Jean Claude Bayisenge, one of the soldiers who decided to answer God’s call and became an Adventist, shared what he felt as he was baptized in the waters of Lake Tanganyika: “I praise God for my colleagues, for combining the two missions,” he said. “[The Adventist soldiers] knew we needed prayers for our mission to have a serious and successful impact. One of the pieces that brought me to conviction was the fact that we were able to read the Word of God by ourselves, and found the precious truths hidden in the books we always carried in our hands.”
Major Douglas Mumanyi lamented that many people think members of the military cannot accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. “Being a Christian, however, is a matter of personal choice,” he said. “Being a soldier doesn’t exempt you from having human needs like everybody else. It is not a ticket to freeing oneself from salvation and committing crimes.”
Eric Ntiyankundiye, the elder in the Burundi Army Seventh-day Adventist church, shared that the group now has about 200 members. “It is not about us but about what God Himself can do through His willing vessels,” he said.
The original version of this story was posted on the East-Central Africa Division news site.