Friday, 26 December 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.