Monday, 26 January 2009

Having fun w/ friends

Hello everyone from Koutiala, Mali. Joe and Mel Faust have been with us for the last week and a half which has been great. Here is a picture of what we did while they were here! Ha Ha. No really, we completely installed a new kitchen for the Bonvillain's new house and repaired a bunch of plumbing problems from leaks to broken lines. They will be leaving us on Wednesday the 28th to head back to the U.S.
This morning, while I was eating breakfast, I broke the tip off of my front tooth. I can hear some of you saying somethings about where I lived in Ohio, but the truth hurts sometimes. There is a dental technician coming next Monday and I hope she can help me out. If not, I will wait until I return to the U.S. to get it repaired. The dentists here are not of the highest qualified in the world so I would rather wait until my return. I will keep you posted and even with pictures. Have a great and blessed day.

Monday, 19 January 2009


Its great having some friends from Springfield Ohio here with us these next two weeks. The Fausts are here for two weeks and the Billings are here for four. Joe Faust is helping with the plumbing in the Bonvillain's new house. We have to completely replumb the kitchen and install a water heater for the kitchen also. They are putting in a swamp cooler for the living room that we have to plumb up also. The weather has been great with the temps in the low 80's in the day and high 50's at night.
Wednesday, Joe and I will be going to a village called Torrosso to install a solar panel system for another ultrasound machine. I will let you know how that went. God Bless.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

David's Leg

I told you that I would post some pictures of David's leg during surgery and here they are. If you have a queezy stomach, you might want to pass over them quickly. I could help but post them because of how God worked through Dr. Myers with this skin graft. The way this surgery went was Dr. Myers harvested by hand the top layer of skin from David's good leg in strips of 1 to 2 inches wide by 3 to 5 inches long as you can see at the top of the first picture and then cut slits in the strips to make them expand to 3 times its original size. Two Doctors tied knots for over six hours tying the small pieces together. The skin will grow between the small expanded strips to make the healing go more quickly and into one piece of skin all across his leg. The end result has been great. Dr. Dan said today that David was able to get up and walk for the first time with help yesterday. Praise God that he is even alive let alone walking with help! Our God is so Great.
We are looking forward to the Fausts and Billings being here for the next few weeks. I will not post as many blogs in the next few week while they are here. I hope you have a great Sunday of worship and if you don't attend church regularly, I encourage you to go this Sunday.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Sunday Ride

Today, the boys and I went for a motorcycle ride with some other men and kids from the mission out into the bush. We took off from the mission compound at 2:00 and got back home at 4:15. We first took the donkey path to Bethel bible college and then we went from there to the village south of the hospital via the gorge. This was Daniel's first ride "off road" on the yellow YZ 80. He did incredible well! The bottom picture is of him navigating through the cattle without getting the horns! We had some very technical downhills and climbs without any falls or stalls. I think I was more pumped that he made it than he was. Jeffrey was on the back of my motorcycle navigating the correct path. We had a great time together.

Now for hospital news. The surgical instrument that we made for David's skin graft didn't work. Dr. Meyers had to use just the razor blades to harvest the good skin. The surgery took over 6 hours with them having sore back by the end. I will try to post some pictures of David's leg as soon as I can get them. The finished product looks like the lattice top of a cherry pie or those of you metal head out there it looks like expanded metal. I did not have my camera in surgery this time to get a picture so, I will have to get it from Dr. Dan. Have a great week and remember to stay on your knees in prayer. God Bless.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Surgical Instument

Well, the boys and I made a skin harvesting instrument out of an old fashioned razor. We took the head and cut out the center section with a Dremel tool. Next, we took the blades and cut the sharp edges off of both sides to use as spacers. We then added the blade to the razor. On Wednesday it will get used on one of the hospital employee's legs. His name is David. David was in a motorcycle accident and got a road rash on his leg. The leg got infected with a flesh eating bacteria which ate 75% of the skin on his thigh. At first, the doctors were not sure they could save his leg or maybe even his life. But, they were able to hit him hard with high strength antibiotics and cut off all the dead skin. David's fever has come down now and it is time to repair the leg. We don't have a tool to harvest good skin for a skin graft so I had to make one. We found the idea in a tropical medicine book and work off that model. Tomorrow we will find out if it is going to work and how well it will work. The boys wanted all of us in the picture but Angela was not home to take it and that is why we have three separate pictures. We pray that God will guide Dr. Meyers hands and things will go well. David is in a lot of pain with the open wound and needs it covered with skin. Pray for endurance for him and his family. Thanks for all your prayers. God Bless.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Exciting Times

We have had an exciting week here in West Africa. It started last Tuesday at Teriyabougou, which is a resort (more like a camp), when a little 12 year old African boy was drowning. He got pulled out of the pool by two of his classmates and set on top of a table by the pool face down and not conscious. Bob Braafhart and I ran up to the boy, put him on the ground, and rolled him to his side. We cleared his mouth of saliva and a little vomit. He then took a small breath and exhaled water and air. It was 30 second until his next breath. We had called over Terri, a pediatric nurse, and she took over from that point. We all stood around and prayed for him. His breathing became more regular and we loaded him up to go to the hospital in the next village over which is at least an hour away. Long story short, he came to and made it back to Teriyabougou for supper that night. Our God is so great. The boy had no apparent damage done to his body. Praise God.

On Saturday, Ed Bonvillain's soccer team was invited to the opening ceremony of the new soccer stadium here in Koutiala and stand on the field to greet the President of the country. I was invited to take pictures and be the chauffeur. The whole experience was so funny. Everyone was allowed in the stadium without a security check or walk though a metal detector. We were allowed on the field with the President without any security check or background check. If you look closely to one of the pictures, you will see that there were village animal hunters there with their rifles and they fired them into the air when the President came in. I thought that this could not be happening. Where else but Mali would you be able to carry in a gun to a public place and shoot it off while the President was there. The military had its paratroopers fly over and land on the field. I was able to shake the Presidents hand and say a few short sentences to him. It was just a cool experience.

We now have Bethel Bible School on 100% solar power and off of the generator in the evenings. We need to now pray that the funds come in to pay for the project. Anco has taken the money out himself to pay for this believing that God will bring the money in to pay for it. Pray with me that it comes in quickly and efficiently.

I am on to my next project of making an instrument for skin grafting. I will let you know how that turns out.

God bless.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Crazy Week

We have had a crazy week here between Christmas and New Years. I don't have time to get into it all but, we had a near drowning victim at a camp that got rushed to the hospital and I shook hands with the President of Mali this weekend. What an exciting time it has been. I will tell more and post pictures here this week. God Bless and keep on your knees.