Tuesday, April 7, 2015


On our jungle walk

March was an eventful month for us. At the beginning of the month, we were able to go for a jungle walk as a family with Sarah Speer as a present for Anna’s 40th birthday. It was fun to get out of our usual routines and see some more of the area.

Soon after, we had a medical evacuation on our team. Sarah Tenpenny, who was 27 weeks pregnant, was flown to South Africa, and then on to the US. Elliot and their boys traveled from Congo to the US, with the help of Christina Warkentin. The Tenpennys are all doing well now, and Sarah is resting at home with intensive outpatient follow up.

Dr. Harvey had a flare-up of his MS symptoms, has started treatment, and he is on medical leave. He will most likely be returning to the US for follow-up with his physicians there. With two fewer doctors, Stephen and Dr. Kiong Liao have been much busier. When Dr. Kiong accompanies a patient to Kenya for a surgical procedure at the end of April, Stephen will be the only doctor doing clinical work along with administrative work. Dr. Cyriaque, a young doctor from the Central African Republic, continues to see outpatients with some supervision, and is learning more about patient care.

Since our last update, our team has tried to act on the suggestions from Ron Julian, and Stephen has taken part in a committee to better organize the structure here. There have been several challenges in the process, including the evacuation and medical leave causing a shortage of personnel, but there are also different visions on how this should look for our team.

Morning rounds 
In the midst of all the uncertainties, we were still able to have our first ever health fair for the employees and their families. Amanda Volkman put a lot of work into planning and organizing the events, along with help from everyone on the team. It was a big success!

Henri and Joyce Samoutou have started a French/ English church which meets in the hospital chapel after the Lingala/ French service. It is hoped that this will be an outreach to people who do not attend the more traditional service. In the first two weeks, they have seen some young people who have never attended church show an interest. Quite frequently, I have people ask me if the hospital offers English classes. I am now able to tell them about our French/ English service and recommend it as a good way to learn English.

We said good-bye to a family who spent two months with us. Dr. Timothy Kitchen, his wife Jennifer, and three of their children. They added a lot to our community here, and we were sad to see them go. The Samoutous, as part of New Sight Congo, are hosting a team from Hong Kong. They are busy improving our internet system, teaching VBS for the MKs, and learning about life here. In addition to the team of seven from Hong Kong, we also have four students, two medical students and two physician’s assistants students visiting to learn about medical missions. If you visit our blog, you will see pictures of all of them pop up occasionally.

Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God that our mission team has taken some tentative steps towards a healthy working environment. Pray as we continue the process.

2. Praise God for the good weather the day of the health fair and a successful outcome. Pray that everyone who attended will be able to apply the things they learned.

3. We are thankful for our continued health and safety, and pray that the physical health of our team will improve as well.

4. The much awaited container has made it to Impfondo. Pray for the unloading and organizing this week.

5. Tensions between the two Congos seem to have quieted recently. Several of our employees have been able to get their passports and visas and return to work.

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