It’s bad. Really bad…

In the area around Thierry’s house, seven people have been killed by hippos. Then there are the crocs, snakes, mosquitoes, parasites, the open sewage leading to cholera… the list goes on.

Thierry, my Anglican pastor friend, has lost his house (and his church) to the huge floods in Burundi. Lake Tanganyika has risen by twelve feet to its highest level since 1960, displacing 200,000+ people, many of whom are utterly destitute. Take a look at this clip filmed by my colleague Raissa from a dugout canoe.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Staple foods like rice and beans have increased in cost by 40% in one year. I can’t imagine not being able to feed my kids, or having to choose who eats on which day. Added to that, there is a crippling fuel shortage so folks are walking several hours each way to work every day.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Video by GLO partner, New Generation, who are providing relief to those living in makeshift shacks.

Brothers and sisters, the struggle to survive is worse now than at any time since the extremes of the 1993 genocide – worse even than the war years. I hate writing that, but despite the insecurity back then, at least prices were more manageable and most people could afford to eat.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!

Raissa surveys the damage

So we cry out in lament, and respond in hope. What was extraordinary was how Raissa, having filmed those distressing scenes the other day, returned home feeling inspired.

Inspired? Seriously? Yes, because she was blown away that Thierry still laughed, still had hope, still trusts Jesus. What resilience! Thierry believes God hasn’t abandoned him, and he has a role to play in his nation.

Our partners are under such intense pressure, and yet are doing stunning work. But they’re struggling to feed their own families, let alone help others, be they victims of the current floods or all the other compounding problems, affecting daily life in the world’s poorest nation.

So we want to help our partner organisations so they can continue to provide for their families, and the work can continue to thrive in this, the most difficult of seasons.

How to Make a Difference…

It’s as desperate a heart-plea as I can muster on behalf of our suffering brethren. We’ve recently sent out money to build ten houses, and there are so many more needs to be met in Jesus’ name.

Lord, have mercy on Burundi!


From my uncle Ross Paterson’s book ’The Antioch Factor’, I find this section very challenging:

Walter Lewis Wilson was an American doctor born towards the end of the nineteenth century. He was a faithful Christian who hosted visiting missionaries to his church. One visitor from France didn’t mince words, asking him, “Who is the Holy Spirit to you?” Wilson’s answer was doctrinally correct, “One of the Persons of the Godhead… Teacher, Guide, Third Person of the Trinity.” But it was an empty and rehearsed response. His friend pushed him harder, challenging him, “You haven’t answered my question.” Wilson opened up with real candour, “He’s nothing to me. I have no contact with him and could get along without him.” 

The following year, Wilson listened to a sermon at church from Romans 12 on the call to offer his body as a living sacrifice. The preacher called out from the pulpit, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to Whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus. He has his own body. It is not the Father. He remains on his throne. Another has come to earth without a body. God gives you the indescribable honour of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be his dwelling place on earth.”

Wilson was struck to the core and rushed home to seek the Lord. He fell on his face and pleaded with the Lord, “My Lord, I have treated you like a servant. When I wanted you, I called for you. Now I give you this body from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is your body from this moment on.”

The next morning, Wilson was working in his office when two ladies arrived, trying to sell him advertising. He immediately led them to Christ. The previous night’s surrender had enabled him to access new power from on high. From that day onwards, his life entered a new dimension of evangelistic fruitfulness. He went on to pioneer a church plant, a mission organisation, and a Bible College, as well as becoming a best-selling author.

Do you want to be entrusted with that same power from the Holy Spirit? Well, who is the Holy Spirit to you? Like the early Wilson, can you get along perfectly well without him? Or are you truly willing to offer him your body as a living sacrifice, without conditions or caveats? There’s so much more power that I want to plug into for God’s glory. But will I trust him for every aspect of my life? Will I “consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3v8)? These are big, big questions.

“With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, the transformation in my life on January 14th 1914 was much greater than the change that took place when I was saved December 21st 1896.”

We might question those last words, but can’t deny the reality. As a surrendered vessel, Wilson had entered a new realm of effectiveness. Our relationship with God is a two-way thing. We give Him our bodies as a living sacrifice, and in return He releases a power and anointing and gifting.

How much do you want of God?
Nobody has less of God than they want.


I have exciting news! My publishers have kindly agreed for me to share the award-winning devotional Choose Life 365 for free in 2023!

