Aristide, a teenage boy in Burundi, is quick to share the impact God’s Word has made in his life. The teen lives in Gitega, the country’s capital city, and is about to finish his high school studies.
“I am a third born in a family of four children, and my parents are civil servants,” he begins. “We are members of the Roman Catholic faith, and my mother is very active in the church. We went to church every Sunday as little children. But as I grew older, I did not have a relationship with God.”
Looking back on the not-so-distant past, he continues. “I lived as I wanted with my friends—drinking, smoking, and chasing after girls. I developed a bad reputation in my community, which upset my parents. They sent me to boarding school, away from my friends, to focus on my studies. I was sad about how I hurt my loving parents. But I lacked the strength to change my situation. I would go to church to try and change my behavior, but it only lasted a few days. Then I would resume my old ways.”
Aristide turned over a new leaf through Bible League’s Project Philip Bible studies. “The lessons helped me to think about the Word of God in a new way. I liked the lesson about 2 Samuel 11:1-27. I realized that the power of evil covered my life and friends. I asked God to help me overcome this evil,” he notes. “My life changed during this program.”
“Now, I have a relationship with God and time to pray and show Him all my weaknesses. I am using what I learned to counsel my old friends. I have joined the Bible study group at my school, and God is giving me new friends. My habits have changed, and my family and community are gaining more confidence in me.”
Aristide received a French Bible for the first time. “This Bible will help me in my Christian walk. Thank you—and may God bless you so much. Pray for me to continue in my faith and overcome sin. I am sure God’s calling me to share the Good News with my friends, so that they will come to Jesus and change their ways. I urge youths to join the Project Philip program,” he concludes. “It is quite helpful.”