English Can Be Fun!

(by Michelle Wendler)

This last year I've had the privilege of teaching English to a small group of local village children 3-4 afternoons a week.

They normally show up after school around 2pm, dressed in their Sunday best, all smiles and ready to learn. First they wash their hands (using a sink with running water was a new experience for them) and then they each get a small snack or treat. Apple juice is a favorite (apples don't grow in Burundi) as well as cookies or banana bread, (treats that are very rare to come by here as the normal house doesn't have a stove or oven).

Then we work on learning some English words or phrases. These kids are raised up to be very quiet and respectful around adults. During the first few weeks of class they started out whispering the answers and it was like pulling teeth to get them to talk louder. But they are eager to learn and please and have an amazing ability to memorize and retain information. I guess that is what the lack of being able to look something up on a smart phone will get you!

They have really improved over the year. Check out these thank you letters written to a girl in the States who gave some school supplies.

After around 45 minutes of English we usually end with an art project or book reading time.

Recently they learned how to watercolor, and for their first attempts I think they did great!

And check out this picture drawn by one of the boys. I think he's going to be an artist!

Last week they encountered bubble wrap for the first time. Check out this video of all the joy and smiles.

They came a few weeks ago bearing baskets of potatoes and beans as thank you gifts. So sweet of them!

As we get ready to depart on our first scheduled furlough I'm going to miss this group of kids! 


Holiday Giving: the Kibuye Feeding Program

(from Eric)

As we wrap up our time in the United States, several people have asked us about special needs for Kibuye during the holiday season.  Though you can give to many projects and missionaries that can be perused at serge.org (all of which are tax-deductible and will be used to a worthy cause), we'd like to highlight the Kibuye Feeding Program.

Burundi is arguably the hungriest country in the world per the Global Hunger Index.  They didn't have data to include Burundi in this year's ranking (though they have recently topped it), but they still note Burundi as the country with the highest rate of kids who don't reach the full height potential due to nutritional "stunting".  We learned early on that malnourished patients don't heal, and thus, in 2015, Kibuye became the 2nd hospital in Burundi to feed their patients, a move which, thanks to dedicated staff and generous donations, transformed our ability to bring health to our population.

Also included in the Feeding Program is a twice-weekly Busoma (the multigrain nutritional porridge manufactured on the hospital campus) distribution program for identified malnourished children in our community.

These programs combined cost about $6500 per month, which purchases about 20,000 patient meals and supports the nutrition of about 250 children and their families at home.  So, please pray for provision for this program and consider giving to it.

You can easily turn this gift into an alternative Christmas present by dedicating a gift to someone.  Here are a couple ways to put the numbers together:
  • $8 feeds a hospitalized patient for a month
  • $10 feeds a malnourished child in the community for a month
  • $56 feeds the pediatric ward (and their moms) for a day (during the busy season)
  • $135 feeds all the hospitalized patients and their caregivers for a day
  • $312 feeds all the malnourished children with Busoma on a given day who come to the twice-weekly program
  • $1700 feeds the pediatric ward (and their moms) for a month
  • Be Creative and mix these numbers as you will!

Burundi Feeding Programs three logos: Serge/Hospital/Friends from Radio Friendly on Vimeo.