Renewing my strength and plans for the year ahead

Alison_28_march_2011_001 Posted by Alison Gill on Fri, 02 Sep 2011 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

‘Those who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength’

Wow! Imisi Myinshi (many days) as they say here. It’s been a long time and much has happened. I last wrote in July before my holiday, the iNet mission conference, HTB camp, then a few days’ at my parents’ house preparing to return to Burundi. They were precious times and I thank God so much that I was greatly encouraged and refreshed by His Holy Spirit, through all these things and had precious times with dear friends, family and supporters. I am blessed by all those who are part of my life—I just wish I could bring you all here!

I’ve been back in Burundi for 3 weeks; so far so good. A CMSI team stayed 3 nights at first which was fantastic.
I have realised my biggest battle is in the mind and I am asking God to help me stay hopeful in Him and not become discouraged which can be so easy here. The garages haven’t been selling petrol for 4 weeks, so gradually the country is grinding to a halt. It would almost seem comical if it didn’t affect life so much. I am trying to be careful when I drive as my fuel is running out and it’s very hard to obtain. Power is off every other night for 12 hours and there’s regular water cuts. I find sitting alone by candlelight one of the most depressing experiences here but I am really trying to use it to worship and sometimes to go to bed really early!

I’ve been having an intensive 4 week period studying French – 2 hr lessons / day and ’devoirs’. I have an excellent teacher, Onésime and it has really boosted my confidence in using French more and I’m finding there’s a lot more in me than I thought, praise God. I will then continue having 2-3 lessons in afternoons each week when not training.

The intensive French ends on Fri 9th, then on 14-16, Cyrille and I are training our Harvest For Christ (HFC) colleagues, including our boss, Onesphore, in trauma healing so the teaching is widely shared. The Christian Prayer Ministries (CPM) team return for their second conference on 26th. Cori, a friend of a friend, is staying for a week beforehand.
Burundi cultural tip: if you want to win a witchdoctor for Christ, you pose as a ‘client’, then at an appropriate moment share that you don’t believe in their practices and preach Christ. It’s quite effective.

The year ahead

Many of you heard me share over the summer. For those who didn’t or who’d like a reminder of the year ahead’s plans here it is. I am continuing much as before, working with my colleague Cyrille, training church leaders in trauma healing around the country, sometimes with teams from the UK, particularly Flame International. I have also been given some volunteers to train (pictured right). Charles found a paid job but Abel (far left), Lynne Aline (3rd from left) and Esperance (right) are available. Cyrille and I are also working on putting the training into a Bible College module format which will then be available to Bible Colleges in Burundi. I hope to help with some pastoral care of the Burundians training to be missionaries. I joined a Club (Bible Study / outreach group) of HFC this week to get to know more Burundian Christians living in my area and have fellowship. It was amazing!

Prayer points:

- Praise for excellent summer break, hearing anointed teaching and ministry times; that I feel ready for the next year. Pray for continued hope.

- Praise for provision of finance for Onesphore to attend conf.

- For the 77 546 people reached in the door to door during the HFC evangelistic campaign last month, of whom 30 841 gave their lives to Christ.

- For petrol, electricity, water to be available.

- Continued help in using French.

- For Spirit filled training times with HFC staff and at CPM conference.