Praise – Another Precious Young Life Saved

Our patients here at Hopital de Guinebor ll (“G2”) in Chad come from all over Chad and Cameroon. They come from many different ethnic groups and cultures. Most are Muslims from North Chad.

Praise God that He saved another precious young life through the G2 Hospital in Chad.

Achta, this little three-year-old emaciated girl, presented with this huge intra-abdominal mass. Her parents said they noticed it five months ago. It is more likely that is was there at birth as I’m almost certain that it’s a neuroblastoma.

It took almost three hours of hard work in the OR to remove this awful tumor that has been growing all her life and robbing her of normal health and life.

I’m still trying to understand why so many of our patients are brought in only when they’re at death’s door.

This family obviously loves Achta and came up with the surgical fee right away.  This family doesn’t seem poor. In respect to our surgical team, not a bad investment of time and effort, wouldn’t you say?  The family will hear of Jesus, His love for them and His plan to save them. No charge.

Blessings to you in Christ’s name,

Bert and Debbie Continue reading “Praise – Another Precious Young Life Saved”

Remember to Rejoice – Remember Psalms 118:24

“This is the day that the Lord has made.  
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
~ Psalms 118:24

Sunday morning– sitting on our back veranda, enjoying the cool breeze, listening to the birds singing their songs, trees rustling in the breeze, trying not to think how much dust will be coming through the open windows 😳 because of the wind, hearing the kids at the Koranic school reciting their lessons loudly, hearing motorcycles booking it up and down the dirt roads, trucks revving their engines as they are trying to get them going, cars honking, thanking God that our “OK official papers” are finally in hand so that we can drive our car to town after almost 2 weeks of waiting for them and being “compound bound,” but also reflecting on this past week and thinking what will be in store for the upcoming week!

Remembering the challenges and joys of the past week, these two immediately come to mind:

First was accompanying a grieving mother who had lost her baby son during labor because she didn’t come to the hospital and instead labored for 2 days at home. She endured a very difficult delivery without a sound and smilingly thanked us for helping her after the birth!

Not even twenty-four hours later, rejoicing with another family at the birth of their healthy son.

What a contrast just 24 hours apart! It can be such an emotional roller coaster that can’t be fully described!

Questions that often come to mind are: Why did they wait so long to come in with the sick person? Why do they think that cutting a little baby on the belly will take care of a tumor? Why would they refuse blood when the hemoglobin level is 5 (normal 12-16)? How can you watch your child losing weight, looking like a skeleton and still waiting to bring the child in? How can they smile through the pain that they are enduring? The losses? The death all around?

Why…? Why…?

But, more importantly, I have to ask myself how have I impacted their lives — both staff and patients — the people we have come to live among and serve?Remember to rejoice. Remember Psalm 118:24

Have they been able to see the love of Christ through me, through my words, through a gesture like holding a hand, through tears or a smile?

Or are they just seeing frustration or anger?

My prayer is that each day I remember Psalms 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.”

Once again, we want to thank each of you for accompanying us in prayer and your financial contribution. As we are fast approaching Thanksgiving we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

In His Grip,

Debbie and Bert

Praise God We Can Help Children Like Khadidja

Praise God for this little girlThis little girl, Khadidja, an Arab, has been in and out of hospitals since birth.

She’s cried a lot, undergone many tests and treatments, but has never improved. Over the years, she’s continued to cry in pain.

Finally, she got old enough to tell her parents that she had pain in her lower abdomen when she urinated and at other times as well.

When I (Bert) examined her, she was in pain and crying.

I was pleased not to see terrible scars of the skin over her bladder area because that indicated they had likely not been to a traditional healer. These healers often burn the skin or make many cuts over the area that hurts. Obviously, this causes even more suffering for these children.

I ordered an ultrasound of the bladder and found a large stone.

In mid-September, we removed the stones–one large stone–in an operation that took less than an hour.

img_0706img_0705Hopefully, Khadidja’s suffering is finally over.

