On August 9, 2019, an open letter from General Conference President Ted Wilson was published to the Adventist News Network and East-Central Africa Division website to the church members in Burundi. The letter appears in full below:
Seventh-day Adventist World Church President Writes Letter of Encouragement to Church Members in Burundi
The following message has been sent to our faithful brothers and sisters in Burundi via the East-Central Africa Division, and a copy has been posted on the website of the East-Central Africa Division
Dear Faithful Brothers and Sisters in Burundi,
What a privilege to address you as brothers and sisters who are part of the worldwide family of Seventh-day Adventists. You are loved, appreciated, and prayed for. You are dear to our hearts and God is watching over you in a special way. We thank the Lord for His protection and care for you in spite of challenges you may face each day. I have prayed for you and so have many others. God has a plan for each of your lives as you witness for Him and Christ’s soon coming.
Thank you for demonstrating your spiritual strength and fortitude in the face of unusual circumstances. We admire you and appreciate your strong determination to stand for truth and God’s Word. Thank you for lifting up Christ in your daily living, church activities, work environment, neighborhood outreach, and family setting. As you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your lives, He will do marvelous things to show people that the love of Christ rules your life and your heart.
Claim God’s great promise in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Let 1 John 5:2-5 be a great encouragement to you in your daily lives, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world----our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
What a privilege to encourage each of you and to support the duly-appointed and official spiritual and administrative team of Pastor Lamec Barishinga, president of the Burundi Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, and his colleagues as they lead each of you in the evangelistic and spiritual outreach to the people of Burundi. May every church member in Burundi, every local church, every pastor, every local church elder, all local church officers, every local field administration, and every church institution take courage in all that God asks you to do in our official church structure expanding His spiritual and evangelistic work in Burundi through Total Member Involvement……everyone doing something for Jesus. Be a loving and lovable Christian in all that you do showing the power of Christ in the life to change even the most difficult situations. May the following promise from the Spirit of Prophecy found in "Testimonies for the Church," Volume 8, page 12, be of strength to each of you, “Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save. From Christ is flowing the living stream of salvation. He is the Fountain of life, the Source of all power. When in faith we take hold of His strength, He will change, wonderfully change, the most hopeless, discouraging outlook. He will do this for the glory of His name.”
My dear brothers and sisters in Burundi, on behalf of your worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church family, let me send our Christian love and spiritual encouragement to you in your special work of representing Christ every day and sharing your faith in lifting up Christ, His Word, His righteousness, His sanctuary service, His saving power in the great controversy, His three angels’ messages, His health message, His last-day mission to the world including the need to plead for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, and Christ's soon second coming. Stay strong in Christ. May He give you physical, mental, social, and spiritual strength each day as you stand for God’s truth. Jesus is coming soon!!
With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,
Ted N.C. Wilson
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
This open letter originally appeared on the Adventist News Network.
Commentary: What Seventh-day Adventists Face in Burundi, May 17, 2019
Adventist Detainees Released from Burundi Prison, May 21, 2019
Image courtesy of ANN.
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