In 1999, when he was in his early 20s, Simon Guillebaud gave up a steady marketing job to move to Burundi. In the 15 years since, he has seen God move in incredible ways, and is passionate about seeing the country and its people fully restored. “I went out with a few hundred pounds, most of which got stolen on the first day, and I just thought ‘Bring it on,’ ” he tells Christian Today. “That was in 1999, when Burundi was the most dangerous country in the world and I fully expected to die. I remember a friend once leaned across to me and said: ‘We’re immortal until God calls us home’ ”. Guillebaud set up an umbrella organisation, Great Lakes Outreach (GLO), which works with local groups and gifted leaders to share the Gospel, and has seen 100,000 people come to Christ in the last eight years.
He is full of compelling stories about miraculous events. “My friend Agnes was deaf, dumb and blind, and she was permanently curled up in a ball. For seven years her parents would wheel her onto the patio to catch the sunlight and then wheel her back inside every single day,” Guillebaud recalls. “She must have been prayed over a bunch of times, but then a group of young people prayed for her and her whole body uncoiled. She got her sight and hearing back but was still lacking speech. She joined a church choir by faith and then a few weeks later God released her tongue to praise him and since then she has not shut up!” he laughs. “She’s a turbo-charged evangelist, and you just can’t debate her story – she was on national radio, and everyone knew her as a vegetable but now she’s fine.”
“When people pray in Burundi ‘Give me my daily bread’ they really mean it. We’ve never had to pray that, but in Burundi there are no social services, so there’s a desperation and a recognition of need, and a humility which is often lacking in us.” He continues: “There’s also a circle of faith and unbelief. Africans are very innately spiritual; you don’t have to teach them that Satan and God are real, they know that and they’ve seen the power of both – they’ve lived under the fear of the witchdoctor and have experienced the freedom… with Jesus.”
Guillebaud adds, “The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from Burundi is gratitude – everything’s a gift.” And it is these lessons that Guillebaud hopes to share in his new book, Choose Life – a
volume of 365 readings, one for every day of the year. “I was at the National Prayer Breakfast a couple of months ago,” he continues, “and this lady came up to me and said ‘Do you remember me? 15 years ago I was in one of your youth camps, and now I’m a Member of Parliament’.”
These daily reminders of God’s power keep Guillebaud going!
Source: Christian Today; Prayer Alert
BIBLE STUDY: Colossians 1:24-29
Day 25 – PRAISE: God He is in the transformation business. His power is manifested in our weakness.
Day 26 – PRAY: For the Burundi Church, and that Christians in the West may learn to depend on God.