Dear friends and partners, I trust you and your family had a blessed Easter celebration and are enjoying the gift of spring. Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation is the reason we serve the people of Guinea at Compassion Evangelical Hospital. We continually rejoice in the progress and are thankful the Lord is being glorified in every aspect of the work. Thank you for your partnership with us through prayer and giving and going. Thank you, too, for taking time to read this update on the ministry.
Spiritual Health The spiritual work at CEH continues to be a high priority. Decisions are made for Christ each month. At times, several men of the major religion of the area verbally try to interrupt the veranda preaching - ordering the staff person to stop sharing and telling the patients the preaching is not true. Despite this opposition, often 90% of those listening raise their hands to request prayer. Please partner with us in prayer for this work to advance the glory of God in Guinea. Below are the many different avenues used to share the gospel with patients and in the community: 1. Preaching the gospel daily on the veranda prior to each clinic. 2. Showing The Jesus Film while patients are waiting to be seen. 3. A Christian book stand with literature and Bibles available in 3 languages. 4. Prayer is offered individually by care givers as patients are cared for in the clinic, in the hospital and prior to surgeries. 5. The Chaplain visits with each hospitalized patient and offers to pray. 6. Daytime discussions are held in the gazebo or the pastor's office for those who seek deeper spiritual discussions. 7. Daily devotions are led by mature Christian staff members and held for the Christian medical staff and for the construction staff separately. 8. A PA/radio broadcasts music, stories, sermons and Bible readings into the patient rooms several hours daily. 9. Follow-up visits are made to patients' homes or places of business in town or the surrounding villages. 10. Medical outreaches are held for isolated villages two or three times annually. 11. Pastor Oumar is called upon biannually to be the evangelist in two city-wide campaigns throughout Guinea and to train student pastors in evangelism techniques. 12. The MIAPE cell group church meets weekly for worship on Sunday and prayer on Fridays. Their baptismal services in the stream that runs through the hospital property have been witnessed by the local community. 13. Many of our staff also attend the EPE/CMA, the AG, or the Alpha churches, our sister evangelical churches in town. Two couples attend the Catholic church. 14. Moise, our carpenter, facilitates sporting activities for the youth in the community. We sponsored soccer tournaments while sharing about Christ at half time. 15. Etienne was asked to be the director/ facilitator of all the "social services" offered by the Evangelical churches and missions in Guinea including the medical services, the several school systems and national camp/retreat center. 16. Tangible acts of kindness such as offering gifts of food, soap, or paying off a hospital bill are often done by individuals from a hospital charity gift box. 17. Discipleship circles are established to develop believers at all levels.
Dental Clinic Dr. Joel Michelson from Rochester, MN is facilitating the Dental Clinic ministry at CEH. In January he spent a week in Mamou giving additional training to Dr. Ibrahim, our national dentist. They focused on dental x-ray and essential instruments used at the clinic. Additional US dentists are invited to serve alongside Dr. Ibrahim to give further training. Please contact us through the website: CEHGuinea.org to find out more about this growing dental ministry God gave us.
Dr. Ibrahim with patient
Dr. Kante, ophthalmologist, joined the CEH staff part time in March. Our hope is this position will grow to full time by summer. Many Guineans have cataracts, chronic and acute eye infections, glaucoma, or just need a pair of glasses but must travel 200 miles or more for this care. Dr. Kante was trained by a Christian ophthalmologist, Dr. Ketema, in Conakry - one of the few specialty residency programs in Guinea. This program is targeting key cities throughout Guinea to address this need and they invited us to participate. The residency, assisted by a Floridian ophthalmologist philanthropist, provides an operating microscope and a slit lamp to empower the service with the most essential costly tools to give this care. With our location at the crossroads of the country and our growing reputation as a center that provides competent compassionate care, we trust that many will receive the care they need at CEH. Reflecting on the healing ministry of Christ, many were blind who came to Him for healing and He touched them.This was evidence that He was sent from God and cared tangibly for the needs of mankind with power.
Patients who receive surgical care and the extended stay needed after surgery are more receptive to the gospel partly because of daily care and Christian witness from our staff. We continue to work toward a goal of hiring a complete surgical staff that will enable us to fully launch this aspect of the ministry. Currently we are functional for basic surgery and performing ten major and fifteen minor cases per month. We are in contact with three potential African residency-trained surgeons and a nurse anesthetist. Please pray with us for a US surgeon (6 months to 2 years) to launch this ministry.
