The McCropders Officially Turn 10!

By John Cropsey
The day the McCropders officially decided to become a team!
Global Missions Health Conference, Louisville, KY 2007
Before the year 2017 comes to a close, I felt I needed to make an important observation: 
Our team turned 10 years old in 2017!!! 
Baby McCropders on first arrival in Africa.  Can you guess who they are? 
Here's a hint, each kid is being held by their McCropder mommy? 

We've been through a lot since first meeting in 2002, be it the rigors of medical school and residency, the steep learning curve on arrival in Africa as part of World Medical Mission's Post-Residency Program, or the lows of becoming like pre-schoolers again as language learners not once, but twice, in France and again in Burundi.  

John and Eric along with friends at Christmas from medical school in 2002
before they knew their lives would become inextricably inter-twined over the next 15 years! 
We've lived together through attempted coups, counter coups, fuel shortages, flash floods, relentless bed bug epidemics, multiple mass guinea pig atrocities from plague and predator alike, Banga's green soup, countless tragedies and triumphs at the hospital and the list goes on and on.
Great memories like John and Jason's epic adventure "conquering" the Chepkulo on old inner-tubes. 
We've also witnessed scores of young, bright doctors graduate from medical school and tens of thousands of patients treated.  We've made friendships with people from all over the world and we've built a community amongst ourselves like few on this earth will ever be privileged to experience.
Some of our proud medical school Grads!  
N.B. - Africans typically don't smile for formal pictures like this, but trust me, they really are happy:)
Children playing together after being treated for the potentially deadly eye cancer, retinoblastoma
The highs have been high, and the lows have been low, but we've done it all together.  It has been special.  I couldn't imagine doing life with a more talented, wonderful group of friends, mentors and colleagues.  

Here's to each of you, my incredible teammates!  A special thanks to the McLaughlins for being the life blood behind this blog and helping us all tell our story so thoughtfully for the past 10 years.

We give God the glory for all of this.  We certainly couldn't do this work on our own without our Heavenly Father giving us an amazing support team from all over the globe, giving us strength when we feel we can go no further and giving us grace upon grace to live with each other so closely. 

Thanks for following along on our journey.  If you've been following our team from the very beginning, we'd love for you to send us a "Happy Birthday" comment on the blog.  We'd love to hear who you are and how this blog has impacted you.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2018!


Tiffany Spronk said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!!! We've been "with your team" since the beginning and are so excited to see God's hand in all you've done. We love you all and pray for you to continue to share the Gospel in Word and Deed as you've been doing since the beginning of your formation. After reading your blog posts, it's often that I want to hop on a plane and join you in your efforts -- just ask my husband! :)

The real question is, after 10 years of adding to your team name, what would the equivalent of "McCropders" be today?!

Happy birthday and may God continue to bless you richly,
Steve, Tiffany, Adam, Brandon, Corey, and Dylan Spronk
Morrisville, PA (but formerly of Knox in Ann Arbor, where "McCropders" was born!)

Sheryl Fasse said...

Happy Birthday!

We love reading all the adventures and God sightings in your lives. We know Faders from our time in Kenya when Jason was a elementary student. His parents were very special to us- still are! I think some of you have met my niece and her husband at medical conferences ( Christo and Melissa Philip) . We pray for you all. My dream is to come visit some day!!! Keep leaning on Jesus and know you are prayed for often.

Love, Sheryl Fasse

Sonja said...

Happy birthday! We've been following your team since you did that phone call with the CMDA while Glenn was in medical school. It's been helpful to follow you as we're several steps behind you on a similar journey. You've given us insights into hard and good things that are on the path ahead, some amazing song recommendations, and encouragement to stay the course when the road gets rough as it has many times over the years. Your updates have made us laugh, cry, and pause to contemplate and they have opened many discussions we wouldn't have had otherwise. Right now it's a blessing to be in school with and do life with two PRPs heading your way. May God bless you as you continue to seek and serve Him and be a blessing to others!

Amy Moorhead said...

Happy Birthday from Townsville, Australia. I have been following along since I met Jason Fader on Mercy Ships back in 2008. It’s been great to watch you guys serve the Lord with your gifts and passions for ministry!

Karen A. said...

Happy Birthday McCropders! Thank you for your hard work and sacrifices over the last 10 years. I think Tiffany (who commented above) introduced me to Heather and Anna at the swimming pool in Ann Arbor, and I started following your blog shortly thereafter. As a nurse I've had a long-time interest in medical missions, and praying for your team has been a privilege. Such a long journey for you all to get to Burundi. May God bless your team (however it may look in the future) for many more years as you share His love where he leads you. Glory to him for what He has already accomplished through you in his eternal kingdom. --Karen Acker Lau, Te-Li, Amelia and Anastasia

Sarah Lorenz said...

Yes, Happy Birthday to the much-expanded McCropder team! I love reading the blog every time you post, and I share it with my kids and many other random people who are always interested to hear about your work. I run into many doctors and well-traveled folks living in Ann Arbor, and I've found it to be an engaging way to make small talk with new acquaintances who I think may be interested. Lately I've enjoyed the posts about cultural adaptation and language, as I've been working with TESOL teachers (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). I appreciate the variety of the posts, as well, from stories about daily life with kids and chickens to the deeper stories about the challenges of your work. It is easy to believe that everyone else's life is similar to mine, and this blog reminds me that it is not, and that I should be intensely grateful for the privileges I enjoy. I also like the posts that introduce us to Africans that you've come to know, both co-workers and patients, which helps me to view Africa with a less one-dimensional perspective. And thanks for your respectful, strength-based view of the culture and people you are working with. You are not only doing powerful work in Burundi, you are also enriching the lives of the readers following you!

Amy Bontrager said...

Happy Birthday! We've been following you from the beginning since my parents are good friends with the Fader parents and my sister went to college with Jason and Heather. You guys as a team have been the best missionary communicators we've experienced. Your willingness to share so many perspectives on your journey - from the kids and schooling and foods and hospital happenings and interesting cases and medical ethics and first world vs third world dilemmas and realities and book recommendations.....it is such a gift to the rest of us to get a little taste of your life and be able to pray for you! We lived in an American overseas area for a few years and I felt like the things you posted supported me through difficult cultural times. Telling stories from the blog helps give our kids greater perspective on the world....Thank you for all the hard work it takes to keep up the posts! It truly has enriched our lives!