Monday, April 27, 2015


Thank you for all the prayers for us throughout the weekend.  Things remained calm overall, with only a few minor incidents in town.

The young man with the gunshot wound passed away this morning.  The family grieved, but even as it looked like he was dying, his mother ran out to tell people that she didn't want retaliation.  They want an end to the violence.

The family has been able to remove the body from the hospital compound this afternoon.  The police are hoping that the family will be willing to place the body directly into the ground, because of concerns that the funeral and grieving process could be used by some as an excuse for further violence.

We are remaining cautious, but do not feel that we are currently at risk.
Thank you for all your prayers!

The police station across the street from the hospital, seen from our backyard.

Psalm 33:13-22

The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in you.

Guarding the intersection in front of the police station.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Yesterday, on the road to the north of us, a motorcyclist died with some police involvement.  The story of the events vary wildly.

The normally calm jungle road to the north of the hospital.

It affected us here because a crowd retaliated by attacking the police station across from the hospital. The police discouraged the crowd from attacking by firing warning shots.  At first, it appeared that things would blow over quickly.

But about an hour later, the crowd returned and began a new assault on the station, including what looked like homemade fire bombs.  The police were able to drive the crowd back by a serious of shots fired into the air, but unfortunately, one young man was hit by a bullet.

Things were quite chaotic for awhile.  The medical staff was treating the patients already at the hospital, plus the newly wounded.  The guards and other staff were busy keeping things safe and secure at the gate and inside the hospital.

After the crowd retreated a bit, they remained close by, yelling and occasionally throwing things toward the police barricade.  After some time, the police used more shots, some from larger weapons, to disperse the crowd.

A picture taken from our backyard.  A woman calmly goes about her day while passing the police barricade and walking toward the crowd.  She seemed unconcerned about the violence surrounding her.

 After about 2pm, things remained calm and quiet, with police blocking most traffic until the evening.

This morning, things are once again calm, with some normal traffic, but many people are choosing to stay away from the area for now.  There is a stronger than usual police presence guarding the station.

The patient who was shot in the abdomen survived surgery and remains in critical condition.  If he lives, we anticipate things remaining calm.  If he dies, the grieving could reignite the anger and violence.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, and we will update as news becomes available.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Around the Web

Some of our recent visitors have blogged about their time here.  You can read about their
experiences, and get another perspective on the work here at the hospital.

Aaron Tabor, a fourth year medical student blogs at Make A Change.   He blogs in detail about his experience in Impfondo. 

No real clinical duties today. I don't think I talked about the church service today either actually now that I think about it. Dr. Wegner ended up not being able to come, so last minute they asked if I would lead the service and play guitar. So I had Joyce jump on the piano and I played guitar instead. Sadly, we had another kid with cerebral malaria who coded and that's why Dr. Wegner couldn't make it to the service. Sounds like maybe there were some other pretty sick kids this morning too, because when I did see Dr. Wegner he said it was a pretty bad morning. I've been here in Impfondo for just over a week and watched several kids die, I can't imagine what it's like for the extended periods of time. In the ER it's pretty different because they come in sick, and if it's a code blue, you do what you can. Even if you have a patient in the hospital say in the ICU, you still aren't the one caring for them constantly, you round and see them and make decisions and leave. Here, you do everything. So watching the girl I spent 8 hours keeping alive then code and die the next morning, that's when it gets a bit harder. You don't want to get too attached, because as I've said, death is common in the Congo. But also you don't want death to completely unaffect you. Death doesn't bother me as much in America when you see it because it's also not as close in the moments after. You don't watch as the families pick up the dead bodies and go bury them. It's also knowing that we could save the kids, if we only had this, that and the other. Jason and I were discussing how you don't hear a whole lot about kids getting sick with infection and dying subsequently in the hospital. Above all, I think what makes it hard in comparison to America, is that it's really simple things that kill them... {read the rest here}

Another visitor, Kara Kinsley is a PA student.  She blogs at International Physician's Assistant.  

One week in! The day started in labor and delivery. The maternity suite is an open room that has two beds. At the beginning of labor women come into the room and place their own sheet on the bed. The midwives will attach a yellow bucket to the end of the bed in an attempt to catch all the bodily fluids from the delivery. The midwives handle most deliveries here and are very good. They tend to only call the doctor when there is a problem. Today there was a problem. The women who was delivering was determined to have a breech presenting baby, but still continued with a vaginal delivery. C-sections here have to be planned relatively far in advance because the fastest they can prepare the OR is 45 minutes. (Not fast enough for an emergency). The process of pushing took about 45 minutes to an hour from the presentation of the baby’s bottom. There was a lot of meconium that came with the bottom, so it was clear that the baby was in stress. It was very difficult for the mom to push out the baby in this position. The midwives tried to gently pull baby out when mom was pushing but it was unsuccessful. By the time we got the baby out, his heart had stopped beating. We rushed the baby to the counter and initiated ACLS on what looked like a cafeteria tray. Unfortunately, he was unable to be revived. This occurrence is somewhat common at the hospital. Many women arrive with little to no prenatal care and emergencies can not be handled with the speed they can be in many other places. My heart aches for this mother and her lost infant. I pray for emotional healing for this family. {read the rest here}

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


While the team from Hong Kong was visiting, these two lovely ladies did VBS with the MKs in the afternoons.
They studied about weird animals, and they learned that Jesus loves them very much!
They all had a great time.

Monday, April 20, 2015


One of our favorite times of the year is here:
MANGO season.

We have a mango tree in our front yard,
and we enjoy watching them grow.

Ian under the mango tree.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Follow-Up pt 3

Once our patient was in her home, there was still one more thing that needed to be done.
The house was ready, but the outhouse still needed to be mudded.  We found some willing volunteers.
In place of our normal Thursday afternoon school reading time, followed by art class,
we headed out to the town to do some work. 

The structure was in place, and we just needed to pack mud between the sticks.
Our youngest volunteer shows off her muddy hands.

The kids worked hard, running back and forth between the mud pit and the outhouse with mud, then packing the mud into place to form the walls.

Ian had some girls giggling over him and everything he did.
They seemed to think he was really cute.
He was not amused.

This wall is almost done!

At the end everyone was quite a bit dirtier than when they started.
We got some interesting looks walking back home!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Follow Up- pt 2

Finally, it's time for the young lady mentioned yesterday to go home!

One of the pharmacy workers and Dr. Kiong help Mama Sarah sort out the needed medications.

This was her first time leaving the hospital in months and her first time seeing her new house.

She was happy to see her house.
Now she's ready for the night in her new place!