Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sea Container Underground

Last week before Thanksgiving, Anco and I worked on cutting in a door on the underground sea container. Anco had a giant hole dug by hand with a few Malians to bury a sea contain to house all the solar stuff out at Bethel Bible School. It took them a month to dig the hole into the hard rock surface. Heat is a huge problem here and has a tendency to ruin a lot of things including very expensive batteries for the system. With the container buried underground, this will provide a cooler environment for the equipment and we will be able to control the humidity and temperature a lot more easily. Next, we will be installing a new floor into the container made of plastic because the termites ate out the wood floor already, another huge problem. We are still looking for people to donate to this project and get the bible school totally up and running on 100% solar. If you are interested, please contact me.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a group of us went out to the "pig farm" which is outside of town about 7 miles, via running, biking, and walking. Well, I didn't do any of those things and rode my motorcycle with the water jugs strapped to the racks for everyone else. It was a good time had by all.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Walls going up

We have walls going up now on the second building. We are well under way getting the second building up. The underground plumbing is finished and the floors are poured. It is amazing on how fast the walls are being built. They will be ready to pour the concrete bond beam next week and we will have to start manufacturing trusses to go up. Busy Busy.

Sunday, the kids and dads went out on a little motorcycle ride to teach some of the kids that didn't know how to ride, ride. We had fun. Everyone took their turn on Braafhart's Yamaha 90. It was fun to watch them ride. It wasn't long before a crowd gathered to watch. We had a lot of shepherd boys that were moving their sheep, goats, and cattle through, stop and watch. We enjoyed our time and fun was had by all.

On a serious note. I was talking to one of our construction workers that hasn't been to work for about a month and he told me that his son died of malaria about a month ago. Then he told me that he has lost 3 children now and only has one still living. I can't imagine facing rainy season, which is malaria season, every year and wondering if one of my loved ones is going to die this year. Life is difficult especially here for the Malians without protection from the mosquitoes. As Americans, we would be outraged and horrified if any one disease killed as many Americans as malaria does here in Africa EVERY year. Just pray for them. Life is hard. My heart is heavy right now for Michel and his family. Thanks for listening.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Busy times

Hello everyone. Sorry it has been so long since my last post. We have had an extremely busy month with three work team here in Koutiala. We have accomplished a lot of work in those four weeks. Jack Eisenback's team along with the Shelby team completely wired the entire first building and changed over the main electrical power to the new generator building. It was amazing how much work was done in the short amount of time. Thank you everyone that helped with these projects. Jason Kalb's team completed the building and pouring of the pillar foundations for the third building. We had LONG hours that week but got it all completed. Erv Powell from the Shelby team helped me with the underground sewer lines in the second build and we got all those installed as well. And last but not least, Anco had his container come in from Holland that we unloaded in Bamako this week. Anco had brough over a tractor, car, 58 solar panels, computers, batteries, and a bunch of other stuff. We put 20 solar panel on top of the mission van to take back to Koutiala, but the weight was to much for the weak rack that the rack broke on the way back to the mission from the container. Now, we need to build a new stronger rack for the mission van. I think I am ready for a little break in the action. All this time, Angela has been holding down the fort and serving the work teams with food, travel to market, translation with the Malians, and whatever else they needed. She has been a real blessing to everyone here. Thank you, honey, for all your hard work and sacrifice.
Please continue to pray for us as we try to raise the rest of our support for the next two years. We still have a ways to go with vehicle, boy's schooling, and monthly support. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support. God Bless.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Well, its official. We now have three building going up at the hospital at one time and yes we are nuts. Ground has now been broken on the third and final building at the hospital. It will be our most difficult to build and finish. It will have the maternity ward and OR suites along with the staff breakroom and restrooms. Here is a picture of the guys that are digging the foundations with their new gloves that they are so proud of.
This morning I was able to help Anco with installation of a satellite for internet to Baramba Girls school that is 25 km away from the tower here in Koutiala (at Bethel bible school). Anco installed a tower and receiver at Baramba to receive the signal sent from Bethel. We were just installing the wiring and satellite this morning at Bethel. That is Anco on the tower working at the connection box. I can't wait to see how it is going to work. Its kind of funny that Baramba doesn't have cell phone signal but will have internet signal. We are going to talk to Orange, the cell phone provider, and see it they want to pay rent to use the tower that we installed to get a cell signal out to that area of the country. This would help pay for the internet service provided to the school. The school got it's budget cut in half for the year. Things are incredibly tight right now because they have already spent this years money on just food and nothing else. Please pray that God will provide money to them. The picture of the corn is at Bethel also. This is how they dry their corn before they hand shell it. A lot of work, that is for sure.
Keep praying for us as we try to raise money for the next two years. Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

