Friday, 26 December 2008

Merry Christmas








Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you have enjoyed your Christmas day. We had a Christmas service at Bethel Bible School which is where our Sunday church services are held. The Malian Church designs a Christmas cloth every year and they have outfits made to ware on Christmas day which you see in the photo of our family and Yaya's family. We employ Yaya to help us around the house and for just helping us with malian life. This gives him a good living for here and it is a way we can help him and his family have a better life. Back to the service. The service started at 9:30 and we left there at 12:00 noon. Quite a long service. After the service we had lunch with the Bible professors and their families. It was a fun time of fellowship with the missionaries, professors, and their families. The President's name of the bible school is Daniel Jollo. I think his last name ought to be Jolly. His joy and laughter is contageous. We had a great time listening to his stories of coming to the US to visit and raise money for the Bible school. With him living here in Mali, he has not seen or experienced a lot of things that are in the US like fast food, escelators, credit cards and the like. It was fun just listening to his experiences and his view on what life appears to be like in the states. For lunch we had kooskoos, chicken sause, chicken parts, deep fried bananas, and french fries all prepared over an open fire. They cook all their food over a fire outside because they don't have stoves or ranges. There are a lot of things we take for granted that they do not have or have even experienced. We have be so bless with ease of living. We didn't realize what we had until we moved here. We have loved seeing the joy these Christians have! We have a lot to learn about joyful living despite our conditions or external things. They have very little and still are joyful because of the hope they have in Jesus Christ. What a blessing it has been to interact with them. Keep the Christians in your prayer. They face great difficulty in just living and interacting with a 98% muslim country. We thank all of you for your prayers for us. They have been greatly felt.
The picture of Jeffrey on the motorcycle is taken on the way to the hospital from our house. Notice the cows in the background. We swerve around all kinds of animals here everywhere we go. It can get quite fun.
Have a great New Year!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Grill time!




Things are going well at the Hospital. We are making cinder blocks for the making of the third phase of the hospital. As you can tell, all the block are hand made here on sight by the Malians. They have been making block for two months now and have 21,000 blocks ready to be laid for the walls and foundation. The last phase is composed of three buildings side by side just down from the pharmacy and warehouse. Ground breaking is set for January for the first of the three buildings.
Here in the Wenger house, we have been getting ready for Christmas and having Christmas parties with the other missionaries. Today we have a party for the hospital staff. They are all looking forward to it. Last Sunday, we grilled pork chops and this is the picture of Jeffrey helping me. Pray with us that the internet gets more stable here. We have spent most of the week without internet which makes it hard to get schooling done and have communication with the outside world. This week I worked on a pasturizer for hospital instruments and I needed to order a part but the internet was down and I could not communicate with the parts supply house. That can get frustrating. God is in control and He doesn't need the internet to get His will done. I need to keep this in mind when I can't get the stuff done that I think I ought to.
We want to thank you all for your support. Keep praying for us as we adjust to life here. God's Blessings to you all.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Ultra-sound in the Villages






The journey to the village on Saturday went well. We started out at 7:00 am and we were at the village by 8:30 am. The road going to there was a little bumpy and full of holes. We would be traveling at 45 mph and then have to hit the breaks for the hole and slow down to 5-10 mph. Traveling here can be fun with all the obstacles. Once we got there, we set up the ladder and got to work. We welded a solar panel on the roof of the clinic and ran wires down to the controller, inverter, and battery. Anco has set up his Toyota Land Cruiser as a mobile workshop. He has an inverter system in it to run 120 and 240 volt power tools, welders, or whatever takes electric. It is run off of the 6 cylinder diesel engine that powers the Land Cruiser. It is a great set up for repairs to the six clinics throughout Mali. We would like to raise enough money to buy another Land Cruiser and set it up in the same manor. The ultimate goal is to train a Malian in solar power and other maintenance items like plumbing and send him to the six clinics for repair and new installations. Pray with us that we can do this. The clinics are in such disrepair that we need to spend a lot of time and money on them. They have been neglected for such a long time. For these villages, it is the only health care they have and run on a shoe string budget. The nurse in this clinic has already been trained on the ultra-sound machine and it will be put to use as soon as the first lady shows up in need. If you look at the second picture down, you will see a 12 volt solar powered light used for medical inspections. Not quite up to U.S. standards is it? There is so much I could tell you about these clinics and their needs. If they are of interest to you, please email me or call me and I will fill you in more. Keep praying for these Malian nurses that God would give them the wisdom and strength to handle the needs of these clinics. This one clinic has evangelized this whole village and most have come to Christ because of the faithfullnes of the Missionaries and Nurses here. Have a blessed day and Worship the King!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Village travel

