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Archbishop Samuel Ndayisenga
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A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO THE LATE ARCHBISHOP SAMUEL NDAYISENGA
EAB Press Extra June 2008
 
EAB PRESS 080619-1
June 19, 2008

[EAB Press - Burundi] A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO THE LATE ARCHBISHOP SAMUEL NDAYISENGA

Archbishop Samuel Ndayisenga was born in 1935 in the village of Mugende, one of the villages surrounding Buhiga Mission centre.

Before he joined the primary school at Buhiga in 1943 he was converted and accepted the Lord as his personal Saviour. In order to give his testimony people had to lift him up onto a bench so that he could be seen by the congregation. He was given the nickname "Ibuye Rivuga" (The stone which speaks) and later became the Bishop of Buye Diocese (Buye meaning “stone”).

In 1948 he went to Matana to continue his primary school education which he completed in 1949. He then went to Kibimba Teacher Training School until 1954 and returned to Buhiga as a primary school teacher for 9 years.

In 1956 he married Joy Ndayisenga and was blessed with six children, two of whom went to be with the Lord before him.

It was in 1963 that he was called by God to the ordained ministry. That call lead him to study theology at Buye Theological Seminary until 1965 and then at Uganda at Bishop Tucker Theological College, Mukono, until 1966. His training continued for two years in England at Trinity College-Bristol. He was ordained deacon at Buye on 26 June 1968.

For three years from September 1969 he was one of my teachers at Buye Theological College. It was there that I began to know him and appreciate his spiritual life and integrity. My own spiritual journey was strengthened by him and he helped me to understand the necessity of being confirmed.

Between 1978 and 1979 he helped to establish Gitega Parish together with the Dr. Adeneys, who were missionaries in Burundi. In 1979 he was elected to be the Bishop of Buye. I worked with him until 1985 when he decided to create Gitega Diocese of which I became the first Bishop.

From 1998 to his retirement in 2005 he was Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi.

Archbishop Sam was a hard working man of God and consistently held to his Christian attitude and character. He was humble and always ready to listen to anyone who went to him seeking his spiritual or material help.

Reverend Harold Adeney in his message of condolence said, "Archbishop Sam Ndayisenga led the Church in Buye Diocese and then in all Burundi for many years as a fine preacher and man of God and we thank God for him".

I think that is what everyone who worked with him or knew him would say about him. Many people testified about his life especially when he and Joy celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on the 30th December 2006 and then during the funeral and memorial services.

Reflecting on St Paul’s words in Colossians 3:23-24, what Archbishop Sam did to the Lord was not in vain and the Lord will reward him the inheritance of eternal life.

Rt. Rev. John Nduwayo

Bishop of Gitega Diocese
.