Missionary

The last week of Mission Institute at Andrews University this last summer Bekki and I were given our missionary credentials. Cards that identified us as official missionaries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As I shared with our Mission Institute group Friday night at communion, those credentials mean a lot to me, even more than my medical license. From the time I was an earliteen in Thailand I have wanted to be a missionary. Now I really was a missionary, and getting to go over the seas to a foreign land to tell the natives about Jesus, to teach and train them.

I guess I had this vision in my head of the picture on the front of the old mission book “Singer On the Sand”. The missionary in the white pith helmet and picture roll who also was able to cure (with God’s help of course) the chief or someone in his family of their deadly disease. Another classic example are all the Eric B Hare stories. But as many times as I have been in the mission field I would think I would have had a more realistic outlook.

Since being here I have found out that the native Adventists really don’t need me to teach them much about the Bible. From what I can tell from their worships and the discussions in Sabbath School on Sabbath morning they have as good a Bible knowledge as I do, with a fairly mature understanding of Bible truth. Besides that my French is nowhere good enough to participate in the discussions or give a worship talk. I still sound like a poorly educated 5 year old.

Furthermore we have been so busy with medical work that there is not much time to even think about doing evangelism, you know what “missionaries are supposed to do”. And so now after being an official missionary for a few months I have found myself wondering, “What does it mean to be a missionary? What does a missionary do? How is it different from being at home in the US?” So it has been a great struggle in my mind, “What am I doing here? What is my mission? What am I, what are we doing for Jesus?”

Olen with his Dad Kermit leading the singing for all the kids.

Olen with his Dad Kermit leading the singing for all the kids.

Olen and Danae telling the Bible story with a felt board at the branch Sabbath School.

Olen and Danae telling the Bible story with a felt board at the branch Sabbath School.

I went up to spend some time with Olen Netteburg in Bere, and on Sabbath morning went out with them to a Nangere village where they held a Branch Sabbath School. That was really cool. That fit my vision of being a missionary. But what are we doing in Moundou? And it bothers me greatly that we seem to just fix peoples bodies, but give them next to nothing for their soul.

With that background you will understand how we felt last Friday evening when we actually got to do something of an evangelistic nature, what real missionaries do. Bekki brought back with her the Jesus video (a 2 hour DVD on the life of Jesus based on the book of Luke) in several languages, French, Fulani, Tchadien Arabic, and Ngombaye (the dominant language of our area, nearly everyone speaks Ngombaye, pronounced gum-bye). She also brought our projector with her, so Friday evening we set it all up and showed the Jesus video on the outside wall of the women’s ward. It was great, patients and families loved it. Those that could came out of the wards in wheel chairs and on crutches to watch the life of Jesus.

One really cool story is about Olivier. He is recovering from a badly fractured femur, and just the day before he and Bekki had a major argument over getting out of bed. He flat out told her he was not getting up for a month, so there. When the video started he wanted to watch it. So we got “Mr. I am not getting out of bed for a month” out of bed and he walked over to watch the video using a walker, including hopping a curb. It was a Friday night miracle of healing.

Bekki sat by a Muslim woman who probably had never seen or heard the story of Jesus before. Bekki was impressed by her reactions especially as she watched the scenes of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to be there with our patients and families, and we believe our prayer was answered. Our plan is to show the film in a different language every other Friday night. The other Friday nights we want to show a nature video that speaks in all languages.

One of our fracture patients listening to his Godpod.  It is loud enough to fill the whole room.

One of our fracture patients listening to his Godpod. It is loud enough to fill the whole room.

One of the neatest evangelistic tools we have is our Godpods. Many of you already know about them and have donated money for them. Bekki brought a number of them back with her this time as well. Godpods are little MP3 players that have rechargeable batteries in them with solar panels on one side to recharge the batteries. They have anywhere from 10 to 360 hours of playtime and come with the Bible, or Bible stories or anything else we want to program on them. They are immensely popular. In fact it is so cool, everytime we go into the wards we hear the Bible or Bible stories in French or Tchadien Arabic or Fulani.

One of our favorite Fulani girls showing off her Godpod.  She listened to it pretty much nonstop.

One of our favorite Fulani girls showing off her Godpod. She listened to it pretty much nonstop.

We had one in Ngombaye but one of the patients took it home. Although we tell them we are loaning it to them, many of them find their way out of the hospital. This is not altogether a bad thing as without the right cord and software they cannot change what is on it, and the whole idea is to get them out to where people can listen to them.

So I am happy that we are getting to do “missionary” things now. But at the same time I have come to realize that the whole missionary stereotype is a fantasy that we have built up from when we were in Kindergarten singing about going overseas to a mission land and the little girls wore paper nurses caps and the little boys wore paper mirrors on their heads. Not that emphasizing missions is bad, but we have to understand that we are all missionaries, or I should say, all Christians should be missionaries. Everything we do should show the love of Jesus to those around us, no matter what country we are in. So even though it is great that we can show the Jesus video in 4 different languages, and pass out MP3 players with the Bible on it, if I don’t show the love of Jesus in everything I do, in surgery, in rounds, in consults, when I drive the ambulance, then it is just a hollow gesture. Being a missionary is not something we just do in a foreign land, it what we are every day no matter where we live.

