Last Friday, between cases, I continued the work with the surgical instruments by standardizing the nine hernia trays and due my help and that of Lisa Strawn, Keir now has a better grasp on the contents of all the trays and all the instruments he has in reserve – and the instruments are sharp! It is one of those needed things that just keep getting pushed off when you are by yourself. He is relieved to check that job off. He and I also worked for a few hours to update the Memorandum of Understanding in follow-up of an earlier meeting with the hospital administrator. We now have to get it translated into French and it will be signed. It will be the first MOU under which PAACS will limit its support of the trainees and the hospital will take half of the budget (eased in over five years). I really appreciate Pastor Serge Botouboko here at Bongolo – he is a “big picture” man and strongly supports PAACS even when the new shoes pinch a bit. I will next work on new proposed budgets for Tenwek Hospital and Mbingo Hospital. It was good to get over the first major hurdle.
It was good to be at Bongolo and hear the “Hospital Radio” playing through overhead speakers. They also have specially tuned radios for some patients. The missionary who has been spearheading it (Carolyn Thorson) is going home soon and Micky and I are praying that someone will catch the vision and made this program vibrant and an effective tool for evangelism.
I spent much of last Saturday proctoring the PAACS remediation exam here at Bongolo. Two were required to take it (one passed and one didn’t) and four took it for practice. It was a great chance to catch up on a lot of computer work for PAACS. Over the next few days, the results from other centers came in and the analyses were then sent out, along with a study guide for each resident.
I spent a lot of time getting the 2014 Fall Prayer Guide ready to send – and of course dealing with those who inevitably wait till past the deadline to send in their pictures and information. I tried to send the final 31 megabyte file from Bongolo but the Internet was too slow – I had to wait until I landed at Washington-Dulles to finally get it out (where it literally uploaded in less than 10 seconds after I spent hours in Bongolo). If you would like a printed copy of the Prayer Guide (available after September 1), please let us know at email@example.com. If you the inpatient sort and open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, please download an electronic copy now. Go to http://paacs.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/PAACS-Prayer-guide-2014.pdf. It is about 4 MB, so please be patient.
As always, it was a long trip home, made much longer by five separate attacks of renal colic. I started passing a stone on Saturday night and it made that next several days rather miserable. Still haven’t passed it and I am scheduled for an intravenous pyelogram on Monday. Hope it passes before then. Addis Ababa airport was again very busy and unpleasant experience but we made it smoothly and without any time to spare. The flight westward from Addis Ababa to Washington requires a refueling stop in Rome to have enough fuel to fight the headwinds. It certainly makes it longer. It is good to get home and we are struggling with jet-lag, a stack of mail, a notice from the IRS and the usual.
The time home is busy and short. I am only home for 12 days before I leave again for Malawi, Kenya and Ethiopia. Doctor’s appointments, dental appointments and meetings are on the docket. Sean gets his new braces next week and then starts school again the day before I leave. My ex-wife, Jeri, is undergoing a laparoscopic (hopefully) resection of her gallbladder and a pancreatic mass (benign, hopefully) but it could be a complete resection of the tail of the pancreas and the spleen. That will be on the 6th. Please for her, my children and for the surgical team.
The search committee for the PAACS Executive Director is meeting in Atlanta to interview candidates. That will be August 23. Please pray for them. In the meantime, I am jumping through the hoops to terminate my employment at Methodist University, making sure my health insurance makes the transition and getting signed up over the next few days with my new employer – the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. I will be working a .8 FTE so that I continue some of our other ministries.
Praise and Prayers:
- Praise for the traveling safety.
- Please pray for the passage of the stone.
- Please pray for Jeri’s surgery and for her and our children, no matter what turns up.
- Pray for Sean as he prepares to get braces and also to return to school.
- Praise God for the completion of the 2014 Prayer Guide and pray that it will be used to great effect in the hands of His saints.
- Pray that the Hospital Radio project will take it off, that a new champion will be found and that people will come to Christ through it.
Yours, for the peoples of Africa,
Bruce, Micky and Sean