5000th Baby at Hospital

That's right. We have delivered our 5000th baby in three and a half years being open. This is the baby and her mom with Olive Gifford the midwife here. The baby's name is Nagalie which is the Bambara word for Joy. We thank God for the opportunity to serve Him and the people of Koutiala Mali. Its been a real blessing to serve along side of the hospital staff and administration. We look forward to many more years of delivering babies and helping the needs of the women and children here.

I was installing a new underground drain for Brett and Sherrie this week and while we were digging we ran into an underground termite home. It was amazing to watch them work and move dirt to try to keep the sun light off of them. It was huge. This is just a small picture of the entire trench. You never know what you will uncover when you dig here.
Hope you have a great week. Keep praying for us all.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Start of the Second building and Generator building

We have started pouring footers and columns on the second building and also the generator building. We have teams coming out starting in October to help with the construction of these buildings. We will have teams for the next six month to work with the projects. Angela will be taking pictures of the different people from the work teams and interviewing them for the Hospital's web site. I will be making a lot of trips to Bamako to pick up and drop off the teams as they come in. Pray for safety as I travel as there can be so many "road hazards" on the six hour journey.

The Sunday soccer playing has started back up again. We all look forward to getting together and having a friendly game. We expect no less than 110% for all that participate at least that is what we say when someone kicks a ball to hard and someone else gets hurt. Sense any note of sarcasm?

The boys have started school and have been enjoying it. They really look forward to Tuesday which is phys. ed. day. We are now getting out of rainy season and the boys will miss their motorcycle rides in the mud and creeks full of water. Its impossible to keep the boys clean especially during rainy season. Back to the hot weather here really soon.

Please pray for all the people who have lost loved ones to malaria this season. We feel at the hospital that it has been a really long rainy season with all the malaria that we have seen and treated. We loose multiple kids a week to malaria and that really wares on the staff. Keep them lifted up to the Father.

Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, 14 September 2009


We continue to get kids into the hospital with malaria and dying. It is so sad that SO many kids die here from malaria. I wish we could get DDT fogged over the entire city to kill all the mosquitoes during this season. Keep praying for the staff as they are working overtime combating all the malaria cases.
We have a lady at the church that was taken to the police this week because her neighbor said that he feels restless and can't sleep when she prays in her house next to his. Can you say a spiritual war is going on here? Fortunately, the police said that they can't keep her from praying because the muslims pray over the loud speaker every hour during the day starting at 4:00 am and that is permitted. Now the neighbor said he will take the situation into his own hands. Please pray for her and her safety. Also pray for her neighbor that he would come to know the real God.
Have a good week and thanks for all your support.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Sad Day

I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend a 6 month old's funeral today. One of our construction workers at the hospital had a baby pass away with malaria this morning and Bob and I went to the funeral. It was nothing like anything I had experienced before. There was no show of emotion of any kind by anyone, even by the father, Agibe. The baby was wrapped in a little white cloth and then wrapped in a white goat's skin. This is a muslim family, so after the washing of the body and the placement in the wraps, the body was faced to the east with her head propped up with a rock and the chants offered to Ala. We just pray that these people will see who the true God is and that he loves them enough to die for them. I just want them to see the true God. The baby was then taken to the burial site and buried. It was very sobering going through this. I just thank God for my healthy family. Malarial is killing tons of kids right now with this being malaria season. We are getting 3 plus kids a day that would die without the hospital's intervention. Pray for wisdom and strength for the doctor's during this busy season. Our house help's wife was hospitalized last week with malaria and we are thankful she went home after a couple of day on treatment.
The first picture is of our two guards and the boys, Jeffrey and Daniel. The next picture is of Renee and myself working on an oxygen concentrator. Bob, Renee and myself were making a unit that could work without power for five minutes for the patients that need uninterrupted oxygen. The electric power here is not consistent and we need generators. It takes about 2-3 minutes for the generators to get powered up and we don't want to loose anyone because of lack of oxygen. This was the proto-type. A little R and D goes a long way here.
Have a good rest of the week.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

