Thursday, September 3, 2015

Random Saturday- part 3: Tuberculosis etc

Most of these people have tuberculosis in one form or another and some of them are also infected with HIV. Both of these diseases rip into the fabric of African life like few others. These two tend to separate the patients from the one of the strengths of Congolese culture- the family- and become even more difficult to battle.

This lady has mult-drug resistant tuberculosis.

This young lady has anemia from an overactive spleen and is pregnant as well. 
She is almost ready to go home.

In the midst of treatment.

Keeping up hope one month into treatment

2 weeks into treatment

Almost done with the first 1/3 of her treatment, and she's look forward to going home.

This young guy has a yet undiagnosed illness, and we are still looking for answers for his multiple abcesses.

Yet another waiting to go home.

The hospital is waiting on government delivery of medicines for tuberculosis. Please pray that it comes soon so that treatments would not be interrupted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Random Saturday- part 2:Premie and Women's Health

Little Jeremiah who is now just waiting to gain weight to go home.
He came in at 2 pounds, and he is waiting to get to 4.5 pounds.

This little guy came early the day before his mom need to take a national high school exam.
She delivered him, took the exam the next day, and has been good at encouraging him to eat.

This little lady has newborn sepsis from poor delivery conditions.
Here is another one of our feeders and growers.
She also has been exposed to HIV and now we are trying to keep her from being infected.
A lot for a little lady to handle.  Her name is Grace.

A young lady who is dealing with physical and emotional ramifications of a miscarriage.

Another premie feeding and growing.
Now off oxygen and his nasogastric tube is out, and he is waiting to gain weight.


Thanks again for praying for the least of these in Impfondo. It is always a joy to see a mom who doesn't think her child will live, get a spark of hope, then a flame as her child continues to grow and improve.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Random Saturday- part 1

This cutie is actually an ex premie who developed a viral lung infection.
She just came off oxygen in this picture.

This little girl is battling anemia and malaria and doing well.

This gentleman came in delirious with fever for a week.  
His family had been treating him with traditional medicine, which didn't help.
He died the next day.

This young bayauca lady came in with diffuse belly pain and needed surgery to diagnose her appendicitis. 
She's doing well now.

A little guy who couldn't wait for his 100 francs to buy him breakfast so he ate the 100 francs.
It came out well in the end.

Thanks again for praying for us while we were in the ROC and your continued prayers for our next stage in the journey.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Update

One of the many difficult good-byes
Our last few months in Impfondo were quite busy with preparations to leave: saying good-byes, packing up our house, as well as equipping the national staff to work with new protocols to handle the lack of surgical capabilities at the hospital.  Although we were confident we were making the right choice, it was hard to say good-bye to fellow missionaries and national staff.  It was also difficult to leave knowing there remains a great need for quality medical care in the Republic of Congo.

Our flight out of Impfondo was delayed one day, but the next day we made it to Brazzaville.  While in Brazzaville, we were able to reconnect with some former hospital employees and other people connected to the hospital.  We celebrated the retirement of two of our CMA colleagues.  And Stephen had a constant supply of patients looking for medical advice.

The evening of Tuesday, Aug 25, we arrived safely back in the US with all of our bags.

In Brazzaville
We had a few questions about our next plans.  Our current plans are to have a period of recovery while visiting family and friends.  We will be exploring some other ministry opportunities in Francophone Africa.  We hope to have a clearer time table for return to cross cultural service after our debriefing in November.

Some things we know for certain now are that we would like to return to a country in Francophone Africa to do medical missions, and we will continue to serve under Marketplace Ministries branch of the CMA.

We will be sharing some more things from our time in Impfondo on the blog in the next few months, and we will give updates on our future plans as they take shape.

Brazzaville airport

Monday, August 24, 2015

Reflections- Family Pictures

 As we were saying our good-byes and preparing to leave, I thought back through changes in our family during our years here.  When we arrived in November 2009, Caleb was only three years old.  Each of the kids has grown and changed during our time here.

Nov 2009- Ready to leave the US for Congo for the first time!

Spring 2010
 The obvious changes can be seen in the pictures, as they each grow taller.
We've also seen them grow in knowledge and maturity through their studies and their observation of the world around them.
Fall 2012

Spring 2013
They've been through many transitions during this time, and learned how to adapt and thrive in the midst of uncertainties.
They've seen poverty and the effects of that poverty on the lives of people, and that has given them a greater appreciation for the blessings in their own lives.
Spring 2014
But through it all, they've remained typical kids- with good days and bad days, just like everyone else.  Now we're all ready for the next step in our adventures together.
August 2015 with Sarah Speer


Friday, August 21, 2015

Walk to the River- Pt 3

 We had a bigger group on the way back.  About 12 kids accompanied us half way!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Walk to the River

During the last weekend in May, we decided to walk to the part of the river closest to our house.
The grass along the path was taller than me in some places!

We walked through this small village of five or six houses.


We took the path alongside the river while we looked for a good swimming spot.