When I last wrote an update, we were in the midst of preparing for a trip to Brazzaville while participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony and breakfast with the ambassador and some of his staff.
We were able to make it to Brazzaville that day, and the next day I had my last dentist appointment to finish the long process of having a crown replaced.
We had planned to spend a week in Brazzaville, but due to complications with the last minute cancellation of flights we were there 11 days. I wasn't really disappointed since it gave us some extra time with our CMA missionary friends in Brazzaville.
Since we have returned, I have been busy with homeschool, visitors, guest housing, and the many details of daily life. Stephen has been busy as usual, wearing many hats at the hospital: seeing patients, teaching, administration, preaching various times at the morning devotionals for the staff and the Sunday morning service, meeting with 2 nurses for discipleship, dealing with electrical problems, supply shortages, and much more. He fits a lot into each day.
But he has had a few chances to take some time away from the hospital. He has been out in a canoe with David Marsh whenever they both have a free Saturday.
We've been having lots of candlelit evenings lately. Our electricity comes and goes, and we have to be very conservative with what we have. Our hospital is somewhere between "orange alert" and "red alert" for the electricity system.
I've been thinking about this post for a little while. I had the pictures, but I wasn't sure how to explain the way things are without sounding negative or complaining.
Things are inconvenient and hard at times, but we've also enjoyed having a quiet family dinner by candlelight, sitting together while we read a book by candlelight, playing games together by candlelight...
Now even when the electricity is working, we sometimes choose to turn off the lights and light the candles.
We were without propane gas for our stove and refrigerator again, but mid-November we were able to get some propane gas for the stove. We've only had a working refrigerator for 4 months this year.
It's not as bad as it sounds, though. For one thing, there is not much available to buy that you need to keep in the refrigerator. There's no butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.
We also have a cook who shops for fresh produce and meat five days a week. Then she prepares it using the kerosene burners and a charcoal burner that we keep outside. We're trying to save the gas for the stove for baking. I'm hoping it will last through Christmas.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!