Join the Story: Burundi Project

Barry Whatley / Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Canadian and Burundian Christians together

I am excited to play a key role in a unique training initiative in Burundi called “Rethink Development”.  Outreach Canada and a local Burundian organization, Partners Trust International (pti.bi) have joined forces to serve Christian leaders in Burundi.  Here is our mission:

To inspire and equip the church to fulfill its God-given mandate in helping communities experience sustainable development, and the country be transformed, for the glory of God

This inspiring and equipping happens in a few key ways. We recognize that many Christian leaders have little opportunity for strengthening their skills and capacity to better serve their communities in practical ways.  So we are starting September 20th a training cohort that will help about 20 leaders better plan and oversee development projects in their communities.  Another important priority is bringing Christians together for encouragement and inspiration.  Our three-day conference November 5th to 7th is in the works.  We will dedicate a full day for inspiring Church and NGO leaders in their important work.  Another day is dedicated as a workshop day for practitioners.  We also have plans to mobilize research teams to help the church better understand and rise to the many challenges they are facing in serving this needy country.

Last year some generous giving helped us generate close to $ 30,000 to cover the costs of the conference and related expenses.  These expenses are in three broad categories:

Administrative costs – the local organisation PTI carries the weight of overseeing the training and the conference planning.  Outreach Canada also plays an important role as well in managing the partnership, finances and transfer of funds, and overall oversight.

Conference and training costs.  Although participants contribute to these costs through their registration and participation fees, about half of the costs need to be subsidized as few organizations or churches have sufficient funds for training purposes.  We serve them by making this training affordable and accessible.

Human resource costs.  This is the biggest item for us.  We provide top-notch Burundian Christian facilitators and trainers to speak at our conferences and facilitate our training.  We also have a few key resource people here in Canada who oversee and help design the training program.  These servants provide contribute many hours at their expense, but for our work to be sustainable, we want to provide a reasonable stipend for the services of these qualified individuals.  With the launch of our training cohort these expenses have increased.

Here's how a gift makes a difference...

We have had a few generous gifts this year totaling around $ 11,000.  That’s almost a third of our goal of $ 35,000!  Here is how a gift makes a difference:

  • $ 100 provides a subsidy for a leader to participate in the training
  • $ 500 provides a stipend for a facilitator
  • $ 1000 will cover the costs of my stay in the country for 8 days
  • $ 2000 will pay for my travel to and from Burundi
  • $ 4000 will cover the administrative costs of the local organization, PTI
  • $ 5000 will cover the costs of the conference that are not met by the participant fees
  • $ 10,000 will provide stipends for the work of our key resource people here in Canada

Raising up leaders to carry on the work.

Could you consider a generous gift toward this great project?  It is an investment in Burundian leaders who are on the front lines of meeting needs and bringing change in a challenging environment.  Jesus made it his priority to raise up leaders to carry his work forward.  This is a unique opportunity to be part of raising up Burundian leaders for their important work in seeing their country transformed for the glory of God!

The following link enables you to give directly to the project:


Cheques can be made to Outreach Canada with a separate note:  Burundi project. Thanks in advance!

Prayer highlights for this project:

  • For enough funds for a successful fall training session and conference
  • For strong participation in our first training cohort beginning September 20th – we are counting on having 20 participants
  • For our executive planning team, for wisdom as we make important decisions about personnel and direction for our events
  • For the fulfillment of the mission – to see leaders better equipped to serve and transform their communities
  • For the maintaining of a strong spiritual vision for the training
  • For growing impact and favour on this important work

Warmly in Christ,
Barry Whatley

Video Update

You can find a short (4 minute) video update about this project here: https://vimeo.com/368325184




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