On Saturday, Dan, Anco, and I will be traveling to a village to set up a small solar electric system for a portable ultrasound machine. The village itself does not have any electric or running water. Dan wants to get an ultrasound machine going for the dispensary there so the midwife can see if there are any obvious problems during a woman's pregnancy and can get them to the hospital for a more intensive exam and diagnosis. Dan can then address the problems and come up with a solution. We hope and pray that this will save both the lives of the babies and the mothers. Anco has his truck set up with an inverter and batteries that are charged with the truck's alternator so we can use power tools with electric provided by the truck. The electrical system is large enough that we can even run a small MIG welder. We are planning to be done in one day. Pray that everything goes well and safely. I will post pictures and more of the story after the job is complete. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Demo!



On Friday, Jordan and I worked at the Bonvillain's new house and broke out the existing kitchen cabinets with a sledge hammer. The Malians build everything out of concrete and block whenever possible because the termites eat all the wood. The "hardware store" now carries termite treatment so we are going to install wood cabinets and counter tops in their new house. This is a picture of the mess. On Saturday, my family when to Jaja's house for lunch. Jaja is our house help and he helps us get along here in Koutiala. We ate outside and had rice with a meat and cabbage sauce that we ate with our hands. It was the first time the boys had to eat with their hand and not get in trouble. We hope you have a great Sunday. God Bless

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Solar Power




Yesterday, a few guys from Koutiala, three of the Bible professors from Bethel, went to this village to see a solar electric system donated by a Dutch company. The materials alone were 1.5 million dollars. There were 600 solar panels that cost 600 dollars a piece. They had 260,000 dollars in batteries alone! One of the reasons we wanted to see this system is Anco, a Dutch missionary with our mission, has set up a solar system out at Bethel Bible College here in Koutiala so they can have electric without running an expensive diesel generator. The cost of running the generator is half of the annual budget. If we can get the cost of electric down, they can have more students which means they can train more Malian pastors for the villages. We already have a system in place that feeds the radio station there 24/7 with no external power sources and the rest of the campus runs half the time on solar and half on generator. We were wanting some ideas on building the rest of the system so we thought that this place was a great place to get those ideas. The solar power is obviously free but there are maintenence costs, but these will be a lot less expensive than running a generator and without relying on buying diesel. We would like to be 100% solar within a year but the funds are not coming in like Anco had planned. Anco has contacted some business in Holland and have received a small shipment of panels. Praise God! He will provide. Please keep Bethel in your prayers. They are future pastors of the country. We need their leadership to reach this country for Christ. Have a great day. As a little side note for those of you from Springfield Ohio. The control housing for the solar system was made by the Rittal Corp. in Springfield! Small world Huh?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

We thank God for Flashlights!

