BURUNDI Jan. 1, 2012: Est. population, 10,216,000; Members 171; Branches 2;
Africa Southeast Area; DRCongo Kinshasa Mission. Burundi, formerly knownas Urundi, becameindependentfromBelgium on 1 July 1962. Located in east-central Africa
borderedbyTanzania,RepublicoftheCongo,andRwanda. TheofficiallanguagesareKirundiandFrench,withSwahilialso spoken, and 67 percentofthe people are Christian, while 23 percentfollow tribalbeliefs, and 10 percentare Muslim.
In1984, Egide Nzojibwami andhiswife, Beatrice, werebaptized inLiege, Belgium, while pursuing studies inthatcountry. Soonthereafter,theyreturnedtoBurundi. TheyconductedaSundaySchoolandothermeetingsintheirhomein Bujumbura,although the Churchwasn't officially established.
In1992, Elder Earl C. Tingey oftheSeventy traveled to Burundi andmetwitha representative ofthegovernment. The official initially denied theapplication forrecognition, butafterElder Tingey reada listofvalues from For theStrength of Youth pamphlet,the official was so impressed that he asked for copiesto distribute to members of his own church. Abouta month later,the Church receivedofficial recognitionfromthe government
With official recognition inplace. Homer M. LeBaron, president oftheZaire Kinshasa Mission, metwith theNzojibwami family andarranged for theorganization ofa branch inthecapital city ofBujumbura, on29November 1992, with Egide Nzojibwamiaspresident. Thefirstbranchmeetingwasheldtwodayslaterwith39attending.ThefirstconvertinBurundi, Bosco Nikondeha, was baptized 6 December 1992.
Soon after the branch was organized, missionaries from the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission were assigned to the country. Theywere Francois Boue, Felix Gnamba, Aime CesarKipre, and Bassin Kouhon.
TherewasacoupinOctober1993.In1996,theconstitutionwassuspended. Thebranchwasdiscontinuedshortly thereafterandmissionarieswerewithdrawnfromthecountry.
In December 2009, Michael Headlee, president of the DR Congo mission, visited Burundi, accompanied by Eustache llunga, a stakepresident from Kinshasa. They found many people who wanted the true gospel. Hefeltit wastimeto reintroduce the Church in Burundi.
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On 1 July 2010, the DRC Lubumbashi Mission was created with Gary L. Packer as mission president. Burundi was included in this new mission. An exploratoryvisit and conference was held in Burundi August 12-19, 2010. President Packer, along with President Eustache Ilunga, Elder BrentJameson and Elder Craig R. Frogley, attendedthe conference and visited several pastors who had written to the Church for information. Twenty-eight interested people and members attended the conference.
On 22September 2010, missionary couples Brent andLorraine Jameson andCraig andJanet Frogley arrived inBurundi fromthe DR Congo. Theyweresoonfollowed byeightmissionaries; Elders Moussele Fridorin Aristide, Mpoyi Bukasa Jean Paul,TshitukaJob Lafuluaba, MoussaKadiataChristopher, Kintembila Nzuzi Jonathan,Kizimbou Guy Alain, Diazola MbambukulaJunior,and N'gondoNkomboClerkGilson.
Therewere72peopleinthefirstsacramentmeeting.Baptismsbeganalmostimmediately. AliceMalabiandherbrother Alainwerebaptizedon24October2010,thefirstbaptismsafterreopeningthecountry. Theywerethechildrenof Veronique and Kyubi Malabi whohad joined the church earlierin Ivory Coast and moved to Burundi. By the end of 2010, the branch had 39 members including two former pastors who had earlier shown interest in the church.
On19 October2010,ElderJeffeiyR.Holland ofthe Quorumofthe Twelve visitedBurundiand blessedthe land.Hewas accompanied by Elder Stephen E. Snow of the Seventy. Afterward, Elders Holland and Snow met with 90 friends and members, some coming from eastern Congo120 miles away.
On9 January2011,the Bujumbura Branchwas created with more than 90 in attendance.