|Setting the tent up for a triage area|
We made it through September without needing to evacuate! We are happy that we were able to stay together, and we were even more happy that Ebola has not come to our area. A really good result of this is that our other teammates will be able to return to Impfondo. We also learned a lot from the process, and we hope to be able to be more prepared if a similar situation arises in the future.
The outbreak in the DRC is considered contained. There is still a small possibility of Ebola spreading here from West Africa, just as we have seen happen with the United States. Stephen is still working with the other missionaries and hospital employees to prepare a response for potential cases. They have set up a tent as a triage area, and are educating the guards and nurses how to screen new patients for suspicious symptoms and travel history.
The border between our region and the region of the DRC across the river from us is still closed. This is causing some difficulties and additional expenses in obtaining food. For us, it’s an inconvenience and added expense. For those who already struggle to eat day to day, it is more serious.
|Stephen teaching an afternoon class to some of the nurses.|
A big concern is still the repatriation of people from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The process had been put on hold with the concerns over Ebola in the region next to us. Now, it has begun again. Those who are trying to do the right thing and get the correct paperwork are not successful. Others live with the constant tension of wondering of today will be the day that they have to suddenly leave. This week, I will share three stories of people affected in different ways.
Stephen has advised our employees from the DRC not to draw any attention to themselves. He has tried to set up meetings with the head of immigration and the prefet (governor) of the area. But with the work at the hospital, he has not been able to pursue this full time. Please keep our employees and others in town in your prayers. Also pray for the staffing of the hospital. If we suddenly lose a large group of our employees, it will greatly hamper the functioning of the hospital.
What’s next and prayer requests:
1) Pray for our teammates who are traveling. Samaritan’s Purse has given their people permission to return.
Dr. Kiong Liao (Samaritan's Purse) is in Brazzaville, and he is ready to return.
The Tenpennys (Samaritan's Purse) are on a vacation in France with their family from the US, and return to Brazzaville at the end of the week.
The Harveys (GOM) are finishing up their trip in the US, and they will return to Brazzaville this week.
However, the commercial flights between Impfondo and Brazzaville are on hold for a few weeks. Sometimes we can get one or two people on a UNHCR flight. Today (Monday, Oct 6) will be the last UNHCR flight for a month. Dr. Kiong Liao and Christina Warkentin are scheduled to be on the flight, and we are praying that they will arrive today.
2) Stephen continues to be the only fully trained doctor here. He is becoming fatigued.
Pray that he will have a break soon.
3) School continues in spite of whatever goes on around us, but it has been a challenge at times.
Pray that we can get in a few really good weeks before we travel again.
4) Nurses training and education continues. Pray for our nurses to be able to absorb and implement the things they are learning in their classes.
|Gathering river water for a biology experiment|
5) We are still planning to go to Soddo Christian Hospital in Ethiopia for the month of November. Stephen will spend November learning a type of orthopedic surgery.
6) Ebola continues to spread, especially in Western Africa. Pray for all those effected by Ebola, directly and indirectly. Pray also for peace and wisdom for any decisions that need to be made about preparation at the hospital.
7) Keep those affected by repatriation in your prayers.