New Name for World Harvest Mission

by Jess Cropsey

Just this past week, World Harvest Mission officially announced that it has changed its name and will be continuing as "Serge".  In a recent e-mail (see below), Executive Director Bob Osborne explains the reason behind the name change.  

The vision, mission, and values of the organization remain the same.  Please visit www.serge.org for more information about the name change, answers to frequently asked questions, and several brief videos from leaders in the organization.


What Happened One April

You may or may not have noticed, but April has not been our most prolific month for blog posts.  Well, we sort of have a good excuse.  Starting April 6, we have hosted no fewer than 22 muzungu (white folks) visitors at Kibuye.  Those are just the overnight visitors as well; we have had a number of people stop by for shorter visits during April as well.  It has been great to see so many old and new friends, but a bit hectic as well as you might imagine, especially since none of the new houses are finished and we seem to have a lack of extra beds for the time being.  We had the Myhres, our regional field leaders, stop by for three days of visiting and retreat (as in, they hosted a retreat for us).  While they were still here, two families interested in pursuing long term medical/dental missionary work visited for three weeks.  The Baskins (retina specialist) and Willises (dentist) have a combined total of 10 kids, the oldest being 10 and the youngest being 2 months.  Our kids have loved having extra playmates, and we have enjoyed visiting and showing off the hospital.

I'm sure there will be more photos to come, but for now, all the McCropders would like to wish you a belated Happy Easter, and here are a few pics of our holiday festivities.

Egg dyeing, the empty resurrection egg, the Easter story, egg hunting, and 34 people gathered in one living room for an Easter potluck and singing.  He is Risen!  Alleluia!


There Is No Home Depot

(by Eric)

In other news, the building of homes continues.  Rachel showed a nice collection of photos regarding the onsite construction of our four homes.  It's wonderfully fascinating.  But there is another element to this that I would describe as not-as-wonderfully-fascinating:  The purchasing of materials.

Here is a picture of a typical shop in the Quartier Asiatique, or the "Asian quarter" of the capital city, your district for all of your construction needs (and I do mean needs, as opposed to wants).

This is it.  The whole shop.  Stuff plastered on every surface.  You decide you want to buy something, and the proprietor sends a troop of guys to an off-site warehouse who return carrying your purchase, and then you haggle a bit over the tip.  Random thoughts concerning the construction materials purchasing process in Burundi:
  • One sink fixture is about $8.  This other one is $120.  Really?  How am I supposed to know the difference?  Warning:  there is a whole level of manufactured junk that never gets imported to the West, and it is here for the purchasing.  I bought 3 door handles/locks for our house.  2 didn't work right out of the box.  Which brings me to point #2:
  • If you have a trustworthy friend who can buy things for you, it is gold.  We are very thankful for our friend who does this for us, though there are still some things (tiles, for example) that are better to purchase yourself.
  • These items sometimes have prices on the item, usually in permanent marker, literally ON the item.  But usually not.  So you ask the guy, and he gives you a price.  Really?  You have hundreds of prices in your head at any given time?  You're making this up, aren't you?
  • "Available" can be a nebulous term.  We bought our tiles after asking a paint place what was available from their book.  "You can sell us any of these colors?  Really?  Any of them?  OK, we'll take that one, and purchase our tile accordingly."  Then it wasn't available.  Anywhere.  In the country.  "Well, that color is close to this other color."  No it's not.  Which brings us to:
  • There is not another color between Cream and White.  Why would you even ask?
  • Lastly, I have no idea what I'm doing.  A toilet here, a light fixture there, bathroom wall tiles here, a shower head there.  We'll see where all this leads.
Think of us the next time you run down the street to Home Depot to grab a few things...