The Great lakes Region of Africa, home to Rwanda and Burundi, has been plagued by ethnic violence and civil war ever since independence from Belguim. In fact ethnic tensions go back as far as the 14th century.
Trans World Radio-Burundi has taken its place in the struggle by bringing the light of Jesus to an otherwise dark situation through the reconcilliation programme Tsuware Na Bose.
The programme targets the reconciliation of Burundians and Rwandese who are scattered in various African countries as refugees, following the recurrent ethnic crises in the region. it promotes forgiveness, mutual forebearance, and peaceful cohabitation even though the fault or offense would be great.
The programme makes a difference because it tackles reconciliation in the light of the Word of God. It uses biblical references to address conflict resolution and peace-making.
In 2001 TWR's Rev. Brent Bartlett visited the country and interviewed a number of listeners. When asked whether the programme was making an impact in the crises facing the country most smiled and told us that it is the only ray of hope they have.
"People want peace," said one student at the university, "but they don't know how to find it. Your programmes show the way and people are starting to walk in that way because the way Burundi can have peace is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your programmes teach us that."
TWR's national director in Burundi,Noé Nizigama tells of a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo came to their office recently to testify that the reconciliation programme is well listened to in the high hills of Bukavu. He added that the message of reconciliation based on mutual forgiveness is the one that fits our Great Lakes Region.
A Burundian family staying in Saudi Arabia testifies that they always listen to the programme broadcast on short wave from from TWR's Johannesburg transmitting site and believed it to be of great encouragement to Christians in the country.
Programmes like Tsuware Na Bose are making a major impact in countries where ethnic hatred runs very deep. Only Jesus can bring true reconcilliation to these countries. Please pray for these programmes as they are aired. Pray that they will not fall on deaf ears and that, as more people discover the saving Grace of God that these countries will be transformed from within.
Burundi tea plantations