Journey towards Burundi: learning French in Paris

Alison_28_march_2011_001 Posted by Alison Gill on Wed, 17 Sep 2008 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Well, I’ve arrived at Les Cèdres, which is a French language school for Christians going to work doing missions in francophone countries. Students here come from many nations, incl. the US (lots), Norway, S Korea, S Africa and Germany.

Class started on Tuesday 1 September for 8 weeks. They have 5 levels of classes here – from beginners to those who are almost fluent. I have been put in the middle class based on a test I’ve already submitted. We have lessons in general French, class worship times (to practise praying etc in French), Biblical French, written and oral French, grammar, phonetics and conferences. As well as the formal lessons we are expected to do 10 hours of homework and 10 hours of French activities (such as seeing a French film) each week. We have to speak in French all the time here which is good. I am finding reading the easiest and I enjoyed singing in French at the Baptist Church service held here. I plan to read my Bible in French each day and then in English if necessary and hope by the end of the month to have my Quiet Times in French!

At the end of August, I was in Dundrum, Northern Ireland with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Ireland staff. We spent time together worshipping, praying for all the nations we’re linked with (incl. Burundi) and seeking God for the future. We praised God that 3 out of the 5 students who went to Burundi / Rwanda on outreach this year are moving there in the next 7 months – Rowan Seymour is moving to Rwanda in Sept. to train people to create IT healthcare software; Meg Lavery is moving to Burundi in Oct. to be Project Manager for Simon Guillebaud and his work with GLO; and of course I am moving to Burundi at the end of March to help train Church pastoral workers in trauma healing methods. I can’t believe it! I’m thrilled my dear friends will be there already when I arrive.

I was blessed to go to the iNet missionaries’ conference and the HTB camp, Home Focus, in July where I heard a number of acclaimed speakers incl. Brother Andrew and Pete Grieg (24-7 prayer) who inspired a lot of faith in me. Pete talked about how we need to step up a gear to prepare for what God is about to do! The Holy Spirit was moving powerfully in both conferences and I feel blessed and refreshed, praise God.

I’ve read that the final rebel group in Burundi (FNL) who have around 22 000 members have only handed in approx. 40 weapons since the ceasefire in May. They still recruit child soldiers. Let’s continue to pray for lasting peace in this nation.

Prayer Requests

- Please pray for my YWAM Belfast colleague Heidi (who’s in her early 20’s), who had a life threatening grade IV brain tumour. She is now in Canada, with her family, has had most of the tumour removed and is receiving chemo and radiotherapy. Pray for miraculous healing as her prognosis is poor.
- For supernatural help from God to learn as much French as possible in these 2 months.
- That I continue to carve out special time with God and hear Him speak to me.
- For the Lord’s blessing on Rowan’s move to Rwanda and Meg’s move to Burundi.


Steve said Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:01PM
Hi Alison, how are you? I have lost touch with everybody because I have not had a computer. Well, I am now back on the "Super-Highway" now, and trying to catch up with everybody. I knew you were off to Burundi, but not sure when you were due to there. I wish you well. I have been reading in the press about the problems between DR Congo and Rewanda which I think are nextdoor to Burundi. Well this is abrief note just to say hello. Kind Regards Steve (Ex DRR team Lewisham)