplice to one of the teams. Since birth, the boy had been completely unresponsive to any visual stimuli, causing his parents to believe that he was totally blind. In the evening, the team prayed over the child in the name of Jesus, but they did not see any change. 

The next day, however, they were called to come and see the boy, who was alert, focused, and clearly able to see. The team was shocked! Many of the non-believing neighbours could not believe that it was the same child. They began testifying to everyone around that a miracle had occurred, although they didn’t know how.

Immediately, Simplice’s parents began attending the local church, asking the pastor to explain how this miracle was possible. 

On another occasion, one of the Harvest teams met Magongo, a young man who was suffering both physically and socially. What started out as a small infection below his right eye had become a massive disfigured abscess that covered much of his face. He had become a social outcast. When the team reached out to Magongo and shared the Gospel with him, he accepted Jesus. But when they prayed for healing, nothing happened. However, God had another miracle in mind. 

As the team began to share Magongo’s story with others in the surrounding area, the hearts of people were moved and they began to raise funds for the young man to be treated at the local hospital. Eventually, not only was Magongo helped physically, but the entire community was transformed as they responded to the love of Christ. 

As the Gospel is being proclaimed today in Burundi, God is healing people and bringing transformation to families and communities. It is strikingly similar to the stories in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). 

Tyler and Cheryl Schulz work with the Multiply team in Burundi, which partners with Harvest for Christ, a local ministry that is focused on evangelism, leadership training, and church planting.

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