sharing stories • building bridges

3rd November: My Country Wept - Theodore Mbazumutima

Theo Mbazumutima
21st Oct 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the outbreak of the Burundian civil war.

The new book My Country Wept tells the remarkable true story of Theo Mbazumutima, a Hutu man who suffered at the hands of the Tutsis, who God miraculously saved from death and now works to bring reconciliation to his people and you can hear first hand from Theo as he visits Peterborough to talk about his amazing experiences.

When:     Saturday 3rd November
Where:   Emmanuel Church at William Law School, Twelvetrees Ave, PE4 5DT

“When love overcomes the violence and hate of war, a story of redemption, salvation and hope remains.” Scott Norling

Theodore Mbazumutima was forced to flee from his native Burundi when tensions between Hutus and Tutsis increased after the death of Hutu President Ndadaye on 21 Oct 1993.

His dangerous and incredible journey fleeing civil war is told in this page-turning, gripping account of God’s miraculous intervention, protection and guidance.
Humble to his core, Theo is always keen to stress that it was God’s unfailing faithfulness to him that is the key message of his story, and admits his faith was tested and that he struggled many times.

As his friend Simon Guillebaud says: “It’s in the darkest places that the light shines brightest. God never abandoned Theo. His faith took many knocks, and he doesn’t gloss over his doubts and struggles – but ultimately God enabled him to persevere through unimaginably grim circumstances and emerge as a courageous reconciler and peacemaker.”

The theme of forgiveness is a strong thread running through this story, but in the face of unimaginable horrors on both sides of the civil war divide, it is never brushed under the carpet as an easy thing to do. In fact, its raw honesty is what makes Theo’s story so powerful.

As Theo says “The act of forgiveness is sometimes extremely difficult. Often there needs to be a deep releasing of pain at the Cross before the process of forgiveness can begin and true healing occur.”

In fact Theo is living proof of the power that God’s forgiveness and peace can bring to someone’s life as Hutu Theo eventually marries Christine, who comes from a Tutsi background. This incarnational sign of forgiveness against the backdrop of the horrors of war is truly inspiring.

Theo is now Director of Rema Ministries, which has established itself as a peace-building organisation committed to the rights of people in forced displacement situations, particularly refugees, the internally displaced and returnees. Tensions and underlying issues are still present in Burundi, so this is vital ongoing work, and Theo’s heart and prayer is still “to continue to heal our land, reconciling and restoring the hearts of every Burundian affected by conflicts of the past and in the present”.

My Country Wept is a powerful testimony to the faithfulness of God , and is ultimately hopeful as we learn that the power of God’s love can bring forgiveness and healing even in the darkest of places. 

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