Hello from Burundi!
It is our third full day here, and today we have been blessed by beautiful sun! It is currently the rainy season, which can make travel difficult, but today we were able to visit a church which is being constructed with partial funding from CMSI and our parish. It is being built to replace a smaller church building, to house a growing congregation. The pastor, Rev. Frederick, is in charge of five congregations, and is also the son of a pastor!
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of worshipping at the cathedral in Matana, St. Peter’s, where Johnny preached on Exodus 1, and Roger was congratulated for his dancing (I’m not sure why I wasn’t…). The week before we travelled here, Johnny preached in Glendermott and Newbuildings about the importance of joy in church and worship, something which is certainly in abundance here in Burundi! Church was full of singing and demonstrations of outward joy and praise, with Bishop Seth even leading in the dancing. Four choirs shared with us, including the Sunday school children, and the church supported us in singing a song which we have been learning in Kirundi (the local language here in Burundi).
God had blessed our time here so far with encounters with many different people, including meeting Claire on our final flight. She is the daughter of an Anglican pastor in Matana and had helped us with our entry paperwork into Burundi. Bishop Seth has been expertly driving us around on bumpy roads and in thunderstorms, all whilst giving a running commentary on the countryside around us. Canon Etienne, from the cathedral, has been helping us with our Kirundi so that we may be able to greet people and make small conversation with those do not speak English.
It has been amazing to see God at work in our time here so far, and we look forward to seeing how he will use us and those we meet to bless the rest of our time together.