I’ve removed many such stones in children as well as adults over the years. In fact, since Khadidja’s surgery, I performed the same surgery on another child. 

The cause has been attributed to calcium filled water, chronic dehydration, a genetic disorder, or a combination of all of these.

This condition can lead to kidney failure and death.

I thank God that He has put us here and equipped us with the knowledge and skills and infrastructure to help these little children.

Please pray for us and for the international team at Guinebor ll  as we seek to advance the Lord’s work here among five unreached people groups.

Thanks and blessings,

Bert and Debbie Continue reading “Praise God We Can Help Children Like Khadidja”

Settled into Life in Chad

Bert & Debbie Arrive in ChadIn some moments of life, time can seem like a runaway train yet at others, just as slow as molasses on a January day!  

For us the last seven weeks, time has been running like a runaway train!   

We left the States on June 6th, arriving on the 7th in N’Djamena, Chad with all nine pieces of luggage.  

Our first day at Guinebor 2 Hospital compound was spent resting, starting to settle into our home, unpacking suitcases, shopping and greeting old and new friends.

The next two days were busy with the handing over, with Bert and I reviewing hospital related documents, getting debriefed, visiting various officials and meeting the staff.   

On Friday the handing over was complete, and Bert started taking call.

Joel, our son, arrived on Sunday. He was so happy to be back on the continent of his birth.

His goals were to see the medical work that we’re involved in, assist in any way he could while getting some medical experience, especially surgical experience, as he will be attending Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

His dream is to be become a surgeon.  Even as a 4-year-old child being pushed on the swing by Bert, he looked up at the pinks and blues represented in a beautiful sunset and exclaimed, “Dad, it looks like arteries and veins!”

Bert & Joel Oubre operateJoel’s time was spent in the operating room, assisting Bert and Kalbassou, as often as possible, as they operated.

His month in Chad seemed to fly by, and before we knew it, he was back to America, moving down to Louisiana and ready to start medical school on August 1st.  

Bert and I have settled into life in Chad.

Everyone asks about the heat- yes, it was quite hot and humid the first week, but with the rains, things have cooled down.  We’re so grateful for the fans powered by our solar energy.  

Bert has been busy in surgery with up to eight surgeries several times a week, consulting in the outpatient department, rounds, meetings, corresponding and trying to improve patient care.   

As for me, I keep busy with keeping the house going, getting our compound guesthouse ready for visitors, working in maternity, teaching, and helping out in any way that I can.   

Thanks again for all your prayers and support.  

We miss our families and friends but know that we are excited about being a part of God’s work in this part of the world!????

In His Hands,

Bert and Debbie

The Time Came

Go Therefore And I Am With You

The time came. Bert and Debbie are off.

I’m Jean Wilund, one of their friends helping them with their blog.

I’m sending out this update to let you know they’ve finished their packing, accomplished last minute things, visited friends one more time, and said their goodbyes.

Then they took off for Chad.

Look forward to updates from Debbie as soon as she can. Much to do!

Thanks for your continued prayers and faithful encouragement.

Please forgive duplicate blog posts as we work to get this blog up and running properly. (I, Jean, am an eager helper, but unskilled webdesigner. Ha!) Continue reading “The Time Came”

The Time Has Come

Go Therefore And I Am With You

The time has come.

Time to finish the packing, get the last minute things, see friends one more time, and say goodbyes! Even though we’ve done this many times, it doesn’t get any easier but we’re ready to go and start this new chapter in our lives.

We’ll be hitting the ground running — the handing over of the hospital over 3 days, meeting with officials, Bert being on call 24/7 starting Friday, looking for a car to buy, setting up the house and getting reacquainted with life in Africa. But God will see us through the many transitions. Of that we have assurance!

Joel will be joining us a week after we arrive for a month, and we’re looking forward to having him with us for that time. He’s excited about working side-by-side with us in the medical work, especially in the operating room, as his goal is to be a surgeon.

Thanks for your continued prayers and faithful encouragement. Continue reading “The Time Has Come”