My Grander Vision for Burundi | Transforming Leaders to Transform the Country
“I want to see a country where we don’t have stealing and corruption—where the Church and the Christians are doing what God wants us to do. That’s what I want to see in Africa, not just in Burundi. That is the desire crying in my heart.”
Painito Ambuka served for 23 years in the Kenyan government before he accepted Christ and responded to God’s call to become a missionary. He left his government job and served in Tanzania as a pastor training other pastors, teaching seminars for women, youth and leaders. After eight years of training leaders in refugee camps for Burundians in Tanzania, God worked a miracle. Burundi began experiencing peace and the Burundians began returning home. The Lord called Painito and his wife to go to Burundi and work with the people there.
Burundi is a nation that has experienced many problems due to war. Many of the citizens have had to go to refugee camps and others have gone to live in other countries like Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. When they return home, they find the country is suffering financially, and most of the people encounter poverty and struggle to meet their basic needs. “Because of poverty, we have problems with corruption,” said Painito. “But we thank God for what he is doing among the churches and for the church leaders who are eager to know and help others grow in their own lives.”
How the GLS came to Burundi
Painito says that he was invited to attend the Global Leadership Summit in Kenya in 2012 and it impacted his life. “I loved every lesson I was taught,” he said. “And I thought, this is what I need for Burundi. At the end, I asked how I could bring this GLS to Burundi. At first, we couldn’t do it, because we required funds and needed to collect people together. I kept pestering the leader in charge of the GLS in Kenya, and he helped connect us to Willow Creek.”
The first GLS took place in Burundi in 2014.
“I remember in one of the sessions they talked about justice, and at the time, the country was preparing to go into an election,” said Painito. “People were being swept up with justice. The teaching on Holy Discontent was very powerful because people realized the conditions around them and started thinking about their own discontent.” Painito was one of them.
Painto’s Holy Discontent and Grander Vision for Burundi
“My holy discontent is seeing leaders and churches not transformed,” said Painito. “I see churches increasing and growing, yet we have problems with corruption and poverty. God called me to raise, train and release church leaders. As I look at the church leaders, I think, what can we do to bring transformation to the country? These leaders can be transformed, and they can transform their churches. I thank God for the GLS, because when the GLS came here, I said this is the thing that will help me transform leaders who can then transform the country.”
Painito has a dream to see prisons in the country almost empty. To see a country where people are living by the principles of God’s word. “I want to see a country where we don’t have stealing and corruption—where the Church and the Christians are doing what God wants us to do. That’s what I want to see in Africa, not just in Burundi. That is the desire crying in my heart.”
Pray for Leaders in Burundi
“Pray for me, as a missionary,” says Painito. “I’ve asked God, why do you send me to Burundi? The country is very poor and people are struggling with their basic needs. As a missionary, I raise my own support. My wife and children have to live their lives, and my children have to go to school, and sometimes it is challenging.” But he remembers that God called him, so he wants to follow this call and pursue it. “I say, God I want to serve you,” he says. “I want to help those I am helping, but I also have my own needs. So please pray for me. Pray that God would help me as I serve, and that God would meet my needs, and that my children can continue learning. And that I continue serving the people without looking back.”
Painito desires for God to change the lives of people. “Pray that the GLS would help reach the people. I’m trying to reach people in villages and other centers where the people are. I’m so grateful that I’m going to get the equipment for the GLS. With this equipment, now I’m able to go to other places. Because of the poverty level, we charge only $7 to register for the GLS, but many are not able to pay that much, so we provide a scholarship for them. We are able to show them teachings on DVDs and help them contextualize and apply the teaching. Pray for me, that God will help me, and help the people embrace and apply what they learn through the GLS.”
Thank you for Supporting the GLS in Burundi
Painito encourages leaders to embrace the Global Leadership Summit. “I’ve seen it help people in Kenya and Burundi and we are trusting God that many will still be helped as we learn and apply what we’ve learned,” he said. “May God bless those who give to the GLS. I want them to know that it’s helping people in different places so much.” Please continue to pray and support leaders like Painito in Burundi who seek to change lives, impact the Kingdom, and ultimately introduce people to Jesus. You make a difference for hundreds of thousands of leaders through your support and prayer.
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