How old is this child?


The answer is he is not a child, he is a 19-year-old young adult called Arcade. It’s difficult to believe… but when you hardly ever get any food to eat, physical development is stunted. More of his story is below… 

…before that, I want to praise the Lord for peaceful elections. Seriously. Last time in 2015, it got really messy. But in a month of dramatic twists, the outgoing President died suddenly, and so the new President was quickly inaugurated for the sake of stability. He’s got a tough job on his hands, but I’m praying (who wouldn’t want this to happen?) that he’ll be the best President ever, for the benefit of Burundi and all Burundians. Would you join me in that please (his nickname is Neva)? And for COVID-19 to have minimal impact.

Burundi was already the hungriest country in the world, but the situation is even harder on the back of the coronavirus and closed borders. One friend sent me a Whatsapp message: 

“Hello my brother, I’m dying of hunger! Things are so tight, I haven’t eaten for three days now. I ask you as you always stood with me, I know you can’t leave me to die of hunger, please send even $10.”

I hate those messages, received in my parallel universe of (albeit frustrated and restricted) comfort in England. Some sound so hopeless, whilst others are so hopeful despite the challenges of life at the moment. Another friend writes: 

“Thanks for your heart for Burundi and my family. God who protected us during the turmoil in the valley of the shadow of death, is still the same, He never changes. I’ve been so stressed about how to feed my family, food is expensive, it’s not easy. But I went to preach in Rumonge to 1000 people, over 100 chose Jesus! God told me ”take this message of hope, I am with you”. God is in control and His blood covers us. Go on praying for us, we will not die, we will live and proclaim the wonders of God.”

Back to Arcade: he is an orphan from Ciya village in the Burundian bush. He joined GLO partner J-Life’s porridge program for the malnourished because he had what appeared to be a distended belly. Despite the regular porridge, his tummy remained swollen. Local nurses tried giving him malaria medicine as a potential cure, but that didn’t work either. Eventually, Bosco took him to Bujumbura where a tumour was detected; and with contributions from you, he’s now had surgery and is convalescing. The impossible has happened for him – the poorest destitute and forgotten village boy going for surgery in a fancy hospital in the capital city – he can’t quite believe it!

There is always hope… I don’t know how you’re feeling right now. I’ve had a few sucker punches and have been struggling at different times. But being involved in Burundi helps me maintain focus and keep a sense of perspective on my own issues. Hang in there! 

If you can possibly dig deep to help others like Arcade, please give some money/hope HERE

Thanks for caring, thanks for praying. Do share the joy with me of peaceful elections and lives transformed in Jesus’ name! 

Yours hopefully,

Simon Guillebaud

2 Comments3102 views


  • What a story!
    May God keep blessing you abundantly. We deeply appreciate what GLO has been doing in Burundi. People like you are few.
    On my behalf and my ministry I thank you so much.
    I know there are many kids like Arcade and God shall provide. All my prayers with GLO and people who diligently support it. May God always hear and grant your prayers. 1 chronicles 4:10.

  • A beautiful story of hope in the most desperate times

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