First Building Pictures

The outside of building one is finished except for the sign on the front. It really looks good. This building will be for the doctors offices and exam rooms along with the pharmacy and lab. Its a great building and they can't wait to move in. The footers for building two is now being dug and poured. Things are moving along nicely.

The last picture is of Angela, Graig, and Marlyn sitting with their plates of pigeon and fries at the Phynix Hotel and restaurant. It was very tasty but not a lot of meat. Thanks Hanscomes for taking us out to eat.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Internet down

Sorry I have not posted in a while. We are in the midst of rainy/stormy season and the storms continue to wipe out our internet. I have to go to either the hospital or mission to write and receive emails and do online stuff. We are going to try to maybe get DSL instead of satellite service. We will see. Keep us in your prayers.

Update on new building. Outside is finished and now working on the interior. I will post pictures when I get internet back.

Have a great week.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Tractor repair

On Anco's last container, he sent a 65 hp tractor out here to help with the ground work for the Malian food plots. After it arrived, Anco noticed that the hydraulic pump was not building up enough pressure to work the implements. The clutch also would not disengage the transmission. Anco decided we needed to take the tractor apart and make the repairs. We had to split the tractor in half to get to both the clutch and the pump. The pump took new o-rings and the clutch had broken arms that disengage the flywheel. We made the repairs and stuck the thing back together. It is a little more difficult to split the cases without having all the lifts and hoists that we would have in the states but, we made due with what we had. It was a learning experience for all of us. Now, Bethel is using it for their farming. All this plowing would have been done either by hand or with cattle pulling a one bottom plow. The tractor made short work of it between rains. Bethel is trying to raise the money for buying the tractor from Anco so they can do their own crops and some custom plowing for other Malians. They would like to make money with the tractor to help in the income of the School. That way, they could rely less on the national church and missionaries for budget money. Pray with me that they will be able get the donations needed to buy the tractor. Have a great week.

Monday, 27 July 2009

New Well at Hospital

We have now installed a new hand dug well on the hospital grounds to help with the water shortage during the hot season. We had been running out of water for both the construction site and the hospital building itself. We have one deep well right now that serves the existing water tower and we would like to take this well and add another water tower and a wind mill for pumping the well. We usually have wind here at the hospital since we are completely open to the south and west. Bob and I have been brainstorming trying to come up with a wind mill that we could make from things that we can find here. If we use things from here, then when the hospital gets turned over to the nationals, they can repair it with parts from here if they understand the mechanicals. The well cost us about $25 a meter and we went down about 17 meters. We sit right on top of a big aquifer so the water is not that far down. The problem is that our property sits next to three of the city's wells so our water table is unstable depending on how much the city is drawing for their towers. The picture was taken when we hit water. We had it dug another meter down after we hit water. It will be a real blessing once we get it up and running the way we want. Click on the picture and you will get a close-up view.
Be in prayer for the hospital as we go through some growing pains. We want everyone to be on the same page as we go forward for Christ's sake. Pray that His name will be glorified.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Internet down

