Change of Seasons on the Sahel (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Though it is not unique to have an abrupt change from wet to dry season, I always am impressed by this.

I had the opportunity to see the lush green grass on campus and in our field when I arrived one week ago. I also experienced probably the last rain here for six or seven months five days ago.

This bit of green within 2-3  days is sure to become beige.

The Shade Trees Are Growing!

This structure is a shipping container transformed into a staff change room with separation of men and women area. It is adjacent to another container that has a triple role:

– Our staff meeting room
– Morning prayer Chapel
– Physical therapy dept

The shrub/trees are what I would like to bring attention to at the end of this structure. They were planted less than a year ago to shade the “buildings.” They are growing rapidly on the west end already doing their job!

PTL for these amazing plants!
Bert

Five Countries. One Dinner.

The multinational nature of CEF is one aspect of this ministry that we love. Sharing a meal at the G2 guesthouse in the photo above are citizens of five countries (Germany, Belgium, UK, USA, and Switzerland).

Bert and Debbie are American-Swiss. The gentleman,  Dr. John Allen, is British and is serving for two months as a surgeon. He is serving with BMS UK. The lady to his right is Antonie, an experienced German nurse and to his left, Manon, a young Belgian midwife. They serve with Humedica, a Christian organization in Germany. Debbie Oubre is seated opposite them.

We’re Back!

Debbie and I are back in Chad!

All my flights went well. I even tolerated the ten hour Paris layover reasonably well. All baggage arrived and it appears nothing was stolen.

I met Antonia, a volunteer nurse from Germany, and Manon, a Belgian midwife, who will serve with us at G2 for several weeks, at the airport as we were on the same Air France Paris to N’Djamena flight. I was able to help them get through passport control and security and claim their baggage. We all brought medical supplies so we rejoiced that everything arrived in Chad.

This is the North 13 acres. It’s under development, and we have built the third guest house, new maternity and new surgical center on this property. Still much is prairie. The six goats of 2017 were not able to control the weeds then. Neither have the 33 goats of 2018. Do we need to try 100 goats!

We’ve sold several goats and will eventually sell the herd and give proceeds to the Poor Fund that helps poor patients pay their medical bills.

After over three months absence from here I can really appreciate growth of the Neem trees. When we started this project there was not even one tree on this property.

All the grass will die soon and the color of the scenery will change to shades of beige. The trees now provide much-needed shade for the residential area. Likewise for the larger trees at the hospital. These trees, flowering bushes, and green grass are a relief from the monotonous tan of the dry season.

We are experiencing sentiments of appreciation and gratitude for the work of our great Creator God! We praise Him for this!

Thanks to those of you who are supporting this ministry!
Bert

 

Land Offered by the Chief of Guinebor ll for a Christian School

Chief Djibrine, the chief of Guinebor II, is a Muslim, but he has heard the gospel multiple times. We’ve been friends for 15 years.

He and the other village leaders now welcome Christians, at least partly because of the positive testimony of the hospital.

He’s offered us land to build a Christian school.

Blessings,
Bert

Praying for Patients

Every Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. our G2 team gathers to pray for every patient in the hospital.

Most team members are Chadian.

In the photo below, we also had believers from Cameroon, the UK, Egypt, and the USA.

On the far right is Dr. Mina, a dentist from Egypt serving with DWAM
On the far left is Kalbassou Doubassou

Kalbassou Doubassou (far left in the photo above) will serve as the hospital director after we leave for ten weeks home assignment. We’ve known Kalbassou for 25 years. 

Influx of Patients, Exodus of Missionaries, All is Well

April was busy with 142 operations.

May brings many changes to the staff:

Emily (SIM-France) and  Dr. Schüle (Anesthesiologist from Germany) and family have left.

Bill Wright (USA) left May 6th.

Elise Grange, Physical Therapy, (SIM France) leaves May 8th. The PT dept she started is running well with Chadian staff.

Martin and Elaine Harrison are doing a great job in accounting and management. They leave May 11th.

Melanie, an independent nurse from Sweden, has helped a lot. She leaves May 18th.

Dr. Mina (Doctors With a Mission) the Egyptian dentist, has started the dental clinic. He leaves May 27th.

Debbie and I (CEF – USA) leave May 27th.

Many leaving. Almost everyone wants to return.

The new surgical center will be dedicated to the Lord this week. We will finally be able to do more than one operation at the same time.

Please continue to pray for another surgeon and expat administrator.

Blessings,
Bert

More Extreme Medical Cases

Surgeons can practice in the US or UK all their career and never see such extreme pathology.

The photo below is of two fibroids that had essentially replaced the uterus.

Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus and one of the most common reasons hysterectomies are needed.

(Warning for the squeamish, from Jean, the blog manager: The photos below are not lovely and contain blood and internal organs — stuff only God and doctors usually see. Certainly not blog managers.)

Surgeons can practice in the US or UK all their career and never see such extreme pathology.

The smaller, lighter colored fibroid is the size of a large navel orange. It was attached to the larger redder one.

The larger fibroid was the size of a large Ruby Red grapefruit.

The huge spleen that I recently removed almost filled this same basin. (See below)

Speaking of that case, my advice is not to program a mega splenectomy with a challenging nephrectomy and three other cases including a missionary with a hernia in the same day.  (Interesting note, the woman with the splenectomy offered me ten camels.)

 

 

 

Our patients are very appreciative for such surgery. We are privileged to be in a position to give them hope again.

We tell them that Jesus sent us because He loves them.

Almost all my patients now are much younger than I am and some of them understand that such cases take a lot out of me. They call me “Papa”.

Blessings,
Bert