So I invite you to sign up for either a daily or a weekly email from me in 2023, helping you to choose faith over fear, love over legalism and gratitude over grumbling!

There’s no denying that times are really tough for many of us. Personally, we’ve experienced some real sucker punches over the past couple of months in our family, so more than ever, we need to press into God and pursue Him each and every day. I hope this will help you to do just that!

Check out this promo video I recorded recently in Burundi:

I’ve been journeying through it weekly with a bunch of folks for two years now, and I’ve been encouraged by some of the stories of impact people have sent through, so I’m excited to be able to share it with you for 2023!

If you find it helpful, I’d be so grateful if you could forward it to friends and family, or get them to sign up at chooselife.org.uk

If you want to buy the book for yourself, I’d encourage you to support our friends at St Andrew’s Bookshop or your local Christian bookshop, rather than the usual titans of the bookselling world!

Sign up here:



What oozes out of you when you are squeezed?

Let me explain.

A favourite quote of mine is by Smith Wigglesworth:

Be filled with the Spirit – that is, be soaked with the Spirit. Be so soaked that every thread in the fabric of your life will have received the requisite rule of the Spirit – and then, when you are misused and squeezed to the wall, all that will ooze out of you will be the nature of Christ.

Suffice to say, Burundians, already living in the world’s poorest and hungriest nation*, are being squeezed to the wall right now in an almost unprecedented way:

  • For several months, there have been debilitating fuel shortages. 
  • Food prices have shot up spectacularly. People simply cannot afford to eat enough and malnourishment is increasing.
  • Power cuts are frequent, affecting refrigeration, medical services, and education. 
  • Authorities implemented an absurd ban on bicycles, motorbikes and tuk-tuks in the capital. As a result, many thousands of the poorest people’s livelihoods have been destroyed.
  • The fuel shortage and the ban mean folks have two options: If you can afford it, join a monster queue for a bus (often a two-hour wait) or walk miles to and from your workplace, school or market in the miserable heat and humidity. 

The squeeze is on amidst much despair and weariness.

I returned from Burundi yesterday, having met with leader after inspiring leader, all oozing Christ during this season of intense squeezing. It was a humble privilege. Beautiful fruit is growing in fertile soil.

The world is in a chaotic mess right now; there are huge needs everywhere. I hate asking, but this is part of the job that the Lord has given me – to seek support for God’s stunning servants.

If you could give a monthly (or one-off) gift, you’ll be helping to bring about transformation in many lives through our health clinics, community agriculture projects, schools, sanitary pad provision for girls, homes and help for widows, street-connected children outreach, Bible distribution, training centres (that enable young women to leave the demeaning cycle of prostitution), and so many more vital initiatives.

And if you can’t give, we understand. Please do pray though – we are a movement steeped in prayer, which is why we are seeing so much lasting fruit amidst so much relentless adversity.

Let me close with Smith Wigglesworth again, as he challenges each one of us:

Live ready. If you have to get ready when the opportunity comes your way, you’ll be too late. Opportunity doesn’t wait, not even while you pray. You must not have to get ready, you must live ready at all times!

How are you doing on that one?! Are you being squeezed?

Here’s to living ready! Here’s to oozing the nature of Christ, whatever you’re going through!

God bless you all!


Simon BlogUncategorized

Today we’re launching a new podcast: ‘Inspired… with Simon Guillebaud’.

Upbeat and uplifting, ‘Inspired’ introduces us to a stunning variety of people from all walks of life. It celebrates perseverance, overcoming, and costly faith. Stories of adventure and risk-taking stir the listener to imagine new possibilities.

I’ve loved recording the first few episodes already, which have included tales of dramatic answered prayers, Mai Mai militias, a 6-ft pet cobra, punch-ups, a melted face, witchdoctor and drag queen conversions and more. I have so many crazy/courageous/resourceful/faith-filled friends whose stories will be told over the coming months, and I’d love you to join me with them.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

I’ll record a new podcast every week, so do subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts and I’d be so grateful if (with integrity) you could do two things:

Give us a 5-star review on iTunes here so more people can discover us.
Spread the word by sending a friend to our podcast webpage!

The aim is to point people to Jesus, and to celebrate and promote what the Lord has done through His people – what’s not to like?!

This first week, my old mate Ed Walker interviews me so you get more of my own journey with stories you’ll definitely not have heard before, and then I interview him on his award-winning work through Hope into Action, which has seen beautiful fruit amongst the most broken people of society.

So inspiring!

Bring it on!