Dear friends and prayer partners of CEH,
God continues to do marvelous things through the ministry of Compassion Evangelical Hospital (CEH) in Guinea to extend His Kingdom and glory. In this update I summarize some of the current progress and expansion and share from my January 12-31, 2023 trip to fuel your prayers.
Themes of expansion cause me to think about the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9–10 asking God to bless him, expand his territory, and keep him from evil. Jabez was considered honorable by God who granted his request. Also in Isaiah 54:2–5 God commanded Israel to enlarge their tent to make room for more children. And reminded them … for your husband is your maker … and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel … who is called the God of the whole earth. Even so, Lord Jesus, may CEH be a part of this to your glory!
Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel at CEH,
Your brother in Christ,
Dwight E. Slater, MD
CEO of CEH
Expansion through the Medical Evangelism Conference
January launched with a flurry of productive training as ARC (Autumn Ridge Church, MN) sponsored the 5th Biennial Medical Evangelism Conference. To accommodate the approximately 150 participants from five African nations and three Western nations, CEH used available meeting space at the Forestry School in Mamou. Lodging and meals were provided for everyone. The 13 ARC and medical missionary speakers shared close fellowship in the CEH Guest House.
The presentations were equally divided between African and Western doctors and pastors. There were four tracts of elective sessions: medical/doctors, nursing, community health, and administrative/chaplaincy. A wholistic evangelism program called the Saline Solution was presented in the evenings by experienced national leaders from Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Fifty nationals attended the evening sessions during the week and 40 CEH staff attended a 10-hour crash course on the weekend. Everyone thoroughly appreciated all the sessions. Certificates of participation were issued to the attendees who gratefully celebrated.
Among the participants were six western medical professionals who are working with CEH in various capacities or may in the future. Doris Nuss (Christian Missionary Alliance, CMA) has been with us for six years training our nurses to improve their knowledge and skills. She plans to lead the creation of the Compassion International Health Institute (CIHI) nursing school in 2023. Doris invited a younger couple, the Noveys (both nurses serving in Guinea under CMA) to consider working at CEH and participating in the school training in the future. During the week we had tours and interviews paving the way for participation with us, if God continues to lead them in this way. Dr. Jonathan Morasse is an energetic Family Practice (FP)/Hospitalist Doctor from Quebec, Canada who participated in the conference as a speaker. He is fluent in French with a delightful character. Dr. Jonathan was very well received by the nationals. He plans to return to CEH this March through May, 2023, and then go on to Madagascar on a vision trip to discern where God might lead him in long term service with medical missions under Africa Inland Mission (AIM). We would love to have him at CEH and envision how he could help train national doctors for years to come. Pray with us for the Lord’s will in this.
Additionally, Dr. James Appel is an experienced FP doctor with extensive Surgery, OB Gyn, and Orthopedic experience during his 20+ years of mission service in Africa. He also presented at the conference. He currently works primarily in Monrovia, Liberia about 12–15 hours to the south of CEH. He expressed an interest in recurrent working visits to our hospital to reinforce and train our doctors further if CEH can facilitate his travel and approval with the Ministry of Health to serve in Guinea. Before I left Africa, Etienne and I were able to introduce this issue to the Ministry of Health receiving strong approval based on our constructive collaboration with them over many years.
Dr. Allison and Daniel Travis arrived in Mamou this past December after a challenging year of French language acquisition in the capital of Conakry. They settled in their new home where they are completing language study and Allison is starting half-time surgical work at the hospital. We previously secured her registration with the Ministry of Health and with the Regional Health Director. Daniel's focus will be to use his skills and training in discipleship and evangelism.
