Back From Burundi

John, Jason, and I (Jess) returned from our 4-day trip to Burundi on Wednesday.  We were joined by Scott and Jennifer Myhre (Africa field directors for World Harvest Mission, currently working at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya).

The night we arrived, we crashed a going-away party for a group of visitors who had been in Burundi for 10 days.  There were a variety of organizations represented at this event, and it was encouraging to see their cooperative spirit.  The highlight of the evening was a performance by a Burundian drumming group.

We were very thankful for Wayne and Barb Vibbert who graciously spent a lot of time with us.  They've been working in Burundi for decades and were a wonderful resource.  (Notice that the new student center has been named in their honor!)  

Hope Africa University is located in the capital, Bujumbura.  Currently, there are approximately 4,000 students.  The medical school is located here, but there are plans to move it closer to Kibuye Hospital sometime in the near future.  We will not live in Bujumbura, but will likely visit frequently to give lectures.

Bishop Elie Buconyori (President of HAU) organized a meeting with all the faculty currently involved in the medical school.  We were able to hear where they are at with training and ways that they hope to improve in the coming years.  

On Monday evening, we enjoyed dinner at a resort on Lake Tanganyika (the world's longest lake and 2nd deepest).  This place will serve as a haven when we are feeling weary!

On Tuesday, we drove approximately 2-1/2 hours from Bujumbura to Kibuye Hospital which is where we will be living.  We had a thorough tour of the hospital and were able to talk to some HAU medical students who were rotating at the hospital.

The hospital is currently 100 beds, with the vision to expand to 250 beds in the next few years.  Below is a picture of the new maternity ward currently under construction.

John was really excited to see the rooms that will be dedicated to the eye unit.  (The picture he's pointing at is a small eyeball.)  


The trip went very well and we were really encouraged to continue pursuing Burundi as the long-term location for the McCropders.  

So, what's next?  World Harvest Mission is the agency that we are hoping to partner with long-term.  Scott and Jennifer will write a report based on the findings of our trip to present to the WHM board.  They have to approve Burundi as a new field at their board meeting in April before we can move forward with them.  The McCropders plan to return to the U.S.A. in August/September 2011 and attend orientation week with World Harvest Mission.  At that point, we hope to be officially accepted as WHM missionaries and begin the fundraising process.  We are anticipating that will take around a year.  We hope to head to French language school in the fall of 2012 and then to Burundi in 2013.  We still have a long road ahead of us with lots of preparation and transition in between.  Please continue to pray that God will clearly direct our steps.  


Anonymous said...

Absolutely. This is SUPER exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad you were affirmed in this direction!

Sarah Lorenz said...

Thanks for the nice update and the pictures. We were praying that you had a safe trip. It's encouraging to see that things are coming together. I'm sure it was nice to see where you'll be heading and get more details.

Sara and Sebastien said...

It is great to hear that you had such an encouraging trip. We continue to pray for you daily.

Miriam said...

Praise the Lord for this next step. We're excited to follow this journey. All our lovin.

wayne 'n barb said...

Enjoyed your visit so much and the hope it brings~ great photos and story of your view of it all. blessings and prayers as God unfolds more of the plans He has for you. and the precious people of Burundi. b

Valerie said...

Praise the Lord for answered prayers!