For those of you new to our blog please look around at the other pages, the “About” page tells a bit of who we are and our background, the “Definitions” page explains some terms that are used that some of you may not be familiar with, such as GC or AHI. The “Timeline” gives an idea of where we will be throughout the year, and the “Video” page has a video Bekki made of Koza Hospital, where we initially were to be. Soon there will be a new video about Moundou. There is also the Surgical Pictures Page, but be forewarned, it has some very graphic pictures, so if you don’t like blood and guts, stay away from that page. You will also find links to other missionary blogs such as Olen and Danae Netteburg, Jaime and Tammy Parker and others. Finally, if you like our blog and want to receive each new post directly to your e-mail, please sign up with your e-mail in the subscribe box. It doesn’t cost anything, there is no commitment, it just makes it easier to follow us. For our Francophone friends there is a French translation of our blog that you can find at http://gardnersenafrique.wordpress.com.

We welcome volunteers.

-Scott Gardner

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Three Days in May

I am sitting at our table listening to the most beautiful sound in the world, our generator. You have to understand why this is a significant statement. The first question most people ask when they hear our generator, “Is that your generator, or does the train come through the hospital?” To say it is loud and annoying is an understatement of epic proportions. But for now, it is the most beautiful sound in the world. It is the sound of lights, of food not spoiling in the refrigerator, of lights in the OR, of a working ultrasound machine, of fans, of batteries charging, yes of electricity.

These last three days in May have been memorable, more memorable than most. It started early Monday afternoon when the air conditioner quit during our last operation. This is always bad because it is hot and humid and wearing a gown under the OR lights is pretty miserable. So after we finished the case we headed out to find out why the air conditioner quit. The generator was off, which was strange because we didn’t have city power so we needed the generator. That was when we found out the bad news, both generators were down. One is leaking oil pretty badly, and the other had a bad piston. Isaac would have to go to N’djamena and try and find a new piston and get it put in the generator. That would take days. So after much discussion it was decided to move a good piston from the leaking generator into the other one. OK so we had a plan, but within the hour the batteries were dead in the hospital, so no lights, no fans, no nothing.

No generator means we can’t charge the batteries, it means we can’t pump water into the water tower, which is our only source of potable water. It means everything in our refrigerators goes bad, blood, food etc. There is no water to flush the toilet. There is no water in the hospital for the patients or nurses to wash their hands, their bodies, their clothes, no water to cook with or drink. And we rarely have city power so we can’t count on that. And we still have patients to take care of and to see, and emergencies that still come in. Yea, big problem.

The hospital at night without power

The hospital at night without power

We immediately went into conservation mode. We filled every container we could with water, turned off all lights and unplugged everything. So the only thing drawing off our batteries was the refrigerator, which was full of food Bekki and Johnnie had just bought. Monday night we were up late trying to get everything in order, but finally went to bed about midnight. Many of you read Bekki’s request for special prayer on facebook. At 1:30 Johnnie woke me up to tell me we had city power. What an answer to prayer! We were able to get the water tower filled, and give the batteries a little boost until the power went back off at 5:30.

Tuesday: Isaac was busy working on the generators getting the piston moved. We started out in the dark, well except for the ambient light coming in from the windows. We had surgeries to do, so with ambient light, a battery operated pulse oximeter and a very weak headlight we did our first case. I think it was a hernia, it was kinda dark, so could have been maybe an appendectomy, no I am pretty sure it was a hernia. At least when I got done I had a hernia sac in my hand, and he had an incision in his groin.

That was the easy case, we then had a man with an open tibia fracture. And it was in pieces, four actually, the tibia that is. With no power, no lights and no aircompressor I was not interested in trying to put in a nail, so we just washed him out really well, got the pieces of bone back together and then wrapped #5 steel wire around the pieces to help hold them in place while I put a cast on him. We have external fixators, but no screws for them. Today we cut a window in his cast so we could do dressing changes.

Sometime during the afternoon Isaac found a small generator he was able to use to charge the batteries with. Great! We had lights in the hospital and the house. We quickly got things plugged in to start charging, phones, computers, the Goal Zero, etc. It was during supper that a very unsettling thought occurred to me. Isaac was just charging the hospital batteries, not our house batteries. Hence we had spent the last several hours draining our precious battery power. I jumped up from the table, ripped cords from the wall and turned all the lights out. All that was left was the gentle green glow of the refrigerator light. Bekki, Johnnie and Brandon sat in stunned silence at this turn of events. We turned on our little solar lights and finished the meal in the dark. It was like camping said I.

Bekki, Brandon, and Johnny eating supper after I shut things down.

Bekki, Brandon, and Johnny eating supper after I shut things down.

This was serious, there were a lot of prayers going up. I really did not know how long it would take Isaac to get the generator working, and we needed the small generator to power the hospital, but the house batteries were dead, dead, dead, with no way to charge them. It was really hard not to think about our container with two perfectly good generators on it, sitting in Cameroon as it has for the last 3 months. So it was with hearts full of gratitude and praise that we heard the generator come on at 10 this morning. It has run all day, doing it’s thing, making lots of beautiful generator music. Thank you God.

