Pastor Honoré Boundou’s ministry in Central African Republic
Pastors Honoré and Clarisse Boundou are long-time well-recognized church leaders in the capital city of Bangui. In recent years they have developed an inter-denominational ministry known as CEERCA, which focuses particularly on evangelistic outreach, church planting, and leadership training. In late 2009 Pastor Honoré contacted us after reading through all of our website, and felt that God had given them a new burden to also reach children in C.A.R. where children’s ministry was almost non-existent. Pastor Honoré did great work translating many of our resources into French, so they could be used in the C.A.R. and a special relationship has since developed.
Over the ensuing few years Pastor Honoré taught several children’s ministry training seminars, both in the capital city of Bangui and in other towns and villages around the country. He also continued with follow-up visits and reported that over a dozen new children’s ministries were established and still going strong.
In 2011 a plot of land at the edge of the city was bought to develop the CEERCA church and ministry center. Sadly not long after, rebels began violent attacks around the country, resulting in the collapse of the government, horrific executions and mass migration of refugees. The country is still very unstable, with many families torn apart and suffering. Pastor Honoré’s team began preaching forgiveness and reconciliation, and were soon asked to lead a number of special events in the city to promote peace.
Church services had already been started on the CEERCA ministry site in 2012 and weekly meetings continued as far as possible. The congregation has continued to grow and finally in 2015 work was started again on the church building. In April 2016 the first anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone was celebrated and it was hoped to be able to complete the building soon.
In late 2016 thanks to a special donation from a US supporter, a temporary tent-like structure was erected on the site to enable the worshipers to be protected from the elements and since then the congregation has grown steadily. Baptisms, teaching seminars, children’s meetings and regular Sunday services have all enabled the church members to grow spiritually and have a greater impact on the local community, in spite of ongoing instability in the country, and several tragic attacks on local Christians.
Pastor Honoré held a week-long seminar to train children’s ministers in August 2018, and this was followed by a “practical session” – a week-long Vacation Bible School at the CEERCA site! This was a huge success and was attended by 118 children, who heard the Gospel, enjoyed many games, stories and singing, and received a special meal. As a result, many more people began to attend the church and exciting progress got underway.
Pastor Honoré and his wife, Clarisse, also began the work of translating the Bible into the local language as more and more people became hungry to read God’s Word for themselves. Sadly the reality is that there are many adults there that never learned to read and write, so the need for an adult literacy program soon became apparent and was added to the future plans for the ministry.
A longtime need was fulfilled when two guards were employed to provide security for the CEERCA site day and night – thus preventing theft and other problems. This simple fact also enabled the drilling of an all-important well on the site, providing much-needed drinking water to all at the church and also to local villagers.
In the subsequent months the Lord continued to bless and increase the ministry, particularly by adding more local people to the team planning on opening a school. In late October 2018, the CEERCA Bilingual School officially opened on the site with 200 children enrolled! Many of the children are just in the first grades of schooling, but others are older and were never able to attend school regularly. English as well as French are taught and all the teachers are qualified and trained by the government. In addition there are special Bible teachers so that everyone can hear the Gospel and learn more of God.
CEERCA bilingual school was officially inaugurated on October 15th 2018, and was attended by several government officials and even some UNICEF officials came to see it. It was an exciting day and was even reported by a local radio station and also a television station. It has been very well received by the people of the area, and Pastor Honoré and his team are now considered to be local community leaders.
The school runs Monday-Friday and on weekends an adult literacy program has also begun to teach local men and women who are unable to read and write. Many are eager to learn as they want to read the Bible for themselves. The CEERCA ministry site has truly become a gathering place for many to come to learn about Jesus Christ, and be able to advance in life, and is having quite an impact on the area! The church still needs permanent walls and a roof, but it just shows that the TRUE church is the PEOPLE!!
Here are some more great photos of Pastor Honoré’s ministry: