by Jean de Dieu Bizimana, Country Director, HOPE Burundi
On May 13, while I was in Lancaster, PA, for HOPE’s annual Leadership Summit, we received news of an attempted coup in Burundi. Though the coup failed, it was further evidence of the growing crisis in our country, where unrest and violence have become part of life in Bujumbura, the capital city, since late April, when our president announced he was running for a third term.
As the turmoil has dragged on, businesses and schools have closed, disrupting normal operations in our already fragile economy. Some HOPE Burundi staff members have gone to Rwanda for safety, part of the over 100,000 people who’ve fled the country.
In this atmosphere of uncertainty, I praise God that He is our constant, true source of hope. We say with the psalmist, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
I invite you to join me in praying for the people of Burundi, especially HOPE staff, church partners, and clients:
- Pray for peace. Pray that God moves in the hearts of the nation’s leaders to act in the best interests of the people of Burundi. Pray that peace prevails and that we find a resolution to this conflict that truly helps our country move forward.
- Pray for clients. With thousands leaving the country and many businesses closed, our clients—who rely on their businesses to support their families—are facing severe disruptions to their livelihoods.
- Pray for staff. Pray that God protects them as they travel to support and encourage volunteers and savings group members.
- Praise God for the solidarity of savings groups. In rural areas, savings groups have continued to meet, finding a source of solidarity and fellowship amid uncertainty and fear. Pray that they continue to find hope in times of prayer and worship.
Jean de Dieu has led HOPE Burundi’s savings and credit association (SCA) program since it started in 2012. Prior to assuming his current role, Jean de Dieu was actively involved in HOPE’s network as a board member of Turame Community Finance, HOPE’s partner in Burundi. He and his wife are blessed with three children.