Let’s Take a Family Mission Trip!

This month we are hosting the Loewen family from Wenatchee, Washington.

Janette and I connected with Jason and Heidi before coming to Burundi over a year ago. From that first conversation in their home, we began discussing the feasibility of their family visiting us in Africa. We were thrilled when they started getting serious about coming over and now they are here- all five of them! They arrived with 11 suitcases (It’s like Christmas here!), three happy girls, and a spirit of adventure to see what its like living in Africa as a family.

On their first day we whisked them off to see the hospital up country in Kibuye and the girls enjoyed a snack of fresh limes right off the tree!

And after 5 days, the lives of our chaotic families are slowly connecting and meshing and we’re hopeful about that whole dynamic.

So What Are They Doing Here?

Good question. Jason is a General Surgeon and is already busy with consultations and surgeries in the Van Norman Clinic. Hope Africa had made a radio announcement and we are now having to turn patients away for lack of time and staff to take care of their needs. We are discovering that many people are waiting for surgery for their sometimes chronic problems. There are not enough surgeons in Burundi to meet the demand. One of the most common diagnoses that we are seeing is uterine fibroids. Unfortunately, this disease and its surgical treatment both lead to infertility which is viewed as a terrible curse by most African cultures.

Heidi and the girls are also finding ways to contribute. They are volunteering at the Discovery School teaching Bible stories, songs and learning a lot about the culture in the process.  They even got involved beautifying the playground and school walls.

Some Burundian parents warn their children that if they are not good, the wazungu (white people) will eat them. This makes preschool very interesting when 20 four year-olds see a wazungu family show up! The Missional Miller kids are also enjoying new playmates, we are all enjoying life together, and we’re starting to sleep better at night as well.

Thanks, Jason and Heidi and girls, for using your skills and gifts in this place, in this time, with us. Living together isn’t always easy but we are learning from you and are glad that our paths have converged for this season.