The Serge Team in Kibuye, Burundi, needs teachers for the children of missionaries for the coming school year. They hope to have new teachers on the field by August 2016. Other Serge teams in East Africa will soon experience the same need.
“We’ll soon have a huge influx of families with students,” says Shellie, who has taught missionary children in Burundi for two years. “Right now we have kids through grade five, and those kids are going to get older. Additionally, because our team of adult staff is growing, soon there will be more students and more grade levels.”
Since gaining independence in 1966, Burundi has suffered a troubled history including coups, assassinations, civil wars, and genocide. Due to the instability, it’s one of the poorest and hungriest countries in the world.
The Serge Kibuye, Burundi, team endeavors to serve God as they provide direct medical services and also train African medical students at Hope Africa University.
“The Kibuye team’s work is an exciting development for Serge,” Serge Director of Mission Josiah Bancroft said. “It’s a young team—only three years old—and they are seeing fruit in all three of Serge’s focus areas: Renewing, Reaching, and Restoring. The team is training Burundian doctors to take medical services and Christ’s to needy people in their country. The graduated doctors of Hope Africa, rather than simply going to their country’s capital where all the other doctors go, are starting to ask, ‘How can we help nearby underserved communities?’”
Video: watch the story of Fides and Serge doctors in Burundi.
When Shellie first joined the team, she personally did not know anyone, but she was drawn to the team’s mission.
“I wanted to come and help a team that had such a great vision and such a great heart,” Shellie said. “They are very talented doctors who are humbly following the Lord.”
“As a first-term overseas person, I know that I have a lot to learn. Coming in, I didn’t know exactly what the rest of my life could hold in terms of missionary service, but I knew that with this team I would learn a lot,” Shellie said. “The team here is very welcoming. They’re a very strong group in so many ways but I think their welcoming nature and priority on community might be their strongest point. I don’t think I knew the value of community before I came.”
Shellie spends her days in the classroom with the missionary kids, but has also, become very involved with the medical students through weekly discipleship/Bible study meetings.
“I’m most passionate about discipleship with university-age medical students,” Shellie said. “There is nothing for them to do here aside from work and study. So when I organize a game night, they typically all show up. They have no other entertainment options! A great by-product is that we become close very quickly.”
“I found that it is especially rewarding to work with students who have lived through the crisis times here,” Shellie said. “They are strong; many of them have grown up missing one or both parents. It is such a privilege to invest in their lives, and share the truth that we are sons and daughters in Christ. I am convinced that there is a richness to the gospel that can be understood even more when one is lacking those relationships.”
Though her time in Burundi has been rich, Shellie is coming up on the end of her term. As she prepares to serve in another location, Shellie worries about who will fill the gap she leaves.
“I always thought that long-term I would work in a ‘closed’ country,” Shellie said. “But I don’t want to leave my team hanging by departing before someone else comes. It would be good to get one or two new teachers here by next August,” Shellie said.
“It will be very hard to leave this team. The kids are incredibly loving and I love them,” Shellie said.
As Shellie looks to the future, and the Burundi team prepares to welcome new families and growing numbers of kids, the need is growing for teachers who can invest in kids and are passionate about putting their faith into practice.
Serge currently needs teachers in several East and Central African locations. Would you or someone you know be a good candidate to become a Mission Team Teacher? Want to find out more? Take a moment to fill out our “Go Form” and we will be in touch with you shortly.
 1 Name changed to Shellie to protect the identity of this staff person, as she prepares to serve in a country that is not open to traditional Christian missionaries.