Friday, February 28, 2014

Eric Going Home

Hello Everyone!

Many of you may remember Eric, a 26 y.o. man who came to us in October 2012 after a construction accident in one of the major cities, leaving him a quadriplegic.
He accepted the Lord early in his days here at Bongolo and in December 2012, he and I had begun studying the Bible together with his mom in the ICU.
For the next 8 months, we continued in our study together, often being joined by other patients and family members in the ward.
Eric's desire to share what he was learning grew, and he has often shared his testimony with other patients and family members, sharing his story, praying for them and bringing them to Christ.

Eric has become a "landmark" so to speak of Bongolo in the ICU/Recovery where he has stayed.
Everyday staff, students and nurses swing by just to chat a few minutes with Eric.
He has been in the recovery room long enough that he knows the ropes for helping a patient after surgery, and even though he can't help them physically, he's often teaching a family member what they need to do for their loved one.
Eric is also a constant observer.
While nursing shifts come and go each day and night- Eric is always there and sees everything- and so has become reliable source for the staff, a sort of "extra hand" as they care for the other patients in the ICU.

Now after 16 months in the hospital, Eric is going home!
As you have realized by now- he will be greatly missed.
Eric and his mom were very blessed that a church in the U.S. paid for all his hospital expenses after his extensive stay.

And thus the bittersweet story of bringing Eric home.
Pictures always say it better.

Eric being wheeled out by students and staff, excited to be going home after spending 16 months at Bongolo Hospital.

We borrowed a pool raft to use as a mattress for Eric in the back of the truck.

Teamwork, planning & prayer- we were very thankful moving Eric in and out of the truck went smoothly.

Ralph and Mama Brigitte, nurse's aid and nurse who have worked in the ICU caring for Eric for many months.

Getting Eric comfortable for the bumpy dirt road ahead.

Ralph praying over Eric and his journey

Eric and I hanging out for the ride - even though he couldn't see out the windows, he knew exactly when and where to tell us to turn to take him home.

Barry and Eric
 While I was visiting the States in August this past year, I asked Barry Newman if he would start meeting with Eric in my absence, so he could continue in his study of the Bible. 
Barry agreed and he and Eric hit it off so well - that when I returned Barry said he would be willing to take on Eric's discipleship on a full time basis. 
This was such an answer from the Lord! 
I had been praying for months that God would provide a strong man of faith to take on Eric's discipleship. That answer came in Barry, and he and Eric are now good friends.

We made it! Eric is home!

Getting Eric and his Mama, Veronique, settled back into their home. I will miss her and her kind spirit at the hospital.

Saying "goodbyes"

Praying God's protection, encouragement and strength for Eric in adjusting to a new environment with his disabilities.

Please remember Eric in prayer.
Pray for physical and spiritual protection, protection from infection and physical decline, discouragement. Pray for encouragement for his caregivers and support system, especially his mom, Veronique. Pray Eric will continue to be light, now in his village, as he was with the patients and their families at the hospital. Pray Eric's relationship with God would grown deep, strong roots that are a constant source of the Living Water.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.
I could not be here without your partnership.
I'm so thankful for the Body of Christ and the gift of being able to serve our God - together. 

Love from the Jungle,


Hello Everyone!

It is a great joy to announce that the costs of the transformer fire are 
Our team received the news this past Wednesday. 
We are overwhelmed, grateful and in awe of our God.

We had a time of singing and prayer, rejoicing, thanking the Lord for this incredible work He has done, and thanking Him for you - for your sacrifice and obedience to the Lord - and praying God's multiplied blessings over you and your families.
Look at what God has done:
New generator cost: $175,000
Daily generator usage during power outage: $600/ day 
(praise the Lord we were able to reduce this from $1000/day by teaming up in our homes and at the hospital to conserve electricity)  
Generator Maintenance: including new transfer switch:  $8,000


 As I reflected on the fact that this overwhelming and consuming debt was now "paid in full," it was a reminder to me of the incredible debt on our ledgers before a Holy God. 
I was struck afresh by GRACE, as the Father reminded me that through His provision, my debt too is 
We are living here in the jungle to tell a people in darkness that they don't have to live in debt anymore. They no longer need be bound by sin, pride, adultery, sorcery, fetishes.
The One true God wants to cleanse them, free them, pluck them out of darkness- their creator longs to Pay their Debt in Full. 

Is your debt Paid in Full?
Who where you are, needs to hear that their debt too can be Paid in Full? 

Thank you for ministering here alongside us, equipping us to obey our God in reaching and serving the people of Gabon. 
May God richly bless you and your family. 

Thank You!!!

                       from the Jungle,                
                      ~Amanda (and the Bongolo Team)    

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Transformer Update!

Hello Everyone! 

The baked transformer.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for our team following the transformer fire!
Your faithfulness in lifting us up in prayer before the Father has been evident to each of us. 

Look how God has been answering your prayers! 

