Shellie 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. And because our team of adult staff is growing, soon there will be more students and more grade levels.”
Burundi is a small country in east-central Africa that has suffered a troubled history including coups, assassinations, civil wars, and genocide. Due to the instability, it’s now one of the poorest and hungriest countries in the world.
The Serge team in Kibuye, Burundi endeavors to serve God as they provide direct medical services and also train African medical students at Hope Africa University to take medical services and Christ’s love to the people in their country who need it most.
As a result, instead of simply going to their country’s capital where all the other doctors go, these graduates are starting to ask, ‘How can we help underserved communities nearby?’”
Video: Watch the story of Serge medical missionaires in Burundi healing the blind.
When Missionary Kid Teacher 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.”
“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. There’s nothing for them to do here aside from work and study. So when I organize a game night, they typically all show up! A great by-product is that we become close very quickly.”
“I’ve found that it is especially rewarding to work with students who have lived through the crisis times here. 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.”
As Shellie’s term comes to an end, she worries about who will fill the gap she leaves.
She says “It will be very hard to leave this team. The kids are incredibly loving and I love them.”
The Burundi team prepares to welcome new families and a growing number 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 missionary kid teachers in several East and Central African locations. Would you or someone you know be a good candidate? Want to find out more?