Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Coopers!
We hope you had a blessed Christmas close to those you love. This was our first Christmas in Congo. Our celebration out in the bush was a little different than in the US. We celebrated Christmas Eve with our new friends the Jakobbsons and Strietzels (who serve with MAF-Mission Aviation Fellowship). We realized that this was a first for all of us as newly committed missionaries to the re-building of Nyankunde. It was a special moment. Amidst the heat, we listened to Christmas music and had a traditional Swedish meal. It feels like a new chapter has begun here. Christmas was a bit simpler this year…complete with a small tree carried in country via suitcase, 3-dimensional sugar cookies, Norwegian rosettes, and friends around the table. We have hosted our Congolese friends for watching of the Nativity and discussion about Christmas traditions.
|A holiday meal with the Jakobbsons|
Before the war here in Nyankunde, there was an active mission aviation program here. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has re-established their program here since May 2013, but this has not been without significant hurdles. There have been two near misses, both involving motorcycles crossing the airstrip as a plane was landing. The first near-miss resulted in a totaled plane, but no injuries. The second near-miss resulted in the airstrip closing. A very large fence is being built the length of the airstrip to prevent motorcycles and pedestrians from crossing. I suppose the location of a water source on the other side of an airstrip is not ideal. We believe in what God is doing here and look forward to the flight ministry “taking off” again.
This month we said goodbye to our sweet puppy Peterson at only 11months of age. We are still struggling
|On Nyankunde mountain with Peterson|
Looking back on the year
This new year marks the one-year mark of our moving to Nyankunde. We are learning a tremendous amount about living overseas including hospitality, gardening, cooking, carpentry, and lots of odd jobs.
|Homemade lasagne (everything local, even ricotta cheese)|
|Always a bird on his shoulder!|
We have seen the coming and passing of many lives here. Life is precious and fragile, we just don’t realize it most of the time. I (Lindsey) have had several memorable patients that remind me that life is a gift. I have mentioned a sweet girl with a severe skin condition called pemphigus vulgaris. She has basically been in the hospital for the past 6months, with the exception of a couple of weeks. It was my
|Littliest ones of Nyankunde|
The hospital will begin using the new mattresses that many of your financial contributions helped to purchase. We are blessed to have more than enough mattresses for our current needs.
This year we look forward to new ministries and old. We continue to support the malnutrition program and cooking for the indigent poor population in the hospital. Samaritan’s Purse will branch out more into community health intervention and follow-up surrounding the most vulnerable, malnourished pediatric population. This program plans to incorporate agricultural intervention within family groups. There is much to be done.
We continue to welcome visiting doctors and nurses and their families to serve and teach. We pray for more and more opportunities for service, to strengthen the surgical service.
We pray for continued financial viability of the hospital and the spread of the Gospel in and through our work here. We pray that we would be more and more like Jesus in our service here. May we be filled with His joy to offer Him praise.
Thank you for your interest in our lives and support this last year. We welcome your participation in prayer and finances this coming year. To find out more visit: www.samaritanspurse.org/wmmgiving. We are registered under the name Cooper and project account: 002121.
I conclude with the Christmas oratorio by Christian Friedrich Henrici and J.S Bach from the 1700’s:
“Come then, only your name will be in my heart!
Thus I will call upon you, filled with delight,
When heart and breast burn for love of you.
But, my beloved, tell me,
How do I praise you, how do I thank you?
Jesus, my joy and bliss, my hope, treasure, and reward,
My redeemer, defense, and salvation.
Shepherd and King, light and sun!
Ah! How can I offer you worthy praise, my Lord Jesus?
Love and blessings,
Lindsey and Warren Cooper
|Us with the Tenpenny's before their departure from DR Congo|
|Nyankunde Docs (the present and the past)|