Global Outreach


A Big Deal: Something happened recently at Kibuye, and it occurs to me that while there has likely been passing mention of it here and there, we have yet to celebrate it here on our blog. It is a big deal. Our team settled here in Kibuye with the goal to replace themselves with competent and compassionate African specialists. In summary, the team goal is to work themselves out of a job. While this may seem easy enough to a person reading this from the US, it is in fact an enormous challenge. Burundi has not had in recent years residency programs to train specialists. This translates into a country with far too few specialist physicians in all fields. On top of that, for those few specialists, there is a great deal of pressure to remain in the capital, Bujumbura. A small percentage of our graduating medical students are able to get into residency programs in other African countries. But the next questions is, would any of them return to work in rural Burundi? A few months ago, two of our former medical students who had gone abroad for specialty training returned to work full time at Kibuye. That means that for the first time since this hospital opened in the 1930s, we have hired our very first Burundian specialists. It has been a great joy to work alongside Dr. Alliance Niyukuri, our newest general surgeon, and Dr. Tony Van Mugisha, our second ophthalmologist. To take the enormity of this news one step further, Dr. Tony was born at Kibuye! It is difficult to express in words how important this was for our team, and for the future of the hospital. Both of these men are outstanding physicians, who are able to connect with our patients in a way that none of us are able to. They are compassionate, intelligent, diligent and an absolute pleasure to work alongside day after day. It has also been a joy to welcome Alliance’s family, his wife Cynthia and his two daughters to live alongside our team. While we hope and pray that this trend continues, and that in the coming years we are able to welcome more African specialists from various fields, for now we are simply celebrating God’s faithfulness. He has done and is doing a good work here at Kibuye. Some days I forget that this is true, but then I look across the drape in the OR and see Alliance operating, and I am reminded of just how good He is.


Eric & Brittany’s fourth child, a girl, was born January 22; weighing in at 8 pounds 6 ounces. She is named Corianna Charitie Pedersen after Cori Ten Boom and Anna, the prophetess in Luke chapter 2. Charitie was an Irish song writer of Christian hymns. Eric on Facebook on March 8: Student retreat tonight! We are spending time getting into the vision for witnessing communities tonight and studying the book of Ruth tomorrow. Pray for students to catch the vision! KELSEY



As we have shared in previous updates, a major project that is getting off the ground this year is leadership training through theological education. In partnership with the Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia (Biblical University and Seminary of Colombia), the Colombian Covenant is offering a certificate program for those people who want to go deeper in their faith and be equipped to lead others. In February the program got started in Medellin, with a weekend intensive on Introduction to the Old Testament. Students came from around the city and smaller surrounding towns. Two participants took a 5-hour bus ride from Manizales to get there. The students range in age and education level, but it is obvious through their participation they are committed to this formational process. Thank you for your prayers and support! We praise God that we were able to reach our support goal for 2018. Thank you for making this possible!!


As I've mentioned in other newsletters, I've been partnering with YWAM to give Pilates and Fitness classes for women in the community. A few weeks ago, I met with a woman from leadership of the local church that we attend to talk about how I can get involved serving at church. When she found out about the classes that I'm doing with YWAM, she got very excited about the possibility of me doing these classes at the church. She has asked me to write up a proposition and budget for classes to be held at church. Her desire is for the classes to be even more evangelistic than what they are with YWAM. Thank God for this possibility! Please pray that God would give me wisdom as I create the proposition and schedule. Please also pray for wisdom for the church leadership as they eventually decide if this will be a good evangelistic opportunity for the church.


I was blessed to be able to attend a missionary women's retreat this last weekend where God was speaking to me in the worship, the conversations with new friends, the speakers, the quiet time alone in my room, the Word and prayer. I had been needing a time away to connect with God, myself and others, and God provided. I am grateful. I share this picture of the amazing group of women missionaries from many different agencies and denominations serving here in Oaxaca, so that you may pray for us today. Gracias!





































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