The Rev. Dominique Ciza convened a group of fifteen women and fifteen men from the Batwa tribe for training as evangelists, in the Diocese of Buye in Burundi. Traditionally marginalized and discriminated against, the Batwa represent a minority population. Evangelists from the dominant tribes (Hutu and Tutsi) have not been successful in ministry with the Batwa; it was Ciza’s vision to train members of the tribe, who were already Christian, to share Christian stories, preach the Word of God, and celebrate Christian worship among their tribemates.
He reports that the trainees were enthusiastic and receptive to the training. He appreciated being able to offer a well-resourced training and believes that the topics taught were mastered. In addition, some public health training was included because of the Covid environment. The Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Sixbert Macumi, commissioned and blessed the trainees.
The grant work led the Rev. Ciza to realize that obstacles to reaching the marginalized lie not in their receptivity, but in developing appropriate and accessible outreach methods. In an environment where witchcraft and African Traditional Religions flourish, offering Christianity in an accessible manner is critical. He dreams of planting a Batwan congregation.