Friday, November 28, 2014

Around the Web

From the BBC:
 My other children, the orphan gorillas of Vrunga

Park ranger Andre Bauma has been taking care of orphaned mountain gorillas at Virunga, Africa's oldest national park, for the past seven years, and he says he loves them as if they were his own children.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2014 finds us celebrating in yet another country!
Stephen has a normal work day, and we will have a small meal with friends this evening.
We are going to have the traditional American Thanksgiving on Saturday.
However your day is spent today, we hope you have a blessed day.

Thanksgiving 2012- Our 4th Thanksgiving in Congo!  We had the meal at our house in Impfondo.  Stephen was doing surgery, and I was sick, so Sarah Speer graciously agreed to serve as our hostess!  We had chicken, duck, dressing, pumpkin pie and more.  Isabelle and Joyce Samoutou took pictures to commemorate the event.

Thanksgiving weekend 2013- We were in Savannah, GA at the house of Stephen's brother.  We had all the wonderful, traditional foods that I love- YEAH for TURKEY!  I guess I was too busy eating to take pictures, but we also toured a fort and did some shopping over the weekend.

Market Day

There is a local market that is open two days a week.
I haven't had a chance to go, but another visitor was kind enough to share photos.

Thanks again to Scott for the pictures!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learning Surgery

This month, Stephen is working with Dr. Bob Green to learn orthopedic surgery, focusing on SIGN nails to repair fractures.

Special thanks to Scott for the pictures from the hospital!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Young girls carrying heavy loads

Stephen and Dr. Green returning after a day of surgery

Making a fence out of dried grasses
We see many donkeys around town

A busy intersection in Soddo

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the farm....

Some of you may be wondering what is going on in Impfondo during our absence...

We have some good news: DR Congo is declared Ebola free

From Lauren Lunsford via Facebook:

One of my favorite parts about being a nurse is watching the formerly critically ill go home.
This is Mondesi. The doctors told his family repeatedly that they should prepare for his death, that he wasn't going to make the week. He had sickle cell, severe malnutrition, multiple abdominal surgeries, and needed abscesses cut open every week. BUT he had a mother and an aunt who prayed for him without ceasing. When one woman wanted to sleep the other would get on her hands and knees and pray so that someone was always praying. This boy could not even sit by himself without excruciating pain and weeping. And yesterday I watched him literally pick up his mat and walk home. God is a God of miracles even for today.

{Read more about Mondesi's story: Despite Our Presence or Absence}

This is Esther. She came in a few months ago very malnourished after drinking lye. She had a G-tube placed and is looking significantly better. It's so nice to see success stories every once in a while. 

 On Reigning in Life, Sarah Tenpenny shares about HIV Counseling
Often patients are diagnosed with HIV for the first time at the hospital. Our lab workers do their best to tell them about their diagnosis but sometimes it takes time to truly sink in. Often after they hear the words, “you have HIV” nothing else is heard after that. For so many years in Africa the disease was a death sentence. Over the last few years, especially due to PEPFAR that President Bush put into place a few years back to fund AIDS medication, this in no longer the case. The problem is, each patient must come back in regularly for medications and testing.

It takes significant time and kind, loving words to share this diagnosis. One such patient recently came into clinic with a new diagnosis, but understanding little. Her first questions was “How long do I have to take these medications?”. She was totally shocked and started crying when we told her “for the rest of your life”. She refused and got up to leave. Through kind words of encouragement and prayer the young woman began to accept this. We prayed with her and she committed herself to the treatment for her disease and better understood that she had not really been given a death sentence.

From New Sight Congo
Happy Patients, Happy Staff, Happy us.
Have a happy day!
With love and thanks from the Congo

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Out and about in Soddo

A few pictures from the town of Soddo...