Hospital Chapel Completion
It is with great joy to hear that the long-awaited chapel rehabilitation project at Nyankunde
|Before: July 2019|
|After: May 2019|
Hospital is finished! It was a momentous occasion which we shared through pictures and videos. It has been almost 17 years since this building has been used by hospital staff. It is the last building to be rehabilitated since the war. I get the sense that this was like a “home” for many Congolese before the war. They are coming home. It felt very significant to hear the group of CME women praying about this. It has felt like a privilege to participate in it. There is an element of remembrance that has come out with the chapel rehabilitation...remembering former chaplains, community events, etc. It inevitably brings up the tribal conflict that our village experienced because that is why the chapel was destroyed in the first place. So there is more work to be done to remember people who have gone before. What does that look like in this culture? How does one honor a place, a people
|Finally, enough seating for all staff (and patients!)|
|Hospital director Dr. Davin|
|Handing over the keys to Pastor Remy|
|The opening ceremony|
past and present? What is honoring to God? There is an important tree called the Toba tree, or the “tree of our ancestors.” This tree is used to remember family members who have died and is sometimes planted for this reason. I look forward to learning more about this.
Update on the Ebola Situation in DRC
We look forward to being able to return to Congo. It is hard to read all the devastating news about the Ebola epidemic in our and our neighboring province. It is hard to feel so far away. It is a beautiful country with a very resilient people. They continue to work, raise their children, cultivate food, and life is far from easy…now add a very serious epidemic to make their lives more difficult. There are whole communities where children are not going to school, people are fearful to seek health care for fear of isolation, threats on the lives of healthcare workers. This is not happening to our community or our area, thanks be to God. It was a difficult situation before, and now is even more critical. Unfortunately the answers are not going to be easy. The WHO is having to re-think their strategies due to the fear and security concerns for healthcare workers in North Kivu province. There is a recent article on NPR which describes the challenges: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/05/10/721020887/threats-by-text-a-mob-outside-the-door-what-health-workers-face-in-the-ebola-zon?utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20190514&utm_campaign=npr_email_a_friend&utm_term=storyshare. My heart is heavy when I think about all of this and I pray for this country.
Activities in North Carolina
Meanwhile in western North Carolina, we attend preschool graduations, mulch
|Boy from Wilkesboro|
|Emmanuel and his teachers Ms. Pattie and Ms. Lori|
repair rotten windows, watch the trees blossom while every possible color of azalea declares its' presence! Our lives are quite different here in America, but very peaceful. I have been a stay-at-home mom these last months! This feels like a “real” furlough, one we have never had the opportunity to have. It has been really a blessing to spend more time with Emmanuel, see him growing and learning every day. We have been blessed to have a home in the mountains to come back to, with amazing views. It is nice to work with our hands and rest.
We just celebrated our 9 thwedding anniversary. We have changed a bit since our wedding day and we look older. We are thankful to have each other in this complicated, albeit joyous, journey of life.
We have discovered that Emmanuel loves the beach and driving boats! We spent a lovely week with dear friends in Wilmington on the NC coast last week. It was balmy and the sand felt great between our toes. We spent a few late nights watching the sun go down from the ocean. What's not to like?
We have been enjoying nature hikes and introducing Emmanuel to the woods. I want him to grow up with a sense of beauty and being at home in the natural environment. I also desire for him to grow up knowing that God has created some amazing things and develop an inquisitive nature. Most recently he has been chasing chipmunks, trying to put salt on their tails. It is really funny! He can catch butterflies with his fingers, so why not chipmunks too?
-Pray for our family as we make some important decisions in these next weeks.
-Pray for us as we make plans to return to DRC.
-Pray for people to feel moved to be part of our ministry support base.
|View of the Blue Ridge Mountains from our home|