The fourth and fifth year PAACS residents are invited to this conference each year. They will enter their scientific papers in a poster session. Five will be selected from that group to be in a juried competition. Unfortunately, the usual nonsense about visas has again raised its ugly head and three of the sixteen were not able to get visas for totally unfathomable reasons (at least if you don’t consider the need to pay a bribe that we won’t do). We are sorry for their disappointment. Most of the PAACS surgical faculty will be there and it will be a great time of fellowship.
At one point, we had hoped to go to Turkey after the conference and see some of the other sites related to the early church. Unfortunately, Sean’s national exams precluded that and so we were disappointed to have to cancel those plans. However, two days ago, they announced that all expatriates are being evacuated from Turkey because of terrorism. Guess that maybe God knew what He was doing all along.
During the last two weeks of boring-to-relate-or-even-think-about administrative work, Bruce has made two flying trips to the Midwest in the past two weeks. The first was a visit to Worldwide Lab Improvement as the guest of Ed and Carol Bos to meet the new programmers for the PAACS software module and to look over the computer system that Carol and Micky will be using in Greece. We will sell the two laptops in Greece to PAACS residents – it is a win-win. The residents get a good laptop at a cheaper price than Africa, CMDA-CMDE ends up spending only a little and avoids the depreciation of equipment that won’t be used and we don’t have to carry it back and store it. Ed and I are polishing up the instruction manual and will be meeting in Greece with anyone from PAACS with questions or in need of training. The programmers are working on the reporting function of the software and to make sure that the reports merge with the College of Surgery of East Central and Southern Africa’s new reporting system.
Earlier this week, on the 28th, he spent a very long day (3:00 AM to 11:15 PM) flying to and from Chicago to meet with Susan Koshy. They went over the new budget for next year. Bruce is still awaiting the reports from the program directors but this meeting was valuable for planning for the administrative functions for next year.
Last month, we told you of our order for two more trays of instruments and another rigid bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy set for Mbingo Baptist Hospital. 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.
Earlier this week, we met with our accountant to sign our taxes before we left the country and received a very bad surprise. We had to take out some money from our IRAs for the first time (one of the joys of Bruce’s advancing age!) and there was confusion with our financial agent about from which accounts it was to have been taken. All that to say that to suddenly find out you owe a third of a year’s income more in taxes was a shock. We were able to undo some things but still were hit with half of the bill. Thank God that we serve Jehovah-Jireh and here is another chance for him to do His thing.
Easter weekend was eventful. Little Auggie, our grandson, turned one year old on Saturday and enjoyed his birthday celebration and cake. His Aunt Bethany and Grandmother Jeri (Gigi) had flown out to celebrate and Bethany was stretched when she was conscripted to decorate the cake. Back in NC, Micky and I met my second cousin twice removed (only in the South do we give that kind of detail) and her husband for dinner. It was an enjoyable time together and rural NC is beautiful this time of year with the dogwood, Bradford pears, redbuds, wisteria and azaleas. On Sunday, we joined my sister and her family in Wake Forest for an old fashioned Easter dinner. Ryan and Chrissy joined us, too.
Praise and Prayer:
- Please pray for traveling safety for all the missionaries and for the safety of the conference itself in this world of active terrorism.
- Pray that the missionaries will come away refreshed, rejuvenated and spiritually comforted.
- Praise God for little Auggie and we thank Him for the joy that has come into our lives.