Last night I was with Dan Nesselroade in the OR watching him do a hernia surgery when the power went out. I pulled out my LED flashlight and Dan continued under flashlight power until the generator came on. Out here, you always have to have a flashlight and pocket knife for something. Everyone makes fun of Dan and I for being obsessed with flashlights but we get the last laugh. Ha Ha. Have a great day and thanks for the prayers.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thanksgiving





As you can see it is now cool season. Ed Bonvillain has switched over to the "urban" look to ride the motorcycle in to the hospital in the mornings. I have put my motorcycle back together and this is what it looks like when I go to the hospital. It is going to be great transportation for me with the carrying capabilities it has. On Friday we had our Thanksgiving festivities with lots of food and the game cornhole. It was good to spend time with other missionaries that we don't get to otherwise. We have so much to be thankful for. When I look at the suffering that a lot of other people endure, I can't help but think the things that I "suffer" for are pretty much non-existent. God has given each one of us so much in suffering of His Son, we each can have an eternity with Him. Let us be Thankful!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Laperoscopy hook up




What an exciting day! Yesterday and today Dan, Ed, and I worked on hooking up all the pieces of the Laperoscopy machine. Today was the test run on a goat in the OR. Where else but Africa?!! Instead of using CO2, we are using a Craftsman air compressor with the compressed air running through a water and oil filter to clean up the air before going into the machine. The final product worked great with only a few minor glitches. Tonight I have to work on a couple of the instruments that are used in the cauterization process which should be no problem. By the way, the goat is doing fine.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Chameleon and Container




We have set up some of our stuff from the container in our house now and have enjoyed using some of our things we have sent. This is what the container looks like when it arrived. This is also the first time that we have used the loading dock at the warehouse and it worked great. It made unloading so much easier and faster. Nobody got injured!! Praise God. We have not killed our chameleon yet. He (or she) is doing good. Today after church we have invited a Muslim guy over for lunch and to talk. Since our French is not very good, we have also invited friends of our over also that speak French to help translate when, not if, we have trouble communicating. We pray that things will go well. Hope you have a great day.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Container

We received the container today at the hospital. It is a real blessing. We finished unloading it at 6:00 pm. It has been a long day. We are also trying to raise a chameleon that we got in the market yesterday. I hope we don't kill it. We have to let it out of its cage so it can eat bugs and get water from the leaves it crawls on. Oh Boy! I will get some pictures of it tomorrow and post them. Stay warm. We are.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Mosquitos


For the last couple of days we have noticed that the boys have had mosquito bites on their arms in the morning. We decided to put up a net over top of them tonight. I really do not want the boys to get malaria especially after what we saw with the little Malian boy. Here is a picture of them playing in the "tent". Just living life can be an adventure out here we have found out. The boys are going to a Survivor birthday party this weekend for Emma Nesselroade. They don't have to go far to find the bush!!! I have been working with Jordan Stull to figure out a kitchen plan for the Bonvillain's new house. We are doing a house switch-a-roo between some missionaries to make room for a school house. I hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Clinic in the Village





On Sat., there were some people from the hospital and church that went out into one of the villages to put on a women's health clinic and show a Malian movie to show them about Christ. The doctors used a school building as the clinic and the school desks as exam tables as you can see Dr. Dan in one of the pictures. There were three Doctors including Dan Nesselroade, Malian nurses, pharmacist, pharmacist assistants (Ed and I), and three Malian pastors. The love of Christ that was shown to these woman was incredible. There is a new church in this village that started a year ago and now there are 60 converts to Christ. That is unheard of in Mali. They are not typically receptive to the Gospel. God is doing an incredible work through the hospital and through the Malian Pastors. At the movie, which was at 7:00 and lasted three hours, there were about 200 villagers. The message that was given at the end of the movie was very powerful. Lives will be changed because of the obedience of these people to minister to the villages. I can't stress enough that God is moving mightily in and around Koutiala. I took some pictures but, I can only post a few. If you want, you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it and this will give you a clearer picture. Keep praying for these people.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Our Orientation in Mali



For the last two days we have been involved in Orientation class for new missionaries. We learned things like what to wear and not to wear (which is a HOT topic), how to cook with the things found in Koutiala, history of Mali, and things like that. We had a meal at one of the Malian's house and had the traditional food made up of toe with okra sauce and rice with a pork and veg. sauce. Here are a couple of pictures of the meal. As you can see, we eat with our hands and not table ware. Yes, it is messy. On a different note, I am going out into the bush to a small village this afternoon with Dan Nesselroade, Ed Bonvillian and a Malian Pastor to put on a health clinic and show the "Jesus" film. Pray that they are receptive to the Gospel. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Finally, an Angela update



