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On Sunday, July 13, 2014, Deogratias Nshimiyimana was consecrated as the newly elected bishop of the FM Church in Burundi. This outdoor service on the campus of Hope Africa University was attended by several hundred people including church leaders, government officials, pastors, and even a few missionaries.

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The 4+ hours were full of choirs, speeches, and opportunities to hear Bishop Deo’s heart for the church and for Burundi. Bishop Deo was most recently the Country Director for African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) in Burundi.

IMG_4597Rector (and Bishop Emeritus) Gerald Bates gave one of the speeches challenging the church to “Remember the Lord” and to not get distracted by other issues. Pray with us that this message would be taken to heart and that churches and people would be known for inviting God’s presence into their families and communities.

IMG_4700Bishop Deo told his own story of having lost both parents in Burundi in 1972. At one point he dropped out of school and was later encouraged to resume his education as a 25-year-old. He has gone on to earn a variety of degrees and relishes his role as a teacher. He and his wife, Lea, have 6 children and one granddaughter. Their oldest daughter is one of our 6th year medical students at Hope Africa.

IMG_4651There is general agreement that Bishop Deo is a man of integrity, humility, and passion who will be able to lead the Burundi FMC into its next season of ministry. Thank you for praying for Bishop Deo as he begins to learn this new job and cast God’s vision. Also pray for the pastors and church members of this large Burundian church (there are over 140,000 members) that they will use their influence responsibly for the Kingdom.