Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy National Philanthropy Day!!!

I know you’ve had it circled on your calendar for days now!

Usually when people ask how they can help, they are talking about money. Well, guess what… Money can help! And we would be proud and honored to enter into that financial partnership with you. We take financial donations very seriously and ensure that the money is spent wisely and is used for the purpose it was intended.

So let me tell you about a few projects and opportunities we have that require funding…

1.   My silly dream of the perfect missionary hospital that treats everybody for free. Price tag: Estimated at $400,000/year. We take cash or credit. No problem, right? ;)

2.   Ok, ok. We’ll do something a bit more feasible and cheaper and less on-going. We have the nursing school to finish. This has been a dream for years, which should become a reality within the next few years, as we are building the buildings and educating the professors already. Quality Christian (or Muslim or animist or…) nursing is such a desperate need here. To do the school right would probably take a few hundred thousand bucks. But with what we’ve already invested in the professors’ schooling and the school buildings, we will just do the best we can with what we have. It will still be better than the other schools here. We’ll make sure of that. It would be hard to be worse!

3.   As we mentioned, the construction project has been huge. Through the generosity of the One-Day Project, ASI and Maranatha, the foundations and building shells, as well as some of the costs of sidewalks, property walls and electrical wiring, has been completed with absolute minimal cost to AHI. This has been a blessing that can’t be overstated. However, there is a great deal of work (and cost) left. All interior walls, paint, plumbing supplies, medical equipment, counters, furniture, etc, has yet to be funded. We are moving ahead with finishing off the insides with what money there is, but progress will probably need to come to a halt around February or March, with the rate at which we are going. The cost to finish the medical side of the new buildings is $40,000. The cost to finish the ex-patriate housing (where you will stay when you come visit us!) is $30,000.

4.   Continuing our project of sending Tchadians to school for medical education. We would also love to send people for specific things, like optometry, dental assistant, etc, if we can’t find the volunteers interested in coming long-term to open a training program. To sponsor a student costs around $120/month for their stipend. Many students have finished this year, but we still have three medical students (future physicians for our hospitals), one midwife, three future nursing school professors and three nursing students (there is one more, but he should be finishing in a month or two). There are three more nursing students and one more medical student we would love to take on, but are nervous to. We don’t want to make a commitment to them unless we are certain we can follow-thru and see them to the end. To give you an idea, tuition for a year of schooling is typically less than $1000/year (depending on the school and the year in school, plus various other fees).

5.   Women’s health. Danae is so involved with women’s health and the health of their newborns. She has so many ideas, from T-shirts to water bottles to baby outfits to vesico-vaginal fistula repairs to… well, any number of things. You can imagine that baby outfits are less expensive and the months of care to properly repair a fistula is more expensive. Care for a fistula, from beginning to end, can run nearly $400 for a complicated case, which most of them are. Of course, I suppose some of the care packages packed full of baby clothes can probably run close to $400.

6.   Anesthesia. Surgery in other hospitals in Tchad (not at the AHI institutions in Bere and Moundou!) is virtually a death sentence. The doctors were never trained to operate and nobody is trained to give safe anesthesia. We plan on correcting that. We will start training nurse anesthetists from Adventist institutions around Africa starting in June. We have a nurse anesthetist with his doctorate and years of experience in academia arriving in June with his wife and two daughters full-time. The cost of this program is not insignificant and will be ongoing. If anybody has a love for anesthesia and a desire to see the practice evolve in Africa, this is a great opportunity. The cost is roughly $20,000/year to support this family of four. Airline tickets are not cheap. Similarly, there is the opportunity to support nurses from other hospitals to come to Bere for their training. The cost is simply travel and a stipend.

7.   Support a volunteer. We have many potential long-term volunteer candidates who are having trouble coming because they are having trouble finding support. These include dental professionals, midwives, construction workers and engineers, as well as others.

There are many more projects as well, including surgical training programs, etc.

And not to be too blunt, but the most useful donations are for ‘Bere general funds’. We then apply those funds to whatever project has the greatest need.

Every donation we see come in, be it $5 or $25,000, we are immensely grateful for and both humbled and proud that you would entrust us to use your hard-earned money for the Kingdom. And please never think that your donation is too small or ‘only’ a certain amount. I absolutely love the saying, ‘Many small streams make a river.’ It’s so true. The many small donations we receive add up to a large sum that allows us to do so much.

Most of you are probably reading this on Friday night and having nothing else to do, so I’ll take your time and get up on my soapbox now. Give me just a second. Urghh. I think this soapbox might have been higher than last time. Unnnggggg. Oof. I need to work out more. Or at all. Lunge, strain, grunt. I need to stay on my Tchadian diet next annual leave. Ok, whew. Made it up on the soapbox. Took enough effort to get up here, I might as well make the most of it.

Money is important. No money, no mission. Money makes the world go ‘round. Whatever cliche you like. It’s true. But there’s something else that’s needed…

People!!! You can throw all the money in the world at missions, but if there are no people to carry it out, what’s it good for? Don’t get me wrong, not everybody is called to be a missionary overseas. Some are called be home-town missionaries. Others are called to make money to support the missionaries. That’s fine. But there are many who ARE called to be full-time, long-term missionaries. And they are not coming. There might be several reasons why they are not coming. So let me ask you two questions…

Are you called to come overseas as a missionary volunteer?

The church has vowed to open more budgets for overseas missionaries, in fact, to double the number of budgets. This has been a promise for several years now. I don’t know what the reality is, but the appearance is that these budgets only go to administrators and physicians. But there are so many other useful professions! I can turn any profession into a missionary profession!

So self-supporting volunteers are needed. These are individuals who find funding from generous donors to support them as they live frugally and spend wisely while ministering to those in need. This is genuine living by faith, as they are often acting on funds promised, but not yet received. There are no future promises for them except those God has made. These missionaries are often also referred to as supporting missionaries, as they are seen to be supporting the work of the church. Now the next question…

If you are not called to be a long-term self-supporting volunteer, are you called to support a long-term volunteer?

This can be done by a group of people. Think of the groups you are a part of. Sabbath school, church, conference, union, work, gym, social, Bible study, etc. Obviously, the cost of supporting a long-term volunteer is large and ongoing. It is also a titratable cost. It depends on the size of the family and the size of the work they are going to do.

If you’re interested in volunteering long-term, either at our hospital or some other place, please contact us. We love finding a new home for long-term volunteers, no matter what their trade or lack thereof. God can use you in His Fields!!!

Or if you or a group of people are interested in funding a long-term volunteer, please let us know and we will find a volunteer that has need and appeals to you, either at Bere or elsewhere.

Boy, it looks like a long ways down from this soapbox. I think I may just sleep up here.

The Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil. It says, ‘Love of money is the root of all evil’ (Olen Revised Version). Show your holiness and your disdain for money by sending it to us via Adventist Health International! You can find AHI at You can pay via credit card or Paypal. Also, if you prefer check or money order, you may make it out to Adventist Health International and send it to:

Bere Adventist Hospital
Adventist Health International
Magan Hall 111
Loma Linda, CA 92350

We also accept donations of salt blocks, chickens, sheep, small antelope and goats, but they need to be delivered locally.

And if you don’t donate now, who knows, maybe our coffers will be full on December 31 and we won’t accept your last-second tax deduction! (Well, we might make an exception just for you.)

Once again, we are very excited that you are a partner with us, no matter what role you play in our mission. If you are reading this, you are our partner.

olen and danae  

Olen Tigo: +235 91 91 60 32
Danae Tigo: +235 90 19 30 38

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

Volunteers Welcome!!!

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