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.