Dear Friends and Family,
The new "one day hospital" project is here! For the last five months we have been under fire to get things done around here to be ready for the four containers that had all the new buildings in them. Ground needing clearing, extra dirt brought in for leveling the area that we would put cement slabs. A compactor machine was needed for preparing the ground for all the slabs that needed to be poured. Metal brought in for putting in the slabs. Then one of the most challenging was the cement itself. Where to find hundreds of bags in a country like this was difficult. Then the challenge did not stop there because to get the cement here was another challenge in itself. If you can remember our flooding and water problems, well this created a problem with the roads. Then to bring in load after load after load of gravel and sand. Managing the workers that numbered from 10-75 on certain given days. Preparations needed to be made for Maranatha to come in to help put up the structures. Lots of emails and phone calls from the states to get this project to be a success and right in the middle of it all is Jamie.
This project of the "one day hospital" started back when we were in the states on our furlough during the months of April - July. Dr. Olen had met Garwin McNeilus when Garwin brought his granddaughter Athens to Bere to work in the Nutrition center. During his short visit to Bere he noticed many of our great needs. He instantly began to talk with Olen and then Jamie while we were in the states. Then when he got back to the states we made a quick trip to Minnesota so Jamie could help design the "one day hospital" and they could talk about our needs. And ever since it has been a non stop focus on what needs to be done next to get the project done.
As soon as we got back to Africa the preparations for the slabs where being done. Mr. McNeilus sent 11 men over here from Uganda and from Zambia. These guys have worked with Mr. McNeilus before pouring slabs so the training needed was very limited and they have been such a blessing to the project and Jamie. They just jumped right in there and got one job after another done.
It took a long time to complete the cement slabs because each one had to be done by pushing one wheel barrel full of mixed cement and then another. It also took some time to get the containers here. There was an incident of a man taking some money that was to be used to get the containers here. That wasted some time and added a lot of frustration. But another man was found to get the containers here and extra money was sent. And it was such a happy day when we heard the big trucks outside the gate with all the containers, all but one. But that one finally showed up too a little while later.
Garwin McNeilus flew in to help with the final touches before the containers arrived and then he helped organize the process of getting everything off the containers and how things should be laid out to be most efficient. It was crazy to see how much stuff could be put into those containers. Garwin's crew has all of the packing down to a science. All the guys that helped load the containers in the states where here to help unload them and start the process of building the structures.
We now have all the structures up for a 4 room hotel, many duplexes, some smaller volunteer housing and 3 bigger houses. But that is not all! A new maternity ward, operating room, private ward, dentist building and aids health building. Five pavilions have been put up. One pavilion is for the school and church to use. Another pavilion is for the volunteer housing. Then the other three are for the new part of the hospital. So exciting! It is looking so great!
It is such a blessing to have these buildings sent here. I know that many people have been a part of getting these things here like Maranatha and Adventist Health International and many other individuals. But, I want to give a special thank you to Garwin McNeilus for all the time, energy and money that he himself has put into this project. I just know that God will bless him for what he has done here in Bere. I know right now we only have structures but what can be done inside those buildings is what is going to save souls for the kingdom. To be a part of this has been a blessing to our family. An enormous amount of work, but a blessing.
Jamie and I have worked as a team to help this project to be a success. But the man that really deserves kudos is Jamie. I am so proud of the work he has done here. His heart has been poured into this project. He has had to work all hours at different times to get everything here to get the job done. He didn't do it alone, and he had lots of helpers, but to be over a project like this was a big job. But he tells me that when you have an employer like God, He gives you the strength and the knowledge you need. He has told me that many times he had to pray for an answer on how to get a job done that may look impossible in a country like this one but God always helps Jamie work it all out.
Jamie will be working on these buildings for the next year putting in electric, plumbing, walls and who knows what else but, it is amazing to see how far they have come already.
Well, we just wanted to share what Jamie's life has been all about since we have been back. Here are a few pictures of the new addition.
Love and blessings,