As you may know, we are here under the direction of a mission agency named Serge. To be honest, we did not know a lot about Serge before we came to Burundi, however, the team we were joining, after much prayer and investigation decided to partner with Serge, with Serge serving as their sending agency. So, we too applied to come to Burundi as short-term “Serge missionaries”. In fact, my official title is “intern” which our team leader, John Cropsey, has also chosen as my official nick-name … and so, here in Kibuye, I am “the intern”. This title comes with a large amount of responsibility, including washing John’s car, ironing his clothes and serving coffee just the way he likes it. All this despite the fact that I have around 5 years more clinical experience than any other member of this team … including John.
When we began our application process with Serge they were actually known as World Harvest Mission, but for various reasons recently changed their name to Serge. So, what is a serge? Serge is a sewing term that means “joining together rough edges to form a smooth seam”. This is what Serge promotes. In their own words:
“We believe God weaves His goodness and grace into the ragged parts of our lives, making the tattered beautiful. It’s here we see His grace at the fray, in our lives and in our work. This is the heart of Serge.”
During our time in Burundi, we have been able to learn much more about Serge and the work they do, and have in fact been visited here at Kibuye by several members of the Serge leadership team. And the more we learn about Serge, the more we love who they are and what they do. They have served us well in many ways, including helping us arrange our airline tickets, evacuation insurance, support-raising, and in general preparing us for our time “on the field”.
At the beginning of this month we were blessed to get to attend Serge’s annual East African retreat and meet most of the Serge missionaries serving in East Africa. The retreat gave us an opportunity to hear much more about the work that individual teams are doing around East Africa, and to encourage and pray for one another. The retreat was held at a resort on the Kenyan coast, south of Mombassa. Sadly, the day after we arrived was when the attack in Garissa occurred. We were told that because of fears of terrorism in Kenya, over 20,000 Kenyans working in the tourist industry along the coast have lost their jobs.
We were grateful for the vigilance of our team leaders regarding our security, in light of the attack in Garissa, and felt safe and well-protected during our time there. And thankfully, the retreat went as planned, and I hope it was as refreshing and encouraging for all the long-term missionaries as it was for us, the intern and the intern’s family.
If you would like to learn more about Serge, you can visit the following site:
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support us in the remainder of our time here, you can do so here:
Dinner by the pool
Mount Kilamanjaro from the plane
A day of snorkeling before the retreat