It is amazing how tied we are to our internet and computers. We have been down for about a week and I feel disconnected from the world. I don't get any world news here that I can understand. I really need to learn more French.
The Hospital building is coming along nicely. We have all the main trusses up and are starting on the stringers between the trusses for attaching the roofing material. All the trusses and stingers are designed and built here on the grounds of the hospital. We buy the different sizes of angle iron and cut them to length then weld together. We kind of have a little assembly line going with trusses. We keep Roger, the one handed painter, busy with all the metal work. Next week we have a team from Zepher Hills Florida coming to help install the metal roof on pod one. We are looking forward to them coming and getting a lot accomplished. I really enjoy spending time with teams and getting to know their stories of how God has brought them to Africa and what he is doing in their lives.
We had a little girl come into the hospital last week bitten by some kind of cobra as I understand it. The parents brought her in 5 days after the bite occured and she was in bad condition. The mentallity of the people here is that you bring a person into the hospital to die, not to get better, so we usually don't get the people here that have just come down with something but rather are almost dead. Thanks to God, the girl is still alive and is recovering. From what I understand, not many people have lived through the bite of this type of cobra, but our God heals. Pray that the family comes to know Christ through this.
Pray for this next week as I will be very busy with the work team and that we will be safe.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Burkina Faso

This last weekend we took a little vacation to Burkina Faso and did some hiking, swimming, and wildlife watching. The trip took us a little over 4 hours to get there by the time we filled out our visas and all the other things we had to do at the boarder. Burkina is one country south of us in Mali. They are a little farther from the desert so it was quite a bit greener than it is in Koutiala. We were just tagalongs with Barry, Terri, Ben, and Jake. One of the first things we did was go shopping for the items that are not available to us here in Koutiala which are things like cheese, hamburger, and just the normal kinds of things you would buy in a grocery store. Then again, we don't have grocery stores here in Koutiala. We even got to eat out at a great Korean restaurant owned by a christian Korean woman. We topped it off with ice cream from the Dany Ice Cream store. For our day trips, we went to some water falls that had little pools of water that we could lounge and relax in not to mention cool off in, and the next day to see some hippos in the wild. The day we went to the falls, it started to turn dark and storm while we were up there. We had a little hike to get down from the falls and we were high tailing it down. We no sooner got down and into the trucks and it cut loose. We made it back safe and sound.
The next trip was to go and see the hippos. It was about an hours drive from the CMA guest house to the lake out side of Bobo. We rode in an aluminum boat that three natives using poles to push us along navigated us to the spot where saw the hippos. Jeffrey counted 48 hippos. We got within 50 to 60 yards of one group of hippos. A few of them were not happy that we were there, but we kept our distance. This place that we went said that in the hot season there are elephants there at the lake to stay cool. We will hopefully get to check that out also.
The hospital building is coming along nicely. We have all the main trusses up and are staring on making the stringers between them. By the middle of July, we should be installing the roof.
Thanks again for all your prayers.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

We grow 'em big round here

Take a look at this rat that we killed at the mission. The house keeper, Botoma, at the guest house caught 7 of them in the attic in one day. On Wednesday evening during prayer meeting, we would hear something crawling around up above us so we told Botoma to find and kill whatever was up there. Little did we know that there would be so many rats and mice. The Malians working at the mission compound ate this rat. I really don't know what happened to the rest but I believe that they wouldn't let them go to waste. Anyone hungry?

Last week we put up the first trusse on the first of three buildings. The project is going well and we are getting a lot accomplished. Bob really keeps things rolling. He is a great project manager. Keep praying that the project continues to go well and nobody get hurt. Have a great week.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Picture of Termites

I did get a picture of the termites today that the Malians eat. Doesn't it make you want to eat some? Enjoy.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Termites. Yummy