Dr. Allison and Daniel feel welcomed and supported by the MIAPE Church and CEH community. The highlight of the trip was to present them to the community leaders/heads of families near the hospital as new members of our team where they were warmly received. The family heads and Imams expressed appreciation that they are well served by the hospital seen as one of the best in Guinea. More importantly they feel genuinely loved by our doctors and administrators through our care for them. The younger men shared they want more jobs to help care for their families including their “elders whom we were honoring with our visit”. I was able to transparently share that if they could help us attract more patients through their word of mouth there would be a greater need for markets, hotels, homes, transportation systems, etc. Then they would have jobs or even be the creators of small businesses. They were receptive to this mutually beneficial idea. Glory to God in all of this!
Expansion through Construction
On the construction side of the hospital, the national leaders completed a rough inventory of the electrical and plumbing materials on hand at George W’s request. George must soon purchase needed materials to complete the next planned projects for his trip in the late spring. The rough construction work on Ward F (Surgical and Orthopedic) is completed and waiting for the U.S. team to assist in the plumbing and electrical installation. They also hope to work on 10 other projects. Pray for this team of 3–5 people as they prepare.
Preparation for the next container is underway at Highland Park Baptist Church, MI (HPBC). This shipping container will hold construction and donated medical material from individuals and U.S. hospitals. Each container sent costs about $18,000 to purchase and ship.
Progress in the Pharmacy
The last update in 2022 reported a problem of theft and loss of significant inventory from the pharmacy. We clarified the essential role of the pharmacy to the staff, emphasized theft is actually from God first, then from CEH and also from each other as staff since their salaries are greatly dependent on that income. In 2022, five workers were terminated and two others resigned. The staff took the news soberly and accepted the corrective measures for improved security, limited access to pharmacy products by personnel, regular daily and monthly inventories, and modification of medical benefits to stop the losses. We dug deep into our operational budget to try to replenish the inventory of essential medications so we can care for our patients and financially operate the hospital. Continue to pray for this issue as we implement these procedures.
CHP with Dr. Kristen Expands in the Community
Dr. Kristen decided to transition the Community Health Program (CHP) which she founded in 2018, from under CEH to another nonprofit/mission agency. There she will maintain her current staff and community services and have more freedom in administrative decisions. We appreciate her services to CEH over the years: first in the curative clinical work especially in pediatrics and then more recently in the development of the effective CHP program. This reached thousands of people, with the help of a U.S. advisory/facilitating committee based primarily in Texas. We will maintain a collaborative relationship where CEH can serve the referral needs of the communities CHP serves. Dr. Kristen and her staff may participate in some educational programs for our own staff on request. The consumable materials most relevant to community health were transferred to CHP. The building, medical and administrative materials remain with CEH. Future personal and CHP financial support will channel through the new organization as Kristen informs her supporters. Please continue to pray for her and the CHP ministry in this new chapter.
Expansion in Nursing Education and Final Inspections
On my final day in Guinea with Etienne we visited two government ministries. At the Ministry of Professional Education, we met six officials and arranged for the inspection of the nursing school. The inspection promptly occurred on February 4. Final approval will give a green light to recruit up to 20 students. We will continue to work to make this school an exceptionally good training center. Classes for LPNs, RNs, and Midwives will be offered this fall, Lord willing. Please pray for this much anticipated final approval.
At the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kaba who supervises all the hospitals of Guinea was very welcoming. He expressed gratitude for the gift in 2022 of dialysis materials, which couldn't be used at CEH, to their Donka Hospital in the capital. It has the only dialysis center in the nation and was running out of materials. We gave gifts of extra medical supplies to other regional government hospitals as well. Dr. Kaba appreciates the development of CEH to provide trauma services to the nation’s central region. He expressed the intention to make our hospital the referral center for trauma in the area and asked us to train other professionals in the stabilization of cases they refer to us. He called CEH a “Jewel Hospital” and an example for the nation. We pray the quality of our work and the love we express to our patients will continue to glorify God at all levels in this nation. Pray as Christ is lifted up, and people see genuine love for them through our competence and compassion, He will draw all men to himself.
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If you are receiving both a paper version and digital version of this newsletter and want to be removed from the paper version, please send a note to CEH, P.O. Box 870, Southfield, MI 48037 or email Dwight E. Slater at email@example.com