Sunday, December 7, 2014

Part II The Retroscope

Every once in a great while, we need to take off our myopic glasses and step back and take in the grand picture. And maybe even allow ourselves to be just the slightest bit proud.

We can get so focused on our short-term troubles we forget the blessings we’ve been fortunate enough to know.

Since our arrival four years ago, we have built…

3 large houses for expat staff.
5 small houses for expat staff.
4 hotel rooms for volunteers.
A waiting room in front of Urgence.
A lab/pharmacy/cashier complex.
A private ward in front of pediatrics.
A nursing office in front of pediatrics.
Sidewalks throughout the entire campus.
A new water tower.
A wall around the compound.
A new labor and delivery complex with four labor beds and private and public consultation areas.
A 14-bed maternity ward.
New toilets throughout.
A 16-bed private ward.
A four-building nursing school compound.
A chaplain's office.
A guard room.
A storage building.
A two-theater operating building.
A dental building.
An outpatient surgical office.
A public health building.
A post-op/ICU building.
A restaurant.
A kitchen.
Family sleeping quarters.

We have also recruited a full-time anesthetist from America.
We have also recruited three Masters in Public Health who are running great projects.
And we now have a third physician. Actually, even a fourth! Our first Adventist Tchadian physician in the country just finished school and started at Bere this week. (AHI paid for his medical school!)
We currently are supporting 17 Tchadians in nursing and medical school.
We have a program to deworm the entire region of a million people with albendazole.
We have a Burkitts tumor treatment program free of charge.
We have acquired more land for the hospital.
We manage a nutrition center.
In January we will install computerized medical record and physician order entry, the first of its kind in Tchad, which will also generate stock orders. We have already built the wireless network.
We are also starting TV public health and evangelistic programs we will be showing on TVs at our hospital.
We will start drilling wells and expanding the public health project next year.
We have planted a garden and hundreds of fruit trees for the patients.
We have started raising goats and chickens for patients.
We have a dozen church plants we are helping with.
We are helping with a lay evangelism school.
We have received two new 30kva generators.
We have received containers of equipment including oxygen concentrators and various other medical equipment.

Yes, we are tired, in case you were wondering. No, we are not yet burned out.

The reality, however, is many of these projects are just half-finished. We have the outside shells of the buildings, but they are empty inside. The last two Januarys, we had AMAZING teams come and construct all these buildings. The goal was Jamie Parker, our full-time maintenance man, would be able to finish these projects.

Jamie and Tammy left in March and Jamie had back surgery in July. Between health issues, family issues, and the fact they had spent five years on the battlefield, they made the decision to return in November, pack up shop and go home. It’s truly the end of an era. They had accomplished so much in their five years, it’s hard to believe they are only human and there are only two of them. We have been so blessed to have them. We’re grateful to all our volunteers, but there were never harder-working or more productive volunteers than the Parkers. (Incidentally, if anybody has $7000 burning a hole in their pocket, we need some money to buy Jamie’s tools and motorcycle and other items from him.)

I say ‘we’ have done this in the greater sense. Obviously, without God nothing is possible and even if it were, it would all be for naught. Danae and I have very little to do with these things except for providing vision and guidance, recruiting the volunteers to do the job and being blessed with financial and management partners. These things have been accomplished with Maranatha, ASI, One-Day Project, A Better World-Canada, Restore a Child, Gospel Outreach and many individuals who have chosen to be a part of what we do, either by volunteering personally or by participating financially.

To each and every one of you who have used your hands to lift a hammer, sign a check, or fold in prayer for our hospital… A most sincere thank you!!!

And stay tuned for yet another blog very soon to follow!