Sunday, January 24, 2016

January News: Cows & Tractors

January 24, 2016

Happy New Year from the Congo!  Time seems to be flying by and January is already coming to a close.  Thank you for the many Christmas cards and greetings we received.  It is nice to hear from friends and family being away from home. We miss and love you!

The BIG news of the month is that we finally proud owners of a cow named “Imani” (Swahili for faith).
Warren has been talking about getting a cow so that we can have our own fresh milk.  She is quite pregnant and should calve sometime in February! At first glance she is intimidating with her large horns, especially when she walks towards you at full gait, but she is very friendly cow.  We have an ideal situation in that the backyard at the guesthouse next door has a large bamboo, fenced in yard for her to walk around.  She has plenty of grazing space in the surrounding fields during the day.  It should be fun to see a calf grow up as we learn how to care for it.  The other news is that we have a big, old tractor to prepare the fields and haul dirt.  Emmanuel loves to go for tractor rides with his dad.  It is nice to have a little bit of land to grow a few crops and room for hobbies like woodworking.

 A good nursing friend of ours, Karen Daniels, is here for the remainder of the month to help with organization of the operating theater and equipment, as well as patient care.  It has been a joy having her with us.  We would love to have an operating nurse like her full-time.  Systems are really critical to the working of a hospital and we really lack the personnel to help with the supply chain and improving the work environment. 

Our son Emmanuel is growing by leaps and bounds.  He is making more and more efforts to communicate, saying “What is this?”  When something is over he says, “Bye.”  All vehicles are “cars” and all animals are “Cocoas” (the name of his dog).  He loves to dance to any and all music,   He loves to share his toys and has learned where his friends Luke and Mariam live.  We have had some major struggles with sleep the last two months and are finally coming out on the other side.  Emmanuel has not wanted to go to sleep on his own, crying for hours, and waking in the middle of the night.  At times he seems that he wills not to sleep.  I think we finally made some progress this last week and we are on a workable schedule again.  We are relieved.  Learning to go to sleep on one’s own (among other developmental skills) is so important to everyone’s well-being.

In hospital news, CME Nyankunde just received a digital x-ray machine donation from Samaritan’s Purse.  We are so grateful and are busily learning how to take digital images.  In pediatrics news, this past year we successfully treated >30 children for tuberculosis.  I am still trying to wrap my head around the high incidence of disease, especially in the malnourished population.  It may be time for a more in depth public health screening/intervention.  I know we are only picking up the cases that come to the hospital.

Warren is busy as usual with many trauma cases and dealing with referrals for surgical complications.  This last week he operated on a 7year-old child with kidney stones causing kidney dysfunction and repeated infections.  It was a big operation and we are really hoping that he will recover complete kidney function.  Warren always seems to have new challenges hobble through the door.

Have you ever had the experience that you keep running into someone who is on your mind?  This past week we witnessed the passing of a life of a beautiful 2year old girl with a necrotizing pneumonia with accompanying bronchial injury, following surgical repair.  She was desperately ill, malnourished, and in the end she died despite our best efforts.  I keep running into this little girl’s mother- first in the village, then again yesterday I bought fish from her at the market.  I was beginning to wonder if I was imagining this woman, but it was indeed her.  Each time in my limited Swahili, I greet her and communicate my concern with a hug.  I really like this mother and really made a bond with her in caring for her daughter.  I know that the Lord wanted me to run into her multiple times this week.  Maybe the Lord knew that I needed this reminder to pray as I ought.  Let us remember to hold one another up in prayer in strength, in weakness, in joy, and in sorrow. 

Pray for the work of the hospital, that we would declare Christ boldly in words in action.

Pray for our son and continued good nighttime sleep.  Pray for good teamwork in our marriage.

Pray for the many needs of the hospital for materials and leadership.

Pray for the security of this country and health of many displaced populations.

Blessings in the Lord,


1 comment:

  1. What great pictures those are. I lived in in Africa for several years when I was growing up. My parents moved us over there when I was 2 and we only left when I was 10. I am so thankful I grew up there instead of in front of a tv like most of my friends did. Thanks for sharing!

    Heidi Sutton @ Ag Source Magazine