I feel like a Burundian...

Donaldson-web-profile-pic Posted by Alastair Donaldson on Sat, 17 Jul 2010 | 6 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all keeping well in the motherland and thank you all again for your prayers, they are invaluable and a real source of strength to me. So I’m going to fill you all in on my goings on this past couple of weeks.

So I’ve unbelievably been here now for almost 6 weeks and the time has completely flew and I have to say that I’m not really missing home at all although I definitely do miss people from time to time, my Mum and Dad being at the top of the list. I think I’m beginning to feel more like a Burundian every day although the skin colour far from reflects that lol.

There has been quite a lot of activity lately within the church in terms of making some plans etc for the next few years and trusting the Lord for them. For a number of days I saw very few people from the church due to this and so I just had to entertain myself – alarm bells ringing I know. But it all went well and I made plenty of new friends over this time. There was good news however in terms of the building end of things because I was able to have a meeting with a Burundian Engineer called John at Muramba and we bounced ideas of each other about the foundations etc and I’m hopeful now we can start some building in the next 2 weeks. Time to get the old hard hat on again lol.

John was an incredibly interesting man. His father had been a pastor and he had travelled the world with his engineering. He actually specialised in Railways and was working at present on a major project building a railway from Tanzania to Burundi along the east of the country. In fact he was Burundi’s only railway engineer so a very responsible position.

I was able to see a bit of the World Cup semi-finals so that was nice and then I saw the final although wouldn’t you know it but the satellite reception on this one particular night was abysmal so there were many strained eyes in the theological college that night. Thought Holland were treated badly by the ref in the final but I guess that’s life – good to see Spain getting it I suppose.

I’m starting to realise just how slow the mail is around here. My dear Mother posted me a letter 4 weeks ago she was saying and it still hasn’t come. I think I’m going to have to leave a forwarding address soon for the Burundians to send the letters on if this continues. But we can’t complain, I’ve had so many encouraging emails etc from dear friends and they have been brilliant. The English lessons are continuing apace with the High School students although a number of them have mentioned to me that I speak too fast and also my accent is extremely difficult. I couldn’t possibly understand what they mean lol.

I’m just really praying at the moment for some more opportunities to meet those in need in Burundi. It’s not hard to find people who need help but to just be put in positions where you can encourage people is a good thing and hopefully this will happen more over the next while. I think – as the well known hymn says – ‘we have a Gospel to proclaim’ but the Gospel is as much about helping and encouraging the people as you encounter them NOW as it is about their future destinies. The Lord instructed us to clothe and tend to people’s needs before we even dare to preach. If one single person is able to see Jesus Christ within us and encounter him for themselves as a result then we should all be rejoicing. There’s obviously a balance to get right and so I really would appreciate all your prayers to this end please.

Last Tuesday I was doing some investigative work around the tower in the cathedral taking some measurements and drawing a few sketches. I was climbing up to the different levels on the ladder and as I was approaching the top I think I disturbed a wasp’s nest and this giant of a wasp flew into my ear and stung the life out of me. I couldn’t even get him out for ages so needless to say I wasn’t overly interested in the tower for a while lol.

Please continue to pray for Rev. Jean Paul as he recovers his strength and also pray for Vincent and his wife and their new baby boy. Everybody is doing well at this stage and so Praise the Lord. I’m thinking of you all and praying for you so anybody with any prayer requests themselves don’t hesitate to send me a wee email. I love hearing from you guys,

Yours in Christ,


Victor Stephens said Thu, 22 Jul 2010 07:48PM
Amohoro bro. Granny Annie says to thank your Mum & Dad for her, glad to hear you're now a Burundian. Big Epiphany congrats to Vincent & his wife.Re; english lessons, you taught them any songs yet lol. Take care M8, chat soon Imana Shimwe V
Victor Stephens said Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:13PM
Sori m8, i've watched Forrest Gump but can't find the part where he gets a wasp in the ear??? lol take care Nagasaga
Eleanor Orr said Sat, 31 Jul 2010 05:01PM
Hi Alastair, glad to hear all is going well with you. Sorry to hear about the wasp stings, very painful I'm sure. Greetings from all in Loughgall. Take care and God Bless.
Jan said Mon, 02 Aug 2010 02:07PM
oh bro u doof - the wasp sting wud b nasty alrite! did u manage to get anything for it or did it just heal itself - i imagine it cud have got infected. Praise God about everything tho, sounds like all is going very well and you have some great experiences to share - love you lots and miss u 2xx
Alastair Donaldson said Fri, 06 Aug 2010 10:59AM
Hi Eleanor, Thanks for your message. Yeah I’m getting on great out here and thanks for all your prayers. Wasp sting really wasn’t that bad, all better now!!! God Bless, Alastair
Paul Bell said Tue, 10 Aug 2010 04:08PM
Hi Alistair, My last attempt to get to you ended somewhere in cyber-space! It has been great reading your account of life in Matana in 2010. It brings back memories! You know the crossed trusses supporting the cathedral roof above the chancel steps? Many years ago I put a Burundi ladder up there to nail some electric wires behind the beams. That was fine until I got a third way up when ffrp! the ladder started to bend! and it was a question whether I could up without the ladder coming off the bottom of the beam! Most of our time in Burundi (1961 -81) was at Matana, where I taught in the secondary school and later did some vague TEE work whilst my wife Lucie, originally nurse and midwife did some work in protecting springs!! All that is ancient history and it thrills the heart to read what you are doing. The Lord bless you ++ in everything. Tukutendereza Yesu!

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