An Indigenous Idea

Bishop Elie Buconyori
Bishop Elie Buconyori

The idea of establishing a fund to support students of Hope Africa University came from the Rector of Hope Africa University, Bishop Elie Buconyori.  When John McCready decided to visit Burundi after a fifty-year absence, he sought a contact in Burundi from Bishop Gerald Bates who wrote an intellectual biography on John Wesley Haley, John McCready’s grandfather.  Bishop Bates recommended Bishop Buconyori, the Rector of Hope Africa University.  John did not know Bishop Buconyori but he found out in Burundi that Bishop Buconyori knew John’s parents, Burton and Dorothy (Haley) McCready.  Bishop Buconyori had stayed with the McCready’s when visiting Spring Arbor, Michigan.

As promised, Bishop Buconyori met with John when he first arrived in Bujumbura, Burundi.  Bishop Buconyori arranged a place for John to stay, the use of facilities at the university, a visit up-country to some of the mission stations and a meeting with the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza.  After the trip to the mission stations and the meeting with President of Burundi and as John’s visit to Burundi was coming to a close, Bishop Buconyori asked John what he would do for Hope Africa University.  Then, Bishop Buconyori outlined the priorities for the University and, heading the list, he indicated that he would like to have a fund to support students to use the skills they acquire in their university training.  Bishop Buconyori explained that in a country like Burundi, there just are no financial resources to support students to pursue projects that allow them to use their newly acquired ideas and skills.

As John left Burundi, he kept thinking about the question that was put to him by one of the indigenous leaders, Bishop Buconyori.  “What are you going to do for the Hope Africa University?”  The idea of the fund kept returning to John’s mind.  John was well aware that the very successful indigenous outreach and development work in Burundi was started by his grandparents, John and Jennie (Hamilton) Haley, and continued by his parents, Burton and Dorothy (Haley) McCready.  It ocurred to John that he could very likely build the fund by responding positively to the challenge that Bishop Buconyori had put before him and developing an outreach and development fund in his grandparents and parents name.

John began to work with Bishop Buconyori and Bishop Bates to develop the fund that has become the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund: A Living Memorial.  Along with Bishop Buconyori and Bishop Bates, John began preparing drafts of description of the fund.  It was particularly important to John to understand that like the indigenous principles that served as a foundation for John Wesley Haley’s outreach and development work, the idea of a fund originated with the idea presented by an indigenous leader, Bishop Buconyori.

Bishop Elie Buconyori is the Bishop for the Free Methodist Church in Burundi and Kenya.  Bishop Buconyori is the Rector for the Free Methodist Church Hope Africa University.  Bishop Buconyori holds a PhD from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, USA.  Bishop Buconyori represents the very best in indigenous leadership in Burundi and Central Africa.