Hard Realities in an African Hospital (Updated)

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miracle baby

Recently Hopital Evangelique le Pionnier (HELP) admitted a woman who was pregnant with triplets, and in premature labour. Though the birth went smoothly and quickly, there were complications due to the fact that these babies were two months early. After long hours of effort, two of the infants did not survive. The smallest one is continuing on, though she weighs less than a pound-and-a-half. Ginny, our missionary on the scene, was pressed into service that she has no training for, and which is well outside of her comfort zone, simply because she was there and available.

The mother is obviously going through the emotional wringer. She will need time and comfort as she grieves her loss, and patience to deal with the uncertainties presented by her last little child. This critical bonding stage is challenged by the fact that the child needs to be under constant medical supervision. In the absence of high-tech incubators and monitors, the child is being ‘incubated’ by being held by nurses and volunteers, including Ginny, who are sharing their own body warmth with this little girl.

The hospital doctors and nurses at HELP need your prayers. This level of intensity has become their normal. It’s usual to be interacting with people who are facing the biggest crises of their lives. They need God’s ability to stay focussed, not allowing themselves to become desensitised, and yet staying balanced too. This is demanding work. But they can clearly and regularly see God’s direction and intervention. May he continue to give them strength and endurance, and use them to introduce his truth and hope to many.

Update: I just received word that the third infant also did not survive. I’m struck by the selfless investment of time and energy of the hospital staff and volunteers. My request above takes on even more significance in the face of such sad news.

Not Your Average Field Trip

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Recently Danny and his well-drilling crew hosted a short-term team from Texas. If you’re looking for a cushy, easy-going trip, don’t go with these guys! This was high-energy adventure missions at its finest. They wanted to experience Bolivia, and by the looks of things, they did.

To see the pictures, click here.

They were there to provide some assistance to the village there, by providing clean drinking water. But while there, they saw one need in particular. There is a boarding school in this community which draws kids from Grade 1 to Grade 8. It’s tough for the children and their parents to be separated for 9 months a year. But if they want a better life than subsistence farming, hunting or fishing, this is the sacrifice that they need to make. Danny hopes that someone will come alongside these kids to introduce biblical truth, spiritual guidance and moral instruction. That’s a significant need to pray about.

See his complete write-up by clicking here.

World of Hope 2010 is Here!

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World of Hope this year strives to really introduce you to people’s stories. We’ve put a high priority on making each project engaging, not just informative. And we’ve got something for every budget.

This is what we’re saying about World of Hope:

“While planet Earth is full of dysfunction, misunderstanding and despair, we are called to hope, and hope actively. World of Hope is our opportunity. Here we reframe humanity’s feeble, foibled stories into testimonies of supernatural intervention. This is where we stand against the tide. We stake our claim in the promises of a loving God, and we take Him up on His invitation to participate.”

We feel this strongly, and we believe that you do too. Chances are good that you will see this piece in print. In fact, in the 4+ years that I’ve been here, I’m pretty confident saying that this is the single biggest mailout we’ve ever planned! However, if you would like a sneak peak, please feel free to download it below. This copy is web resolution for easy reading on the screen — if you need a version that will print well, just ask.

World of Hope 2010 (web resolution) — ~0.5MB

If you would like any element of this (eg the logo, pictures, etc.) for your church’s use (bulletin, website, PowerPoints, etc.), please contact us with your requirements. We’ll do whatever it takes to help as many as possible embrace our World of Hope.

Finally, please pray for World of Hope 2010. All of the projects in here are worthy efforts put forward by committed missionaries, and we are trusting God to bless their work through this. Thanks for your interest and support!

A Gift From Outside

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One of the earmarks of the EFCCM is our willingness to partner with other organisations. In Ecuador, Ross has been working with Pastor Antonio who is regularly connecting with three church families spread over a considerable distance. He now has a brand-new motorcycle to help! Generously donated by the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) and Missionary Ventures, it will enable Pastor Antonio to visit with more people in a timely way.

Ross says this:

“He serves as the pastor of three churches in the Guamote area of Chimborazo Ecuador. Often Antonio tries to get a ride in the back of a pick up truck or walks up to 3 hours to visit remote Quichua churches in his area. What a joy to see this project come along side one of our end goals: to equip national pastors to share the gospel and strengthen local churches.”

More Health News

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Laura (serving in Japan) recently had surgery to remove a cancerous lump and 11 lymph nodes.  She will begin chemotherapy on October 13th. It seems like doctors caught this early enough that the long-term outlook is positive, but they felt that there is need for systemic treatment.

Please pray for guidance of the medical team, for Laura’s peace at this time, and for her full recovery. We would very much like to see her working back in Japan, and we’re sure she would too.