Dear CEH friends and prayer partners, Our unique paths of pilgrimage (including events, geographical places, time and their impact on our lives and those around us) contain common elements and shared experiences as we walk this life together. Our lives touch one another in meaningful ways as we support each other. Mom's passing 40 days ago was one such moment for me. Thank you for coming alongside me and my family and holding us up through your cards, prayers and physical presence. Many of you also lost precious loved ones and understand the depth of personal loss and the strength felt through the comfort of shared moments during a time of grief. We sang a favorite song of Mom's at her service, "I Come to the Garden Alone." The verses remind us that our God speaks to us individually, comforting and counseling us with individual care because of His intimate love for us. In such moments I am blessed. In our pilgrimage we thank you for your partnership in the work of God in Guinea. Your brother in Christ, Dr. Dwight Slater, MD, CEO of CEH
Medical Services at CEH
The ministry of CEH is another shared path. Thank you for joining us in this ministry. In November 2017 we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of medical service to the people of Guinea. Just over 100,000 patients will be served by then. To our knowledge about 160 professed personal faith in Christ. Many thousands were medically helped and/or cured; all hearing the truths of the Word of God and the Gospel of Salvation.
In May I visited the hospital and we dedicated the last four buildings built in 2016 and 2017. The staff gathered together for a prayer walk as we prayed for:
* the Laundry serving all with the goal of cleanliness and personal hygiene;
* Wards D and E increasing our inpatient capacity to 42 beds;
* The new patient Kitchen allowing families to provide nourishment to their hospitalized loved ones.
With the completion of those four buildings we are at the halfway point of the original plan shared with the CEH Board in 2004. We are also blessed with additional assets not part of that original plan:
* Solar system energy source
* MIAPE Fresh Dew Christian School serving 260 students
* Bus fleet transporting staff and students to the campus
* Basic IT service that connects the hospital to the outside world
The buildings and the growth in each area are truly blessings from God. CEH now employs 60 national staff or missionaries from other parts of Africa; all trained and equipped, competent in their roles for service at the hospital. Dr. Kristen and Dr. Pepper are our only "western/long-term" missionaries. Hundreds of others continue to serve as short term missionaries with us - an unmeasurable blessing! All of this is orchestrated and provided by God for His glory! Thank you for your prayers and your giving through which He works.
Staff on prayer walk
May Trip to Guinea Last May I had the privilege of taking my 15th trip to Guinea. Joining me on this trip was my youngest daughter Veronica (Vonnie) and her Colorado Christian University roommate and friend Marysa Sundgerg. It was Vonnie's 5th trip to Guinea. Both of them worked diligently contributing to the work. Marysa participated with the ten national instructors at Fresh Dew Christian School helping teach English and Math. The children loved her. Both Vonnie and Marysa probably received over 1,000 hugs from the children during their short term stay.
Dwight, Vonnie, Lacina, Josephine, Marte and Marysa Vonnie and I worked together helping to organize the storage units. We shipped medical materials to CEH in the last ten years in a total of sixteen 8'x20' and two 8'x40' containers. The containers and their contents are protected by mounting them on pedestals and placing roofs on top to protect from termites and the extreme sun. However the organization of the medical materials was poor and not efficient for retrieving the desired supplies. Over time it is evident that these containers are hard to open and close and are located too far (300 yards) from the main hospital. Our national leadership recommended we advance the priority of building a new medical supply building very close to the surgery and wards to better use the materials. This was on our future list but is now urgent to be a better steward of these resources. The building cost will be about $50,000. It seems fitting that some of the Barbara Slater Memorial funds will be used for this as she was responsible for this work as well as nursing at the Ferke hospital. Pray with us for its completion.
CEH staff and families I was able to lead devotionals for the staff to review our core values which unite us in the service of Christ. These are presented on our web site using the acrostic CHRIST'S LOVE. I also had an open session to respond to any administrative suggestions or questions staff members wished to ask. One of the suggestions gleaned from this time was that some would like to purchase lots near the hospital to build personal homes. This would allow those staff to be more accessible for emergencies in the future. I had the occasion to dialogue with the community leaders on my final Friday when Etienne and I were invited to visit them. The local community is developing rapidly. The exchange was very warm and positive as they thanked us for our medical services and the kindness and competence of Etienne, our Director. They then shared some of their own requests to us; for training, jobs and water. We look favorably on many of these. In a culturally appropriate way I was then able to request their consideration of selling ten lots to our workers to fulfill their requests. After my departure, village leaders followed through to designate ten lots for this purpose at $800 each (about half of the original requested price). In our July wire we sent funds to serve as loans to our workers to facilitate these transactions. Soon some of our workers will begin building there. Part of this money came from the Barbara Slater Memorial funds received recently. She would have been very pleased to know this helped nurses build their homes next to the hospital. Again, God orchestrates all this!
Autumn Ridge Partnership
Autumn Ridge Church, one of our key supporting church partners, founded a non-profit organization called Olmsted Outreach with a subgroup called Guinea Education Partners, headed by Chantal O'Driscol. They will be the primary liaison to facilitate the ministry of the MIAPE Christian School, now known as Fresh Dew Christian Schools. This year they served 260 students. Of the graduating sixth grade students, all fifteen passed the national test for admission to the next middle school level. The national average for passing is only 35%. Naturally the school is now being flooded with applications for this next year. They would also like to add a middle school progressively in future years. CEH will consider ceding another portion of our property to them for this purpose in our September board meeting. Paulette, Etienne's wife is the school director, and half of the school staff is Christian. This is a valuable parallel ministry since 90% of the students are Muslims yet we have full privilege of teaching Biblical lessons to all classes regularly. Some have come to Christ. Pray with us for God's continued blessing on this ministry.
Fresh Dew Christian School
Quote from Dwight and Barbara Slater
"The Christian must have horizons that extend beyond the view of most. The spiritual and physical needs of mankind are multitudinous. However the Christian should be aware that the world his life actually touches is relatively small by comparison, yet in that setting he bears the full responsibility of being Christ's ambassador. That is the supreme privilege of life and man's highest calling."