Restored Relationships

Francois Ndikumasabo has been working in Burundi for a long time in the 2-by-2 ministry. Our Africa 2-by-2 coordinator, Benard Thuku, asked him what his biggest takeaway was from his years of work among the Deaf of Burundi.

Francois looked at Benard and signed, “I think seeing the different ways God impacts people’s lives is a major one. But one particular result of this ministry is one that I feel most deeply. 

“Here in Gitega, I see relationships being restored as a result of God’s working in people’s lives. When we first came here, we saw so much divsion, hatred and separation among the Deaf people in the community here. People couldn’t sit together and enjoy fellowship because of the gossip and slander that ran amok, sowing chaos.

“We started to teach the Gospel to the Deaf, and we slowly saw lives and relationships being transformed right in front of our eyes. The only way I can explain it is that the Deaf people truly took the lessons about God being love to their hearts. They’re taking God’s love and transforming it into love for their fellow men and women, loving their neighbors as they love themselves.

In this photo, Deaf Burundians are gathered around a single laptop to watch God’s Word in Burundian Sign Language via videos playing on the screen.
“Families are being reunited. Friendships which were broken are being mended and the whole community is experiencing relational transformation.

“One of the Deaf men here recently lost his brother. The community turned out in hordes to support him, consoling and providing comfort to him in his time of grief.

“One of the elders of the community came to me, and told me that he had lived in Gitega for many years. He said that he had never seen such a display of oneness and support that the Deaf community had shown to the grieving brother. ‘Something different is happening to the community, to us, but I don’t know why.’

“I took this opportunity to share the Gospel with him and explained that God’s love is the factor that sparked this transformation in the hearts of the Deaf Burundians in Gitega.

“The elder was quiet for a long moment, finally nodding his head slowly in affirmation, signing, ‘This must be true. God’s Word is bringing transformation, one life at a time.’”

Praise God for His healing touch upon the relationships in the Deaf community of Gitega!