Another Update from Africa

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I just got this from Jean-Pierre and Ginny, serving in the Republic of the Congo. The doctors and staff at this hospital face some rather unusual challenges, that’s for sure:

At the end of the day, it was visible that Dr. Joe was exhausted. That would be normal for almost anyone surviving this heat and not even doing very much, but this was a hard day for the doctor. Taking care of AIDS patients is not easy. Six AIDS patients in one day is exhausting. Each one takes time. The doctor must ask so many questions and then care for their mental, physical and spiritual condition. Dr. Fuka has his hands full with his own patients, treating all the surgery cases as well as others. While our short-term doctor (Sean) was here, three doctors were an absolute necessity. I wonder how Dr. Fuka and Dr. Joe manage without that extra help. We are counting on Drs. Wolfe in the fall but until then what are we going to do?

In barely three weeks Dr. Joe must go back to the United States to write an important exam to enable him to stay registered as a doctor there. His children will be writing their exams there too. Dr. Fuka will continue his surgeries caring for the patients. But he can’t do it all! I wonder how the Lord is going to fill this gap while Dr. Joe will be gone for 4 months. Maybe no one will be sick during that time… :-)

Thank you for praying for our doctors who have their hands full. We are very thankful for their consecration to the Lord, because without that, they wouldn’t stay. This work is hard and they are dependent on the Lord every day for each case.

As if the doctor-director didn’t have enough to fill his already busy days, these last few days have been busy, stressful, and full of unknowns. Preceding the elections, the president of the Republic of Congo goes to visit all the main cities of the country, trying to remind the population of all the good deeds he has done for them. On his itinerary, is of course Impfondo, so the whole city prepares for his coming and all of us missionaries are prepared to lodge dignitaries and people accompanying the president. The doctor must be prepared to open his home and give any extra beds and bedrooms to visitors during this time. Becky is trying her best to finish up school, get ready for new missionaries coming, and get packed to leave in three weeks, and on top of that, prepare her house and other possible rooms for guests… To say the least, it’s a stressful time. Suzy and Sarah barely closed an eye waiting for possible visitors who never came last night. I was ready, but slept anyway. At least it was worth while giving a tour of the hospital to the ladies-in-waiting of the President’s wife. In 2005 the First Lady did actually come to visit the hospital.

Thank you for praying for Dr. Joe , his wife Becky, and their children: Olivia, Claire, Isabelle and Noah trying to finish up the year’s schooling and getting ready to go to the States for 4 months.

Please pray that God will send at least one doctor at a time here to help Dr. Fuka during the absence of Dr. Joe.

A Team in Rwanda (Updated)

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We’re privileged to introduce our first official EFCCM team serving in Rwanda! Rwanda has a massive need for healing. The team visiting the country from Canada is composed of professional counsellors and counselling students. They are facing firsthand the pain and trauma still very much in evidence in Rwanda, and are offering practical assistance. The team is keeping an online journal detailing their experiences, and offering pictures as well.

Check it out by clicking here.

Update: I found another piece talking about this team’s activities and goals, right on Providence College’s website. Click here to read the news release.

Marking the Earthquake’s 1yr Anniversary

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The 1yr milestone was reached on May 11th. (Click here for an emotive story I found about it.) Our workers in health education and community development are continuing to offer support to the affected region.

“During the earlier part of the Earthquake outreach we purchased a portable microphone sound system which could be used for the many fun camps. Recently we discussed offering Saturday morning cartoons or movies at the Earthquake Schools. So my national partner discussed it with a principal who immediately gave him a digital projector! So now my friend can bring this treat on his supervision rounds throughout the many sites.”

Our health education team distributes free ‘movie passes’ to children in the area — that seems to work better than just offering an open invitation — and is using these times to encourage increased connection between the families and the team. In amongst the available cartoons they have at their disposal, there is even a collection of Old Testament cartoons. More than just building a bridge into the community, these cartoons themselves may offer an introduction to the God who can bring hope and heal lives.

But wait, there’s more!

“Another development is an NGO which focused more on medical projects and village doctor training for years had a large quantity of basic health books printed for earthquake survivors. They recently offered 500 books so now may we pray that those workers who have access particularly to classrooms can offer to teach these preventative health lessons to the kids and back at the homes with parents. This can be a major step in expanding our workers’ reasons for follow-up. “

Update from Ecuador

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This update just came in from Ross and Mary in Ecuador:

Take your seat and hang on…. God is moving in Big ways!

After 6 years of prayer, research and planning, the Discipleship Training Center (A center for Biblical training, counseling, and spiritual formation) is ready to become a reality! Below is a ministry site we are in the beginning stages of pursing.

  • The property is about ½ an acre (2400 sq. meters).
  • Main house (back center): to be a missionary residence and guesthouse for groups from North America.
  • Red outbuilding (left): the counseling center or housing for interns.
  • Large white building (right column) To be the Bible Training Center, pastoral library and computer lab.

Located within walking distance of the main Quichua market in Riobamba, and more importantly the indigenous bus line that provides easy access from hundreds of Quichua communities in the Chimborazo province! An ideal location for pastors and leaders to come to study, receive Biblical counseling and grow in Christ.

Join us in these first steps! The owner is an evangelical Christian who is praying and fasting that her property will be able to be used for our ministry! She is willing to rent us the property at our current housing budget, while we are raising funds, if we can show serious intent to buy. She has asked us to take a pulse on our supporting churches, families, and individuals by asking for pledges which will give an idea on the initial response to the project.

The final go ahead will come after the property is evaluated by an American builder, who now directs a Christian ministry in Ecuador and the response to the pledge drive. Our friend will give us feedback on the value and condition of the property. Due to economic conditions in the country the owner has lowered the cost of the property a considerable amount under its appraised value. For more information or specific questions on the property and our vision for the training center, contact us at information at the end of this letter and look to future updates.

Consider a one time gift that will impact pastors and leaders… who will impact their churches… who will impact thousands!

  • Pledge now, give later! Our immediate goal is to get an initial reading on the response to this project so we can let the owner know if we have the support to move forward. Consider making a “meter pledge” a pledge for the value of one meter, or $140.00 (or for whatever God lays on your heart!)
  • Consider a loan we can pay back over a period of time with our housing allowance after the purchase is made.
  • Help us find new donors, share the vision with others over coffee, small groups and with your pastor or missions committee chairman. Provide us with the contact information of people and friends you think might be interested with whom we can share this vision.
  • Introduce us to foundations you may now who share a vision for helping establish ministry centers.

Conference 2010 Announcement

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After deliberation and the typical behind-the-scenes negotiating, we now have a date and a venue for Conference 2010. One that we’re actually pretty psyched about!

It will be held at the Delta Sun Peaks Resort, BC (near Kamloops) from July 21-24, 2010.

I’ll post more details as they become available. And we’re going to work really hard on streamlining and simplifying the registration process. For some of you, this is really good news! :-)

Click here for more pictures of the resort and facilities.