The Little Engine that Could

Our poor generator- you can almost hear him whispering
"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

We are now day 11 post fire and still on generator power. 
This generator which has been fueling both the entire hospital and all of our residences has run non-stop all but 30 minutes these past 11 days!

Just to give you a bit of perspective of how big of a deal that is - the generator has been having issues for sometime, in fact it would often just quit running and the automatic switch has been broken for months, meaning that each time the power would go out, one of our guys would have to wake up and run down the hill to switch it back on so the hospital could have power for oxygen machines, monitors and other vital equipment. 
As someone eloquently put it, <Paul (our maintenance) guy has been holding this thing together with duck tape and chewing gum for some months now.>

So the fact that our limping generator is pulling us through, is a miracle in itself!
Thank you for praying for the generator! Lives have directly been saved at the hospital because of it.

Second Miracle: 
The new transformer has arrived!!!
We were stunned to see the flat bed pull into Bongolo after a 10 hour drive down from the capital just FOUR days after the fire. Anyone who's worked in Africa before will tell you- this just doesn't happen. We are thankful for God's quick provision of a new machine. 
We are in awe of God's hand over this situation.
Thank you for your diligence in praying!

What's been happening in the meantime you ask? 
The team from the electric company has been working each day laying the foundation and working the wiring to install the new transformer. It has been quite a job! (see photos below) 

And, we have been conserving as much electricity as possible. 
The hospital staff, the missionaries and all the crew who lives on the hill up here have pulled together to try and use as little electricity as possible to cut down on our generator fuel costs. 
The projected daily generator cost was $1,000/day for the entire complex. 
We have managed to decrease that usage to $850/day.


Just pulled into Bongolo after a 10 hr drive from the capital

Building the foundation

Craning it up onto the concrete slab

Lowering the transformer into it's metal house


One of 2 buffers on either side to prevent a future surge


Now time to hook everything up! 

The guys are laying the ground wire as I write this-to get everything up and running. We're hoping by the end of this week, we will be back on regular power! 

God's Provision in the Numbers

We are overwhelmed by how God is moving in the hearts of people who desire to give -through each of you, He truly is providing in the numbers.
What has been given thus far:

$50, 000 - towards transformer debt (Total Needed: $175,000)
$6,000  - towards daily generator usage costs (Total Needed: ~$1,000/day)
$8,000  - towards maintenance of the generator (ongoing)

How Do I Give?

If you feel led to give to this project, you can make a check payable to C&MA write “Bongolo Hospital Special Projects" in the memo line.
Send to:
P.O. Box 35000
Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3500

Thank you for teaming up with us! 
We truly feel connected to all of you as you lift us up in prayer and in receiving your notes of encouragement.
You are a vital ministry partner in the work God is doing here at Bongolo. 
We are so thankful for you. 

            from the Jungle, 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Urgent Update- Bongolo Fire

Hello to All! 
Below you will find an excerpt from an email of one of the members of our team. 
Her letter describes the events of tonight well. 
Thank you for your prayers and support. 

from the Jungle,

* Used with permission


It is with a heavy heart we write to you this evening.  We praise God for his protection on our team at Bongolo Hospital.  We received a call tonight that there was a FIRE at Bongolo in the main transformer house (see attached pictures courtesy of Dr. Renee Valach), that is the electrical part that brings power to the whole hospital and residences.  Something clearly went wrong with the transformer and the fire began fueled by the oil filling the transformer itself.  Our hospital administrator, Serge, went quickly to the power company to have them shut off our power.  Others gathered and when he returned he joined the rest of the Bongolo team in figuring out what to do.  After opening the door to the building (it is a standalone building) the flames increased raising concern for the overhead wires.  Ultimately, a bucket brigade was formed of missionaries, pastors, hospital staff and residents in surgery.  They tossed sand on the fire and finally were able to put it out.  Because it was initially an electrical fire and then an oil fire, water would have just aggravated things.  We praise the Lord that no one was injured and ultimately the transformer and building can be replaced, BUT for now we are without electric company power.

What now?  Our generator, which has also been a bit unstable lately, is running 24/7.  We don’t know how long it will be until we can get the transformer fixed or if the generator will hold out, so we estimate that we will be forced to run the generator at a cost of around $1,000 per day.  We also thank the Lord for Serge and the contacts God has provided him.  Already he has set in motion a company to come evaluate the problem and site and see what, when, and how a new transformer can be installed.  Could it be days, for sure, weeks, probably, months, maybe?  It will be a cost of between $100,000 and $175,000!!  We know that is a huge sum that we haven’t planned for, but God knows and we trust He will provide one way or another.

What can you do?
First, pray with us as we seek solutions and continue the care we provide for our patients in need.  Pray also that the generator runs well. 
Second, as you feel led you can give to the replacement costs of transformer, installation, and protection, again totaling between $100,000 and $175,000.
Make a check payable to C&MA write “Bongolo Hospital Special Projects" in the memo line.
Send to:
P.O. Box 35000
Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3500

Thanks for your prayers and we thank God for His protection and provision even in times of need and struggle.