Burdett Family

Burdett Family

Robert & Joanna Burdett
Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples

February 2024

As rainy season has arrived, we are grateful for the coolness each rain brings. There are vibrant colors as earth, that just 2 months ago was dusty and brown, is now teeming with grass and flowers. Even the trees take on a cleaner hue. Our new house has been such a blessing. Sitting on the porch watching the rain at the end of a day is a new favorite way to unwind. But for all the signs of life and tranquility in nature, the spiritual battle still rages.

      After having been here for more than 12 years, I would have thought by  now I would have a better understanding of how to handle these things. The struggles that present themselves still leave us feeling out gunned, undermanned and at a loss. For example, one mother, who through a series of bad choices, is now reaping consequences-no money, no home, no job. Her teenage children have all found other unbelieving families to live with for food and shelter and yet, these are not good influences. She is in despair and is looking to places other than God for refuge. A young teen girl whose family is all Muslim is required every year to observe Ramadan, during which she is normally cut off from all believers and not allowed to attend church. The physical and spiritual effects of this month are physically noticeable. Several young men in the church have destroyed their reputations through alcohol and immorality. Though they are currently seeking the Lord, their marriages and families are facing problems that could take years to recover from. A young girl in our church lives with both parents who practice witchcraft. Her biological father was murdered, and her stepdad has a history of beating her (possibly because she is a Christian). Many first-generation Christian teens we are seeing pulled back into the ways of the world when they reach their early 20’s. In most of the cases, if you were to talk with the person, they would say the root of their problem is money or lack thereof. Sadly because of this mentality most people that come to us are hoping that we will give them a way to make or have more money. In their minds God is the means to the end-an easier life.

      Why do I tell you all this? For pity? No, for understanding on how to pray. This is not a plea for more support. God is supplying our needs. We could give (to a point) to all these causes, and we often do. I often am making up work for someone so they can earn some money. I spend much of summer vacation working with teen boys doing different projects so they can save money for school. Joanna is always going through our stuff looking for clothes to give to someone or compiling bags of staple foods to give to someone in need. We are often trying to counsel someone on how to better manage their means and money. However, what they deeply need is Christ. The last thing we want to build is a church that is dependent on us. That would be a disaster. Though I enjoy helping people, ultimately, they need to be driven back to God. He is their hope; He is their salvation. He is the one who clothes the lilies. Often, the struggles they are going through is something He has allowed to turn their eyes and their faith back to him. So, I say all this asking you to pray, not just for us (thought we need it) but for the people to whom we minister every day. Pray that they would desire God…that they personally would learn that God is faithful. Pray they would see God answer prayer…that they would see God change their lives so that whether rich or poor, they could say from the heart that God is enough.

      We had a good Christmas and New Year’s services with about 160 in attendance. Just before Christmas 12 (mostly kids) made professions of faith. We have been going through a discipleship class with those kids and teens who trusted Christ in 2023.

      For Valentines, we had a banquet with 11 couples in attendance. Preparation was a little stressful as the country is going through a major conjunctivitis epidemic and is currently out of medicine. Many of our faithful people were laid up because of it. We were grateful for the time we did have, and the grace God gave. Several unbelievers were in attendance, and we pray that couples were encouraged.

      The house is looking more and more like home and less like a construction site. Yesterday I passed the milestone of getting the last of the screens up on the windows. Hopefully now our monthly budget for bug spray and mosquito coils can be reduced! Eliana is doing well in kindergarten, and I am amazed at how much Joanna accomplishes each week between teaching Eliana, keeping our house going, teaching two different woman’s Bible studies, recording a kid’s radio program, and keeping me alive. Yeah, she has the harder task 😉

      I don’t want you to read into this letter that we are discouraged. We are not. We are seeing God work, but there is still so much to be done and the laborers are so few. The mission field is in desperate need of new missionaries. What I do hope to communicate is honesty. Missions isn’t always about victories and progress. It’s often a long, slow battler. Thankfully it’s the Lord who fights for us! Thank you for your prayers! Please don’t stop; don’t slow down. Thank you also to those who sent in financial gifts toward the purchase of a new ministry vehicle. We have saved up some money toward this over the years, but we are hoping to add about 15,000 to that in order to buy a reliable used vehicle. We continue to pray for God to supply just what we need. By His grace we continue.

Recent Sermons