The future of BTBAB’s involvement in Burundi was discussed at the BTBAB’s Annual Board Meeting in April. A key factor was the refusal of the landlord to rent the land after June so it was decided it would not be viable to continue beyond that date. The original plan was to withdraw 5 months later in November.
The Redeeming The Land (RTL) project itself has been a tremendous success in Mubuga, i.e., the Gitega region of Burundi. 100 members have been involved in the project; 50 of them worked directly on the shared land and 50 others were being trained in agricultural techniques to practice in their own home holdings. Members of the Farming Association recently had a very bountiful harvest. In June, tons of maize was shared and distributed among its members. According to Peniel they were so excited to own the maize they themselves planted. He gave them a word of encouragement also – giving them hope that together, with God, they can achieve more than they can think. Although the project is now closing, their faith assures them that God will continue to work out His plans for the people of Mubuga and for Burundi in general. “We have farmed maize but we have never produced this much – So we are going to eat much and save some. For that reason, I would to thank Redeeming The Land for showing us how to farm and for all the help they have given us. ” said Josélyne Niyonkuru, one of the association members.
Careful consideration has been given by BTBAB on how to financially support the farming association as they go forward in a self-governing and sustainable way. The equivalent of 5 months land rental has been given to the association and now they are planning how to wisely use this money to further transform their community. Peniel has also been provided with a salary of 1 year to support them in this process. We trust God will guide them now more than ever as they become a self-sufficient, Godreliant community of farmers.