Before I left Malamulo Sunday morning, I inspected the new duplex for the resident housing. One side will be in open in a week or two; the other may take a bit longer. We also looked at the plot of land where they plan to build at least three more duplexes. The building of housing is one of the larger demands on a hospital’s financial input into the training programs. Ed Bos continued training staff on the new computer system
Dr. Hayton drove me into town about noon and I caught the plane at Blantyre, flying to Addis Ababa and then back to Nairobi. We didn’t arrive until 2:20 AM Monday morning and there I faced a chaotic situation as they tried to force people through a makeshift screening process for Ebola. One had to fill out a full page of information and answer questions about any symptoms before they took a forehead temperature scan. It wasn’t well laid out and there was a lot of jockeying for position and trying to find a place to write on. Not sure I was convinced of its effectiveness but it is a sign of everyone’s nervousness about this horrific disease.
Not getting to the hotel and in bed until 3:30, I was very pleased to be awakened at 6:30 by a noise at my window – there was a monkey climbing on it! The noise from outside and the other guests made it difficult to return to sleep, so I got up and went to eat. However, there was a whole convention of pastors at the same hotel and the breakfast bar looked like it had been ravaged.
I picked up two new traveling companions that morning. The Good Shepherd’s Hospital near Kananga, DRC is interested in beginning a PAACS program. Dr. John Fletcher and Mr. Jack Muthui had come to look at Tenwek and Kijabe after our plans to have them visit Bongolo while we were there in July fell through. John, a MK, has been at the hospital for the majority of the time since 1990 and is now the sole expatriate. While it once had a fair number of specialties represented by expatriate missionaries, the civil unrest in 1991 caused a mass exodus and only a couple returned. Only John stayed. Jack is a Kenyan with a background of hospital administration, once running the CURE hospital at Kijabe and now working as the African regional representative of the Medical Benevolence Foundation, a Presbyterian aid agency. I rode with them across the Rift Valley and we had a good conversation, the first of many over the next here days, about PAACS and what it took to start a program.
Carol Spears, the acting Program Director, had a fully-packed schedule arranged for me. The very first meeting was the study of the spiritual curriculum. They are doing an inductive study of the book of John and it was a real blessing to see these 14 residents and faculty studying together. That evening, she had arranged a social evening. There was a good meal and the entire evening was one of laughter and bonhomie. I enjoyed meeting the residents and faculty I hadn’t met before and a good time was had by all.
I participated in rounds, morbidity and mortality conferences and mock oral examinations but spent most of the time in one on one interviews with the faculty and residents. With the latter group, I got caught up on their lives and plans. Like all of our residents in each program, they are an outstanding group of young Christians. I challenged them to consider placement in mission hospitals and PAACS programs when they were finished and then also challenged them to speak about Christ with at least one patient each day. It was a blessed time but with 14 residents and the entire faculty, it was spread over three days. Carol Spears and I also talked to the CEO, Mr. Geofrey Langat, about the PAACS Commission mandated cap on the contributions we can make. That was a bit uncomfortable but a critical step for sustainability of both PAACS and the program in Kenya.
Saturday was a bit more relaxing with a few meetings and then a wonderful night at the home of Erik Hansen, the pediatric surgeon.
Tomorrow, I meet with Dr. Jon Fielder of the African Health Missions Foundation, one of PAACS’ larger supporters, at Brackenhurst and then we will drive into Nairobi. I leave in the middle of the night to catch a very early plane Monday morning to Addis Ababa and will drive to Soddo Christian Hospital from there.
Praise and Prayers:
- Praise for the traveling safety for me as I go to Ethiopia tomorrow and for protection for Sean and Micky while we are apart.
- Pray that I will be open, receptive and wise in all my interactions and meetings for PAACS in Ethiopia.
- Please continue to pray for the back spasm to go away – it is slowly improving.
- Praise that Jeri Steffes’ pathology was favorable and they feel the risk of recurrence in only 10%. Still pray for a complete cure.
Yours, for the peoples of Africa, Bruce for Micky and Sean