Dr. Samuel Simbandumwe passed away at the age of 80 in his home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He is predeceased by his parents Luka Gatobegwa and Maragarita Ntahomvukiye and his sisters Elizabeth Mpfanuguhora, Karolina Mpfubusa, Ana Bukuru and Rachel Ciza. He is survived by three of his siblings Eni Nsabimana, Ruti Butoyi and Jean Ntiharirizwa, five children Jeanne Inamuco, Jean-Paul Simbandumwe, Louise Simbandumwe, Angeline Simbandumwe and David Simbandumwe and their mother, Marceline Ndayumvire. He also leaves behind his two grandsons, Adrian Kiva and Galen Kiva, their mother Carol Wiebe, as well as numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Samuel was born on April 30, 1937 in Matongo, in the province of Muramvya, Burundi. After graduating from École Moyenne Pédagogique de Kibimba in 1960, he embarked on a successful career as a teacher. Samuel was also very active in his local church, the Friends Church of Burundi. He was a church elder and served as Chair of the Board for a number of years. In 1966 Samuel was employed on a full time basis as the lead writer for an interdenominational magazine known then as Burakeye: Revue Mensuelle Organe des Églises Protestantes du Burundi. Samuel obtained a scholarship to study at the Union Biblical Seminary in Yeotmal, India where he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1974. During his studies in India, the family received devastating news of widespread massacres in Burundi which made it impossible for them to return home. They sought refuge in Kenya while Samuel began work as an instructor at the Kenya Highland Bible College where he taught from 1974 to 1976. After leaving the bible college Samuel was awarded a scholarship to pursue his Masters in Theology at Princeton University. Thanks to his determination and unrelenting advocacy, Samuel was eventually able to find a safe haven for his family. He enlisted the help of Larry Scott, United Church Minister and colleague at Princeton, who helped his family find a way to immigrate to Canada. In 1979, the Souris Valley Presbytery in Saskatchewan sponsored Samuel and his family. After arriving in Saskatchewan, Samuel became a United Church Minister in the town of Arcola. The members of Samuel’s family will always be deeply grateful to Larry Scott and the Souris Valley Presbytery for helping them find safety and security in Canada.
In 1988 Samuel obtained a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh. He later published a book based on his Doctoral thesis entitled A Socio-Religious and Political Analysis of the Judeo-Christian Concept of Prophetism and Modern Bakongo and Zulu African Prophet Movements. Samuel returned to teaching and was employed as a lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan for a number of years. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Samuel had wide-ranging talents and interests. He was an avid gardener who planted pineapples and tropical fruit trees. Samuel was also passionate about reducing waste through composting. A skilled tailor, Samuel sewed school uniforms and knitted sweaters for his children. His faith was of central importance throughout his life and a consistent source of spiritual sustenance and strength.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Samuel Simbandumwe – 2017.source
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