In December we began construction of a steel roofing system for the AIC (African Inland Church) School of Nursing. The School of Nursing was started in 2010. The training program takes approximately 3.5 years to complete and once finished the students are qualified to be nurses anywhere in Kenya; although the hope is many will choose to stay in Kapsowar.
Currently, the school has about 180 students and since its inception has not had adequate space for accommodating the students. Several years ago the school started building this dormitory to solve the housing issue. Right now the ground floor is finished and occupied, the next three floors are in progress, and the big need was to finish the roofing system.
The engineer of record for the building is a Kenyan structural engineer, who also serves as the hospital board member; he is the designer of the roof system. I took on the role of the “contractor” for the project: estimating the materials, assembling the team to build the trusses and install them, and working with them through the process building the trusses as designed. The steel work: building and erecting the trusses, putting the perlins, and installing the braces took about 22 working days. The following iron sheets only took 2.5 days to install.
The project went well and was a lot of fun. I really enjoy the process of framing a building and personally I think it looks better with the framing than with the finished iron sheets on although the residents of the top floor will be appreciative of the iron sheets being in place!
In keeping with tradition, we have come up with another top ten list. For 2016, these are the top ten strangest questions we have actually asked out loud.
2016 was a great year filled with many blessings from above. Thanks to all of you for sticking with us through another year in Kenya! We can’t wait to see what God will do in us and through us this year.
Top Ten Strangest Questions…
1. Honey, why are there two ducks in our shed? I thought you ordered turkeys.
2. Where are our children?
3. Does our milk come from Sally’s cow or Vivian’s cow?
4. If it doesn’t rain overnight can we go and buy groceries tomorrow?
5. What’s Allen bringing for dinner? Sheep or goat?
6. When was the last time you took a shower?
7. Did you bleach these apples?
8. Lyon, did you feed the pigs and chickens today?
9. Did Mom bring home another baby?
10. Was the patient taken to a traditional doctor and treated with herbs prior to arrival?
Have you been considering a trip to Africa? Are you looking for a way to help? Do you have a medical degree? If so, this post is for you!
Very soon we will be in need of short term medical missionaries to assist us in the hospital so that we can continue to provide medical care to the people of Kenya. Beginning February 18th and continuing until August 1st, we are in need of volunteers who would be willing to come for a time period of at least two weeks. Family practice and OB/Gyn are the two greatest needs, but Pediatrics and Internal Medicine would be helpful as well. Resident physicians are also welcome.
I feel like I’m standing at the base of a mountain, preparing myself for the uphill battle. In about 6 weeks we will be short staffed. That means longer hours and more on-call nights. I can handle the pressure and the work load, I’ve done it successfully before by the grace of God, but we could sure use some help!
If you are interested or if you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me! I know that God will provide for the upcoming season, just as He has provided for our every need up to this day!
It has been a busy week back at work. Yesterday I had the privilege of helping triplets make their entrance in the world! While our intent was to keep the babies safe in mama’s belly for a few more weeks, they had their own plan. So, at 28 weeks gestation and weighing in at 0.990kg, 1.14kg, and 1.33kg these little miracles joined our NBU crew!. Two boys and one teeny little girl. While she is small, she is proving to be mighty; and she’ll have to be to keep up with two brothers! So far all three are doing well and breathing with the help of only a little oxygen. They have a long road ahead, especially the wee little sister. Please pray for strength to breathe, for good tolerance of feeds, and for a healthy mom to care for them all.
With the addition of the triplets, our New Born Unit (NBU) is running above full capacity! We have the triplets and two sets of twins plus a couple other babes. Ten babies total, seven of which are premature and require a lot of monitoring. And as I write this, we are waiting for the arrival of another little one who will likely need our help. Prayers for our staff are definitely needed!
Its good to be back at work, its good to be reminded of what I have been called to do. Its a privilege to serve my creator in this tiny corner of the world.
I’m back to work after being blessed with time off while my family was visiting. Monday morning is always rough, but this Monday had some added surprises. Monday morning was the start of a planned strike by all Kenyan physicians. This means higher patient volumes for us, and specifically more moms and babies for me on my first Monday back! I started my Monday with an urgent CSection on a mom who was referred from government hospital where the doctors were on strike. Thankfully her operation went well, and baby is healthy. Soon after this my colleague received a transfer of premature twins from the same hospital. The day was met with more patients who had similar stories; they had been referred to us thanks to the strike. Last night another colleague performed an urgent CS on a mom who had travelled eight hours, in active labor, as we were the only facility with physicians. It’s a dangerous time to be a patient.I am no expert on the political aspect of the strike. I’m sure there are two sides to the story, and there are probably many factors at play. However, the bottom line is this: it needs to be resolved before more patients suffer as a result. Please pray for this situation, for quick resolution, for patient safety, and for extra patience and wisdom.
A little boy showing signs of improvement…Check
Praise the Lord, and pass the chocolate!
Oscar has improved steadily over the last two days. His strange symptoms have nearly resolved. He’s running around and talking and giving that mischievous grin once again.
On Tuesday we changed his anti-epileptic drugs. Not only did that improve some of his symptoms, but it also seems to be controlling his seizures as he hasn’t had any more.
We are still waiting for the EEG results. I am really hoping we see those tomorrow! We are so thankful that Oscar is improving. We praise God for it! Thank you all for your prayers, we thank God for all of you too!
Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers. Please know that we are blessed by each of you!
Oscar underwent the EEG this morning and he cooperated so beautifully! I was thanking God for a calm toddler as the test was run! We are still waiting for definitive results that may take 2-3 days to get here. We are considering some additional testing, but nothing is scheduled quite yet.
Oscar has been seizure free since last night. He is definitely not acting like himself, and we are praying for a fresh start tomorrow!
Please continue to pray for answers, for healing, and for peace!