MIAPE Christian School
The MIAPE Christian School, located on the northeast corner of our property, has six class levels and 160 students registered. Class size is limited to 40 students maximum, whereas government schools occasionally surpass 100 with some students sitting outside to hear through the windows. National tests show our students are excelling. Bible lessons are part of the curriculum; though most of the students are from another major religion. Marieetou, Pastor Oumar's wife teaches these Bible lessons and the children are eager to learn. Pray for good fruit from this ministry.
MIAPE students leaving school
The Welcome Center was builtto house new converts to Christas we disciple them near the hospital. Because these individuals often are ostracized from their families we hope to give them shelter, initial food and then vocational training to provide for themselves as we disciple them. Pastor Oumar uses one of the eight rooms as his office and shares spiritual truths with earnest learners.
New Construction Progress
Our last two construction teams accomplished marvelous tasks in November '15 and January '16. The laundry building is functioning well. The solar system is providing reliable electricity. Improvements were made on the electrical, water, and sewer infrastructures. A new x-ray was installed and put into use though we were still thwarted in the repair of the original portable machine. A new IT network is allowing improved communication within the hospital and trans-Atlantic including digital x-rays for review at the Mayo Clinic. The solar electrical system is connected through the IT so that it may be monitored by our engineers here in the USA. The medical team performed surgeries, anesthesia, x-rays and dental procedures while also training our staff. Our next team may go in August or September of 2016.
Bricks ready to be used
Ward E under construction
Guinea was reported free of Ebola on December 29, 2015 having passed the observational period of 42 days (double the time of normal incubation of the virus without a case report). This is an answer to all of our prayers. The development of a vaccine and then vaccinating all known contacts of every reported case was helpful in closing down each chain of transmission. The USA's foreign aid certainly assisted mobilizing the medical community internationally to combat this three nation plague that also leaked out to nine other nations. On March 14, 2016 two adults were found who died and tested positive in Macenta, 200 miles southeast of us. Surveillance of all their contacts is active. Pray again with us for a rapid resolution of this serious potential epidemic. When the Ebola epidemic faded so did the nationwide fear of medical institutions. The number of patients coming to CEH for care has grown to about 45 daily. The financial solvency of the hospital is predicated on at least 50 patients daily. One day recently we saw 86. We train staff to competently see 70-100, giving the best care possible in that setting and sharing the gospel with all who come. We have the basic principle that the hospital should grow to be self sufficient based on their modest fees for service rather than being dependant on USA donations. We prefer to keep the staff we hire and train to our standards and protocols rather than laying them off during the lull in patients as during the Ebola crisis. So we subsidized the Guinean staff salaries. We used the down time to try to train them further. During the two-year epidemic we had five medical staff leave us and we hired seven more.
God has faithfully supplied the normal $7,400 monthly that we send out to subsidize the hospital operation and pay for the construction and MIAPE missionary staff. This is our highest financial priority each month. Thank you to each of you who partner with us in this way. Special Projects We are currently building Ward E to serve eight more inpatients. We anticipate more surgical and ophthalmological patients, since these are the two new services we hope to offer this year. This will cost approximately $38,000. Then we will begin to build a residence for our future physicians at a cost of approximately $50,000. Because of the issue of transporting our 58 workers plus the 160 children for the MIAPE School from Mamou town out to the hospital 8 miles northeast, we are leasing a 60 passenger yellow school bus for 1200/ month, plus running our two smaller 22 seat Renault Master bus and our older Nissan minivan. We are considering buying a full size bus or two more of these 22 seat busses and try to schedule and cycle the trips to better transport everyone and then stop the lease. Each of these smaller buses will cost us about $7,000 used. The Board raised this special project to a top level for 2016. If the Lord lays this on your heart you are welcome to share in this. Pray for wisdom and then safety in all this daily transportation. More than 95% of all of our donations receipts as sent directly to Africa for the ministry there. The 5% here is used for accounting, financial review, ECFA fees and promotional mailings. If you feel that God is prompting you to partner with us at this time we would appreciate that help.