It is time for another installment of life in Congo. Day after day, there doesn’t seem a lot of new things to write about….but after a month there is usually a theme that has developed. The theme of this past month is “machines breakdown.”
Broken Machines & Rains
As our son Emmanuel says so often…it’s broken, so too are many things in the hospital. This past week the digital x-ray system stopped functioning, the autoclave has an irreparable crack, and the hospital generator for the operating theater/ICU is out of order! Yes, that is right. These are really important resources that allow us to have sterile instruments, have oxygen, and really use anything electronic. There is a lot of troubleshooting going on, local mechanics consulted, and getting by the best we can. We have come to depend on these resources heavily. Warren has been operating on machines more than people lately. Please pray for the hospital as we do the best we can each day to find solutions and have limited solar power due to the rains.
That leads me to the other theme of the month: RAIN!!! If you didn’t know, Congo is the second largest rainforest in the world (after the Amazon)… “gorillas in the mist.” A tropical climate, it rains a lot here. Everything grows like crazy, including weeds. We have planted crops this season: corn, soybeans, beans, and peanuts in addition to vegetables. So far the fields seem to be producing well and our gardener is busy. It really is a blessing to be able to grow crops. This is the blessing of rainy season…although we miss the sunny days.
Emmanuel has been catching butterflies in his fingers. He is really oblivious to where he is going, he just follows them from flower to flower. I find him all over the place. I may need to put either a cowbell or a GPS tracker on him. He is becoming so creative with his drawings and sculptures in clay. We are amazed at his progress in French these last few months. It is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done, becoming a mom.
See the bus in the middle? All our family and friends are inside.
Warren had a near miss with a forest cobra snake last week. He was cutting up some dry wood from a felled tree for our pizza oven. He detected the snake about two meters away at the level of his head. He very quickly backed up, calling for a stick, and the snake slithered away. I was at the hospital and heard that aftermath. We rarely see snakes…so glad for that. This serves as a reminder that they live here. On a different note, Warren also completed work on a beautiful pizza oven. You can stoke
the fire to >700degrees and bake right on the tile floor.
Now our outdoor kitchen is complete.
I (Lindsey) broke a record for writing for the most transfusions in one day. On Monday I wrote for 14 transfusions…all kids with severe malaria! Perhaps all the mosquitos came out in large numbers on the same day. Of the 14 kids, 11 received blood the same day! Two children died before they could receive blood and the third received blood first thing the next morning. I am really hoping that the malaria vaccine which is currently undergoing trials will be effective, at least to decrease the number of severe cases. Until there is an effective vaccine I will continue to take malaria prophylaxis. I actually convinced my husband to start prophylaxis after his second episode of malaria in a month. Malaria really does take you “out of commission.” It is lost work and family time and can be really dangerous (especially virulent here). In the kitchen Lindsey is experimenting with new recipes for fruit crisps: mango, apple, rhubarb and learning new uses for beans and coconut.
Well that is the news from Nyankunde!
· We ask for your prayers as we troubleshoot many challenges on a daily basis. Pray in particular for all the technical challenges.
· For those who are following the story of the long-awaited medication called tacrolimus, continue to pray for Jemima’s healing from nephrotic syndrome as takes this medication. She seems to be responding well, praise God!
· Pray that God would continue to use this hospital to bring healing and wholeness to people’s lives. Pray for a clear witness of the Gospel.
· Pray for the safe arrival of our friends visiting for the next month from central Congo.
Lindsey for the Coopers