The First Fruits in Burundi

By R.J. March on February 01, 2015

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Watch: The Story of Fides

Among the poorest people in the world, a small but recognizable transformation is taking place. In 2013, a team of medical doctors uprooted their families from the United States and transplanted their lives and careers to Africa to work among the people of Burundi. These Serge physicians are not only using their skills to heal, but also to train. To use the old analogy: they are both giving fish and teaching to fish. And things are starting to change.

About 120 medical students come through the hospital every year, as well as approximately 60 nursing students and 70 allied health students (nursing tech, anesthesia, ophthalmology, etc.). Students come from countries all over the region. Serge staff offer not only medical training, but also Bible study for those who are interested. The goal is nothing less than to transform the healthcare in Burundi, where people are often persecuted for their illness or disability and bribes are often necessary to receive care. John Cropsey, an ophthalmologist, sums up the team’s mission: “Patients will get great care in the name of Christ.”

John has an important job. “The best job in the world,” as he puts it. Daily, he helps people to see. Right now, life expectancy is 5 years if you lose your sight in Burundi. Sight is life or death in this mountainous terrain. And 75-80% of the blindness is totally reversible or preventable. Watch the amazing story of Fides and see for yourself the first fruits of God’s gracious work in Burundi: “Our God is different – he chose to suffer with us. That does keep me going. If I didn’t know that, I don’t think I could keep going. Our God chose to take on flesh and suffer with us.” (John Cropsey, Serge Staff at Kibuye Hospital, Burundi)

 

 

R.J. March

About R.J. March

R.J. studied Philosophy at Furman University and focused his research on the ethics of globalization and minority perspective. He has integrated this research with service on Serge teams in Ireland, London, and Southeast Asia. R.J. is interested in how technology shapes community and has worked as the Digital Media Specialist for Serge and the Director of Communication for Global Counseling Network. You can find his other (digital) handiwork at rjmarch.com. R.J. holds an M.Div. from Covenant Seminary. R.J. and his wife Carolyn and their two children reside in Seattle where R.J. is the Assistant Pastor of All Souls Church of Seattle.