The L'Chaim Prize Finalists Announcement

The L'Chaim Prize is an award granted annually to help the work of a long-term medical missionary serving in Africa.  We are thankful and excited that Jason Fader is among the four finalists for the inaugural L'Chaim Prize.  If he is chosen from among the finalists, this $500,000 award would help Kibuye Hope Hospital in these ways:  to help build a surgical ward, to fund a post-graduate medical education program (which would be the first of its kind in the country of Burundi), and to acquire orthopedic supplies which would enable us to surgically repair broken hips, femurs and tibias.  

You can click here to view a 2-minute video from the African Mission Healthcare Foundation.  The video includes footage from Kibuye, and it explains the interesting origin of the prize and introduces the finalists and their projects:  https://www.facebook.com/AfricaMHF/ 

It is hard to ask for prayers that we would win, since we know 2 of the other finalists, and the work of any of the finalists could greatly benefit from such a generous gift.  May God's will be done!


Ecole Fondamentale de Kibuye

by Jess Cropsey

Those of you with school-age kids are at least a month into the start of the new school year and have (hopefully) survived all the craziness that goes with the beginning of school - shopping for supplies, buying new clothes, figuring out schedules, meetings, etc.  Here in Burundi, the local students are just finishing their second week.  Over the last two years, enrollment at Ecole Fondamentale de Kibuye (EFK) has sky-rocketed and they were quickly running out of classroom space.  A few months ago, we decided to build a new building containing 3 classrooms and new offices.  This beautiful space was finished just in the knick of time and is now packed with 8th, 9th, & 11th graders.

Life is a lot simpler here in many ways, yet school can still be a hardship for families for different reasons.  Students aren’t required to have much (a couple notebooks and a pen), but even that is difficult for many families to afford.  Scissors, glue sticks, binders, crayons, colored pencils and many things that Westerners take for granted are simply never found in the vast majority of schools here.  

Over a year & a half ago, I started collecting school supplies for EFK to send on a shipping container.  Donations came in from a variety of places.  One couple from Pennsylvania donated some inheritance money that paid for enough basic supplies for 1,100 backpacks.  Our church in Michigan did a colored pencil drive during their summer Kids’ Camp last year.  Another church in Pennsylvania bought and assembled little packages of crayons.  We also got some leftover supplies from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.  Many others gave monetary gifts, balls, more crayons, etc. and in the end there was lots of fun stuff to go around for all of the nearly 1,500 students ranging from K-11th grade.  

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to get to know the teachers & kids at this school and it was truly a delight to be able to bring some joy to their classrooms with these gifts.  I told them they came from many friends in the USA who love them, pray for them, and value education.  I encouraged them to work hard for God and for their futures.  Please pray that this school would be a place that develops the character of these young people & trains their minds so that they may become godly leaders in their families, communities, and country.