Life with PAACS has been busy with the boring but vital duties. In additional to the usual, three primary basic science exams were administered and analyzed; three annual PAACS exams were brought to the finished rough draft status and both Micky and I have remained busy in our attempts to coordinate the construction of the next year’s budget. I will fly to Chicago at the end of the month for a one day of meetings with the Executive Director of PAACS to work on the administrative part of the budget. I will also fly to Kalamazoo next week to meet with Ed Bos and the new programming team for the Worldwide Lab Improvement software that contains our PAACS case log module – we have to create some new reporting that will meet the new College of Surgery of East, Central and Western Africa (COSECSA) requirements.
We have also been both getting ready for the CMDA-CMDE conference in Greece next month. I have written my lectures for Greece but not yet created my PowerPoints. Micky is working with Carol Bos of Worldwide Lab Improvement to put together a new on-site fee collection system that they will try out for the first time in Greece.
The evening was made extra-special by a reunion with Jeromy and Jennifer Deibler and their children. Those two were part of the chart-topping Christian music group FFH. Jeromy is now the music and worship leader of the 400 member Journey Church in Irvine. They still do some concert work but gave up the 200+ days of travel per year when they moved to S. Africa in 2007. They have a boy 12 years old and a girl 8 years old. We had first met Jeromy when he was 17 and unmarried – the fledgling 4 man-group had visited our church in 1993 and we became friends, giving them counsel along the way and keeping in touch. However, we had last seen them in 2008 when they sang for a Friends of PAACS banquet in Louisville. It was a wonderful time together. We are thrilled that Jeromy’s multiple sclerosis remains in remission after some trial therapy several years ago.
Our next big event is the CMDA-CMDE conference to be held in Marathon, Greece. Over 700 missionaries and faculty members will gather for the 10 days of continuing medical and dental education. Due to an unexpected financial crisis at the first hotel, the Commission had to look for an alternative site in a very short time period. A couple of the members of the CMDA-CMDE commission along with our Greek contact did a yeoman’s job and the transition was made with what we hope will be little in the way of problems. The spiritual life speaker is a pastor from Kalamazoo, Michigan and we have no doubt it will be a great time. Our family had hoped to do a tour of the sites in Asia Minor associated with Paul’s ministry (we did one in Greece last time) but Sean’s need to write a national exam interfered with those dreams.
Sean will soon overtake Bruce in height and he can’t wait. He continues his internet-based homes-schooling and we are making arrangements for him to take driver’s training this summer (gulp!). He is already lined up for a youth-group week-long camp at Liberty University this summer, too. We won’t be traveling as much this summer as usual because of the need to spend time with the newly appointed CMO, Dr. Keir Thelander. My next trips out of country are tentatively scheduled for two weeks in August and two weeks in September (a part of the LLU accreditation process). Micky and Sean won’t be leaving the country until January, 2017 unless our plans change.
S3 Ministries: We have put in an order for two more trays of instruments (exact destination uncertain) and another rigid bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy set for Mbingo Baptist Hospital. The exchange rates are presently favorable and the bronchoscopy tray will only be $11,800. The smaller instrument trays are $2,500 each. If you would like to help with those life-saving purchases, please send a check to S3 Ministries, PO Box 300, Linden, NC 28356 and indicate on a separate piece of paper for which purpose you would like the money to be used.