Monday, September 17, 2012


We have some very exciting news that we’ve been doing our best to keep under wraps. But I think it’s now time to make it public.

When we arrived December 12, 2010, we recognized certain things. We recognized that James Appel had taken the Bere Health Center, a run-down chicken coop, and turned it into Bere Adventist Hospital, a fully functional 24/7 hospital well-respected for surgical expertise and caring staff.

And we recognized that there was still room for improvement. The operating room left much to be desired and was just one room. The maternity ward was no place to have a baby. And there was no private ward, causing much of our clientele to refuse hospitalization in our dilapidated wards and decide to go elsewhere for their care. There was a huge lack in nursing education evident in our staff. There was a huge lack of surgical training for Tchadian doctors expected to be do-it-all doctors in remote areas. We recognized a lack of space for family to sleep with their sick patients, a lack of places to cook, a lack of places for nurses to treat their patients, an inefficient system of payment/pharmacy/lab, a lack of shelter from the elements of Tchadian sun and rain, a lack of places for volunteers to live, a lack of dental facilities, administrative space, space to educate, space for public health/HIV/TB issues and many other needs.

So we started to attack the needs piecemeal. We found funding for a new private ward and for a new operating room (in fact, a complex with two operating rooms), thanks to A Better World-Canada and the Springfield First Adventist church. Construction here is very expensive. Cement costs more than it does in the States. And everything is done with mud brick, which is not insulating, nor strong, nor particularly cheap. There were many construction challenges, not least of which was that Jamie is my only man who knows what he’s doing, and he’s just one man, unable to run multiple complicated construction projects at once.

And then we got a visit. The people that have made One-Day Churches, One-Day Schools and One-Day Houses happened to stop by and they saw the immense need at our hospital, a need that is repeated often throughout the third-world at myriad Adventist hospitals. And they developed the dream of One-Day Hospitals. Bere would gladly be the guinea pig. And so the last several months has been a whirlwind of designing and redesigning buildings, something I have never done before and am completely untrained to do. However, with help from the people at One-Day and with help from Jamie, we have very exciting plans to report.

The One-Day Structures are better quality structures than anything that we can get locally. And since it’s all sponsored (actually, we’re all stepping out in faith, as it hasn’t really been paid for yet), it’s not costing the hospital anything. We will have metal-framed, metal-roofed, metal-siding structures, with insulation in the walls and in the ceiling, with vented ceilings/roofs, with indestructible windows, with roof overhang to provide shade on the walls, etc. And we have experts coming to erect them through Maranatha.

So far, we have planned an operating room complex, two private wards, a delivery suite, a maternity ward, a lab/pharmacy/cashier complex, a ton of new housing for ex-patriot volunteer staff like student missionaries and others, a dental clinic, a public health clinic to service things like midwifery training and HIV and many other things, open-air buildings, etc.

We are hopeful that funding will be found for buildings for a nursing school and for a surgical residency training program. This is such an incredible opportunity that we want to take every advantage we can.

There are so many exciting aspects to this project, that I’m bound to forget some. The One-Day folks have found ways to use their framing materials to construct sturdy hospital beds on wheels. These will be a huge advantage over our current beds. They are also constructing sinks and counters from stainless steel. They have found ideal mosquito screening, netting, fans, etc etc etc. Also, they have found materials for curtain rods between beds. I’ve seen these curtain rods and they will be the best in the world, I can guarantee. They’re just awesome. And we’re getting new systems for our electricity here. And we haven’t given up hope that things like refrigerators, etc will find their way into the hands of the folks at the One-Day operations.

The One-Day is just the outside frame, so we will still have a lot of costs to finish the insides of the buildings, interior walls, hospital equipment, plumbing, electricity, etc, but now we’re able to stretch those donations that were made for the operating room and private wards and those monies will be able to go so much farther now! Those monies will be used to finish several buildings, whereas before it would have been enough for just one. These projects have been a couple years in the making, but now we’re getting it done right, with the best materials at the most efficient cost. We really are so blessed.

Anyway, we just wanted to express our excitement and share our blessing with you. Already, most of the buildings have had their foundations prepared. We’ve even started pouring cement! With this collaboration and everybody working so hard to make this a reality and find every way possible to bless the people here with the best possible materials... we will be turning our 40-year plan into a one-year plan!!! It’s just news that’s too exciting to keep to ourselves any longer.

olen and danae

Olen phone: +235 62 16 04 93
Danae phone: +235 62 17 04 80

Olen et Danae Netteburg
Hopital Adventiste de Bere
52 Boite Postale
Kelo, Tchad

Volunteers Welcome!!!


  1. Praise God! What exciting news.

  2. You're right, that is very, very exciting!! God is so GOOD! Nicole J

  3. That is so amazing!!! What an extravagant God we serve!

  4. YAY! I'm so excited!!! I can't imagine the work you guys must be cramming into already busy days! What a blessing for the One-Day folks to commit to this. They seem to be truly willing to go where God asks, and do what He asks. What a great thing it would be for other mission complexes too. I can't wait to see pictures!!!! Thanks for posting! Alison ps. hope you get a reliable electricity supply for a fridge soon :)

  5. Wonderful, wonderful news! Praise the Lord for His perfect Work!!! His hand is so evident in this! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful opportunity - for Bere, and for Chad (where?)! The world will have to sit up and SEE what God is doing! Praise His Name!!!

  6. wow !!! truly what dedication patience and love God has given you to dream big for the people you serve for His glory. Daily praying that God whose cattle roam His thousand hills will complete His work in Chad through your hands. miss you all