Tributes to the life of the Most Revd Sam Sindamuka
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Tributes from Clare Scott, Pat Brooks
Account of the funeral
Photos of the funeral

Monday, 19 Dec 2005 

A Tribute  from Clare Scott
(CMS Mission Partner, and Personal Assistant to the Archbishop, Bujumbura & Matana, 1990-1992)

It is with a mixture of great sadness but also joy that I received the news of Archbishop Sam's going to be with the Lord whom he so dearly loved.  Praise God for a life completely dedicated to Jesus, to his church and to the community and nation in which God had placed him.

Having worked as Archbishop Sam's Personal Assistant for two years, living as a member of his family for some of that time, I have some very special memories of  this remarkable man.  His gentleness, wisdom and humble spirituality were an inspiration to me and provided the stable foundation I needed as a young, first-time mission partner.  

His trust in God and his perseverance through deep personal sadness and loss, as well as the suffering of the people of Burundi , marked him out as a great man of God.  

I have always felt a great sense of privilege at having had the opportunity to know and work with Archbishop Sam and to be considered an adopted daughter.  My heart goes out to his family, and the people of Matana in particular, to the EAB and the wider Christian community, as they mourn their loss.  May the Lord raise up many more who will walk in the light of the Lord, following in the footsteps of this remarkable saint of God.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them."

Puis j'entendis une voix venant du ciel me dire: "Ecris: Heureux, dès à présent, ceux qui meurent unis au Seigneur. Oui, dit l'Esprit, car ils se reposent de toute la peine qu'ils ont prise, et ils seront récompensés pour leurs oeuvres." 

(Rev/Apoc: 14.13)  


A tribute from Pat Brooks 
a long time worker in the Anglican Church and Schools in Burundi.

Archbishop Sam Sindamuka

Sam, our brother, lived a remarkable life.  He was drawn to Christ as a boy, first through early missionaries attracting him with a tennis ball, ‘itenisi’.  Although he came for tennis, he was soon drawn to Christ the Saviour of whom they spoke.  He went to great lengths to learn more of the Christian faith and as a teenager walked from Matana to the Kabale Convention (in Southwest Uganda ) – and back.

His life was marked by strong leadership qualities and a moral decisiveness that set him apart.  He was one of the first Members of Parliament in an independent Burundi and was completely fearless in standing up for what he believed to be right.  He worked for tribal unity and would not allow himself to be swayed either towards a one tribe attitude or an anti-European point of view.  This made him a number of enemies as well as many loyal friends.  I have memories of him in Council meetings speaking up for what he saw as truth and then patiently sitting through hot criticism afterwards.

President Buyoya has spoken of his personal debt to Sam as a believing Christian.  We too, at the time of our expulsion in 1974 will not forget his loyalty.  When I was obliged to return from the airport to the capital for further interrogation, he stayed by my side until I was eventually told to go home without further questioning.  After our expulsion he spoke for us at Government level as a result of which we were invited back to Burundi .

Sam made a number of visits to England and enjoyed staying in the homes of ordinary Christians.  He loved children, had an infectious laugh and was a great encourager.  His quiet dignity in the grief of losing two of his daughters was very striking.

He came close to death some years ago when he was operated at St. Luke’s Hospital in London – and of late, serious diabetes has diminished his life.  However, the strong mark in church and country made by this man is a historic one and we thank God for what he was enabled to accomplish. 

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

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