Angela's day starts out on the road running. She gets up and throws on a "running skirt" and runs up towards the bible school down the main road to Bamako. She gets all kinds of looks. The Malians don't understand doing exercise. Life is so hard and physically difficult that they typically do not need to do any extra exercise unless of course it is soccer. She home schools the boys in the morning and prepares supper in the afternoon. In her free time, she keeps up on her emails and facebook. Here are a couple of pictures of her in action. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Angela update comming soon!


I am going to be giving an update on Angela here soon. I need to take some pictures of her in Action before I post it. I do have a picture of Jeffrey up in his friend Noah's tree house. This is for Jeffrey's friends. He has been having fun with his new friend making mud balls, swimming in the pool and playing in the tree house. He misses all friends! Keep praying for him.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sunday church


Today is Sunday and we went to Church at the Koutiala Bible School Church. I took a little video of the Youth Choir while they were singing. Those of you that have been here, this will bring back some memories. The service today was in English and Bamada. There is a work team here and the head pastor came along to work, teach and preach. So, he gave the measage today. The picture of the kid and donkey were taken at church also. I believe that he rode it to church but, I didn't ask.

The weather today is perfect. It was cool this morning and only in the low 90's this afternoon with almost no humidity. We are going to go exploring here in a little bit to find a good place to hike and ride bike and moto. We hope to see some wildlife. Have a great day and God bless.
video

Friday, 7 November 2008

Welding




Today I was welding at the hospital. The malian welder that welds all the roof trusses in place came down w/ malaria and had to go home. So, I spent all day welding out on the roof trusses for the new pharmacy and warehouse. It was in the upper 90's and was a little warm. I am ready to relax in the shade the rest of the evening. Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

First orthopedics


One day at the Hospital, I was working with Bob the Builder (my boss) and a telephone call came in to my cell phone and asked us to come to the birthing room. Bob and I went and we were met there by Olive Gifford. They had delivered a baby that was breech and broke its arm in the process. The nurses wanted us to make a brace to keep the arm, shoulder, and elbow from moving so it could heal. We took a piece of 1" x .125" strap steel and made it into a 90 deg. angle. The two lengths were 3"x2". I took a picture of the brace in place on the little baby. The baby is healing well. Praise God.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Photos



Here are a couple of pictures of the wonderful scooter (moto as they call it here) and our truck.

Motor scooter

Well, we bought a scooter yesterday. What an experience!! We bought a new KTM 50cc motorscooter from a local dealer in downtown Koutiala. I took a Malian with me to dicker with the dealer. Good thing too. I would have paid at least 20% more if I would not have taken him. I gave 312,500 Francs for it. ( That's only $625). Right after I bought it, we took it to the mechanic to do a "new start-up". They took the thing completely apart and tightened every bolt and nut. I would say that 60% were loose or missing completely. We took all the oil out of the engine and replaced with new because the oil that came in the engine was only a 20w oil. I wish I would have had my camera to show you what that "new" scooter looked like all apart. The mechanic worked on it for 2 hours and I paid him 1000 francs ($2). Well, it does run ok now and will make Angela good transportation. Today, I found the ice-cream boutique. The chocolate and banana tasted exactly the same; vanilla. It tasted good being that it was 100 deg. outside. Well, I'd better get to work. A bientot.

Monday, 3 November 2008

First week in Koutiala

There are a lot of things we did the first week here in Koutiala, Mali. Angela went to a woman's retreat for ladies in the capital city of Bamako. The boys and Doug spent their time setting up the house and working on getting a Toyota truck running so we could have wheel to get around and work. We will post some pictures of our house and truck when I can figure out how to post them on our blog. I hope you all have a blessed week.