This short blog is simply a call to prayer for Burundi as we approach the referendum on the 17th May. The referendum is to amend (or not) the constitution to change presidential terms from 5 to 7 years, renewable once. The clock on terms would be reset, so that potentially the current President could continue in power until 2034. There is little doubt which way the referendum will go.
Burundi seems currently stable. We personally don’t feel in any danger at all, and our lives go on as normally as ever – which is the line that the government is wanting to communicate to the outside world.
The other side of the coin – to be balanced – is a recent report by Human Rights Watch, which you can access here.
Whatever one’s view on the rights or wrongs of what goes on in the political sphere, Burundi has the highest child stunting level in the world. Hunger, disease, and poverty are the norm. The economy has tanked further since 2015. Many have lost hope. We came out in a recent UN-commissioned World Happiness Report as the most miserable country in the world.
So please pray. We don’t want things to kick off violently, and there have been a few incidents already.
Meantime, our work continues to see kids getting educated, hungry people fed, jobs provided for, orphans and widows looked after, pastors trained, youth empowered, and a whole lot more, much of which is behind the scenes and can’t be blogged about, but is beautiful. There are many wonderful Burundians who care deeply for their nation and are doing their utmost to be part of the solution.
God help us!