Make Us One: If there’s one thing you can bring to the Lord in prayer these next few days, it would be a plea for unity. Unity among our missionary team and unity among our hospital team (missionaries and Togolese). Our missionary team is made up of people from all age brackets and from four or five different countries. Likewise our hospital team is a diverse bunch with missionaries and Togolese working together. Even among the Togolese we have many religions represented, different tribes, and people who come from different regions of Togo. Unity among a group like this is not the norm as prejudices and false perceptions exist in large quantities. Tonight our missionary team will begin six nights of listening to and learning from God’s Word taught by a pastor who has come from the States to help with this purpose. Monday through Thursday our hospital team will gather in our unfinished but functioning conference room for staff orientation. This will be a time for some teaching, some fun, and some boring policy and procedure talk. We may be able to limp along as a disjointed team, but WOW wouldn’t it be something if we could shine as a unified team!
Part of our week has been trying to walk through different processes. Here we are having employees arrive to be logged into the computers as if they are patients. This provides experience for those responsible for admitting and processing patients for the clinic.
Eli is being treated for a bad case of cerebral malaria. No, cerebral malaria patients don’t usually look this perky, it’s just pretend. This week in the afternoons the medical staff are teaching nurses and nurse’s aides by running through a number of cases where people of all ages are coming in as patients.
There have been so many that have worked incredibly hard to get this hospital up and running that it would be impossible to list them all at once but I’ll try to introduce you to a few at a time. These three insisted they were not taking a break (they probably deserved a break), rather they said they were having a conference. Mike is one of the nurses from the states. He’s actually an MK (missionary kid) who also served in the US Navy as a nurse. Mike is taking a lot of responsibility for the nurses, their scheduling, and lots more. We couldn’t open this hospital without our 10 short-term (1 to 2 year) nurses. Next is Melissa F. and she is a nurse practitioner who has worked tirelessly organizing the stock rooms, overseeing the nurse’s aids training, and she will also help oversee the clinic where she will be one of the main providers. We’re thankful for Melissa and proud to have her as a long-term part of the HOH team. Michelle is on the right and she is also with us for one year and will be working as a radiology technician. It’s been exciting to see all the people that have landed here in Mango and hear their stories of how they felt led here.
Cloth has been printed with the hospital’s logo on it. Many hospital employees and fellow team members will likely get dresses made from this material to wear to the ceremony on February 26th celebrating the opening of the hospital. This will be a very large event as we are expecting thousands including many dignitaries. While the president of Togo has been invited, we won’t know if he’s coming for sure until very close to the event. Many believe he will be here for the ceremony because it’s an election year. Frankly his arrival will make a busy and hectic day much worse but at the same time it would be a great honor. The US ambassador to Togo will be at the event and some of our ABWE leadership and pastors from the States. So while the big shing-ding is on the 26th of February, the actual opening is scheduled for March 2nd. In the meantime there’s lots to do..
As we looked out our kitchen window we noticed this guy keeping an eye on us in a tree across the driveway.
Aaron’s pet chameleon Cami is shedding some skin.
Woo-hoo!!! The boiler is running (or at least being tested). This is one more step toward being able to open the hospital. Watching the water being blown out the spout is big entertainment. We are so thankful for the people that are here installing a bunch of the high-tech machines.
Tuesday morning library time is now a weekly event for the missionary kids. Today was their first trip to the library which is set up in a rented room in town and has nearly 2,000 books.
Waiting for others to finish selecting books and getting checked out turned out to be a great time to crack open their new books.
I have an office (and a helper). While there remains some things to do on the administration building, we have moved into the office spaces. In the midst of the sorting and unloading containers, and the moving of items from place to place, the hospital is missing some key items. Please pray that we would find these items as we look through all the boxes and containers we can find. Some are important surgery tool, lab supplies, and a disc with our accounting program on it.
This is the administration building. The right half is the office area and it is nearly finished inside. We are moving chairs and desks into the offices today. The left side will be a large meeting area for all-staff meetings and we’ll be holding staff orientation in this room the second week of February.
The girls took the little guys for a walk so that the mom’s could get some things done on campus. We sure love the missionary families that God has planted in this dry corner of the world.
Happy Birthday Melissa and Happy First Birthday Elliott Thomas!
Melissa was super excited that she will from this year on be sharing her birthday with nephew Elliott. Melissa’s sister and family were able to skype with Melissa so that the two could meet. While Elliott has three older sisters, he’s the first boy in the family so he has his work cut out for him.
The word for the day is “harmattan”… (Click on the word to see Wikipedia’s definition)
Aaron got up this morning and said “it looks foggy” and that’s exactly how it looked. Looking toward the water tower and the fence on the other side of the property, things that are normally clear and easily distinguishable were hard to make out. It turns out there are advantages and disadvantages to harmattan season, but so far the advantages seem greater than the disadvantages. Harmattan includes cool winds that (while very dusty) make life here at times seem nearly chilly. Some mornings it is possible to actually wish we had a blanket on the bed and not just a sheet. But while harmattan can drop our temperatures down to the high 60s, it also delivers a fine layer of dust that settles on everything. We don’t have a clothes dryer so despite the fine grit the hospital laundry Melissa did for the Nurse’s Aides class got hung out today. The good news is while temperatures are lower even during strong haramattan days, the humidity is also low so most laundry probably dries in less than 30 minutes.