Last week I walked up to the shop area to get a tool and saw a 3 ft.x 3ft. piece of metal with hundreds of large winged termites on it. Alex, my Malian apprentice, was standing there picking the wings off of them. I asked him what they were and where did they come from. He said they were termites and they came from our shop office. That was comforting. I then asked him what he was doing. He said they will soon die and the guys were going to eat them. He looked and acted so excited, I thought he was going to pee himself. He said "All I need now is some salt." I thought, All I need now is a trash can. I really wish I would have thought about taking a picture of the termites, but I didn't. They ate every last one of them. I take that back. Alex did throw one out because it was "bad".
We received a Samaritan's Purse container on Friday with a lot of medical supplies for our hospital. I believe there were over 950 boxes of things in it. We even got our first working X-ray machine. I just hope we don't need to use it on our boys! This will come in handy in a lot of ways. The only other X-ray machine in town is at the government hospital and it only works part time. Seems that when we need it, it is broke down. Samaritan's Purse gave us the 40 ft. container as well. We will use it as storage for the excess medical things that we are not using right now. We have to have duplicates of alot of equipment because if something breaks down, we can't get the new parts to repair it in a timely manor. It could take months to get parts. Bob said he was going to start making a "container village" and start housing people in them. Look out new missionaries. I think he was joking. A container sitting in full African sunlight get to be like and oven inside, but we do cut windows and door in them and use them as offices, workshops, and the like. Our "termite office" is a container. It does work well if we get breezes to cool it off inside into the 130's or even 120's with a good breeze (during hot season). The pictures are of the container being set on its foundation blocks with the cotton factory's crane. The good working one in town.
We I hope you all have a great week and don't eat to many termites. They might give you a belly ache.

Monday, 8 June 2009


We had a new experience this weekend at church. We were sitting in our small church service that was spoken in French and Bambara (the native language) when I heard something off to my left. I looked up and saw two turkeys just wandering around in the service. They had come in through the side door from outside. I think that was the first time I have been in a church service with turkeys before (at least the animal type). I was not quick enough with my camera to get a picture to show you. Sorry. Happy turkey hunting!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

New House

We have now moved from Veronika place to our new place on the other side of Koutiala closer to the hospital. Veronika is coming back this summer from her home country of Germany. Our new place is a beautiful duplex house with Berry and Terry Newman living underneath us. Our living quarters has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living/dining, and a study. There is a large balcony with a place for Angela to hang up our laundry. The boys have a large place to play up on the concrete roof. We will be staying here for the rest of our first two years God willing.
I found myself at the end of this week not thinking to much of the Chinese manufacturing. I was trying to replumb the McClean's plumbing outside of their house. I bought all the supplies at the "plumbing supply house" which consists of a small room store. All the supplies I bought were Chinese made (which is all you can get here). By the time I had all the leaks and blown apart pipes and fittings repaired, I had spent two days just in repair of the NEW supplies. Unfortunately, the Chinese ship all their junk to Africa because it is cheap. They do not have to stand behind it and there is no "standard" the Malian government requires, therefore all this junk get brought into country. The pipe and fittings can vary diameter by the millimeters BOTH ways larger and smaller. So, when I try to glue the pvc pipe into the fittings, it sometimes is to sloppy or to tight. If it is sloppy, then the pipe will just blow out of the fitting and water does go everywhere and if it is to tight then it might not even fit together. I finially got things tight this morning about noon and as far as I know it is still holding together. I can't wait until my PEX comes in the next container so I will be able to to a better job and it will last so much longer than the stuff I can get here. Please pray for patience for me! I guess God is giving me the opportunity to be patient isn't He?
Well, I hope you have a great week and listen to God's voice.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Three Year Anniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of the opening of the CAPM Koutiala hospital. We had a little party this morning after Bible Devotions with some pastries and coffee cake. It was a cool time of see who had be here at the start of the hospital and all the people Now involved with it. These are some of the faces you would see working as nurses, resident doctors, grounds and maintenance, administration and the sort. The hospital has had 795 surgeries, and 4,383 births to date. Not to shabby for having only one surgeon (Thanks Dan Nesselroade) and only one other certified doctor (Thanks Saskia). That would be correct in your thinking; They do NOT get much sleep. Last month was a record month with 185 deliveries and 49 surgeries. Dan is in the States right now for a well deserved 3 month of R and R.
Here a picture of one of the new buildings going up. It is coming right along. Thanks for all your support and prayers for this hospital and for the gospel going forth. Keep us lifted up in prayer. It is a battle that Satan wants to win but God's message of forgiveness and love will be proclaimed to everyone that enters our doors. The reason this hospital even exists is because of God's Sovereignty and power over evil. Thank you Lord.