Is it too costly to follow Jesus?

Alison_28_march_2011_001 Posted by Alison Gill on Thu, 03 Dec 2009 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Greetings once again from Bujumbura!

I arrived back in mid November having been in the UK for my Grandfather’s death and taken some annual leave. Thank you so much for praying for the Funeral. God totally overruled and the service was full of the hope and comfort we can have if we put our trust in Jesus! My Grandmother even chose the hymn, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’. I was initially surprised, not realising how fitting it was. A friend from N Ireland wrote and shared how the person who wrote the hymn did so after his fiancée drowned the night before their wedding. It was his hymn of grief to God and reminds us we can take all our griefs and pains to Jesus.

I have been reflecting recently on sacrifice and what it means to say to God, “I will go anywhere and do anything”. It felt costly to come back to Burundi having enjoyed being amongst family, friends and Church in London. Yet I so want to be where I feel God wants me, embracing what He has for me in this season and releasing to Him all that I have left behind. One friend wrote recently that she has chosen to put on hold the possibility of marrying her long-term boyfriend so that she can pursue God’s call to Bible translation work in Congo. Wow. That is a hard call. Yet as CT Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him”. And He is faithful – thank you so much to those who have prayed – I feel I am starting to have some deeper friendships here.

I’m continuing with Kirundi study full time till the end of Dec then in Jan I will be preparing trauma healing training materials and from Feb onwards hopefully delivering training.

On 6-21 March, Flame Int. is leading 2 inner healing conferences in Buye and Matana. They are still looking for more team members so please be in touch if you are interested and I will give you more info.

My Church is having a bring and share lunch on the beach on Christmas Day which Olivia and I hope to attend. I pray that whatever you are doing you will have a very Happy and blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Saviour. Thank you for all your generous praying and support this past year.

Faith under fire – Theo’s story

Theo is probably my best Burundian friend. We met back in 2002 in England at an MAM conference. He works with Rema Ministries as I do. Recently I’ve started to meet up and type his story. We’re hoping that a friend might be able to edit it and see if it can be published. Do pray for this!

Theo grew up very conscious of being oppressed as a Hutu and feeling that the Church reinforced this. He felt confused as the Jesus He knew and loved seemed so different. In 1993 at the start of the civil war, he fled Burundi to Tanzania. En route, on several occasions, he was almost killed. One time, a Tutsi friend from school saw him, flung her body over his and said to the soldiers, “if you kill him you must kill me first”. Theo then went through horrific experiences as a refugee in Tanzania but what amazes me is not only God’s physical protection but how he has saved Theo from being bitter and enabled his heart to be reconciled towards Tutsis through his wife’s family. More to follow.

Rema Ministries has launched the research paper I wrote about in September, called “Two People can’t share the same pair of shoes”: Citizenship, Land and the Return of Refugees to Burundi. If you would like an electronic copy please email me with subject ‘Rema Research’.

Prayer points:

• Exponential growth in Kirundi acquisition.

• Alpha Course starting in my local Church.

• Peace and stability as Burundi heads towards elections in June.

• My brother and his fiancée’s protection in Afghanistan.

• Comfort and hope for my Grandmother.

• My parents’ visit to Burundi on 27 Dec for a week; that they would enjoy it and be touched by Christians here.