Scott operating on the hernia on Tuesday (just kidding)

Scott operating on the hernia on Tuesday (just kidding)

And just in time, too. I would not want to have done today’s cases without power. The first patient had come in 2 weeks ago while I was in Bere. He had the typical proximal tibia fracture, in pieces, 2 weeks old already, and badly infected. His thigh was swollen, pus pouring out of the wound. We took him to the OR, opened up the wound, cleaned it out and I put a plate on the tibia to stabilize it. But the bone ends did not look healthy. The last two weeks have been very discouraging. Every day I take his dressing off to be greeted by pools of pus, and bone ends that are just plain dead. I tried getting the pockets opened up more, placed drains, nothing worked. So today I took him back determined to find every bit of pus that was there. The main pocket seemed to be coming from behind his knee, Oh great. That is where all the vessels and nerves live. So I carefully tried to open up the pocket from behind the knee. I tried to keep it superficial, really I did. One more gentle push with the clamp and I was in the pocket, and…was greeted by audible bleeding. As you can guess audible bleeding, ie bleeding you can hear, is not good, in fact it is very bad. I quickly got my finger in the hole and was able to stop it long enough for Daniel to get our tourniquet on his leg. Great, I could breathe again, but how am I going to get back there to fix the hole in the vessel? So I extended the incision and started trying to dissect down to the vessels, but was greeted with pus and more pus, with tunnels going up his thigh. And then I would look at the bone. I knew that short of a miracle that bone was never going to heal, it was dead. He really just needed the leg off. Fortunately he was awake and we brought his uncle in and showed him the infection and explained the situation and they agreed to the amputation.

In the meantime he suddenly dropped his oxygen saturation. Pulse and blood pressure were fine, but he was hyperventilating. Pulmonary Embolus? Probably, but I have nothing to treat it with, and no way to diagnose it. With oxygen he was better. Then during the amputation he dropped again, he was already on maximum (for us) oxygen. His pressure dropped this time as well. We were losing him. It was all hands on deck time. Bekki came in and did jaw thrust, Brandon scrambled to get everything we needed, Abel scrubbed out to help Daniel with the IV’s. We got blood and more fluids in him, some epinephrine, and lots of prayers. As he started to come back around, Johnnie and I got the leg off. That is also not an easy feat right now. We have no saw to cut the bone with, other that the power saw with the air compressor that is not working. So I had to chisel through his femur with a hammer and chisel. Not elegant but it got the leg off.

By the end of the case he was awake, breathing on his own and talking. He is currently sitting up in recovery drinking and eating with no idea how close he came to dying this morning.

After a badly needed rest at lunch we started our second case. This was an older woman who looked 12 months pregnant. Ultrasound had confirmed it was a large ovarian mass, probably cancer. But she was so miserable with this I had to try and get it out. Besides it could be benign. So that was the plan, get the mass out, with possibly a hysterectomy.

Now, I have uncovered a truism, if you have a problem that all the Tchadiens want a picture of, this is a bad thing for you. We take pictures of everything, but when all the nurses and students have their phones out snapping pictures, it is generally really impressive, in a negative sense. That goes for this mass. It was definitely ovarian cancer, and for you medical types, almost certainly a mucinous adenocarcinoma (who is going to prove me wrong?), it was at least 30 cm across, bigger than a basketball, and running up her ovarian vein toward the left kidney, with ascites. I got the ovary out, but couldn’t cure her, but at least she will feel better in the short term.

It was now getting close to 3:00 in the afternoon. For Brandon, that has taken on a whole new meaning, because at three the night nurses and students come on duty. It seems that one of the students has taken a shine to him, even sent him a good night text message last night. And she comes on duty at three. Just before three he left the hospital for the residence compound so fast he left tracks in the sand.

I finished up the afternoon catching up on ultrasounds, found a prostate that needs to come out, found two early pregnancies, and did a trigger point injection. I then came home and studied french for an hour and a half. And so ends our three days in May, with a whimper. But honestly after the last three days, that is all we have left is a whimper. But at least it’s a whimper with electricity.

God is good, all the time.

For those of you new to our blog please look around at the other pages, the “About” page tells a bit of who we are and our background, the “Definitions” page explains some terms that are used that some of you may not be familiar with, such as GC or AHI. The “Timeline” gives an idea of where we will be throughout the year, and the “Video” page has a video Bekki made of Koza Hospital, where we initially were to be. Soon there will be a new video about Moundou. There is also the Surgical Pictures Page, but be forewarned, it has some very graphic pictures, so if you don’t like blood and guts, stay away from that page. You will also find links to other missionary blogs such as Olen and Danae Netteburg, Jaime and Tammy Parker and others. Finally, if you like our blog and want to receive each new post directly to your e-mail, please sign up with your e-mail in the subscribe box. It doesn’t cost anything, there is no commitment, it just makes it easier to follow us. For our Francophone friends there is a French translation of our blog that you can find at http://gardnersenafrique.wordpress.com.

We welcome volunteers.

-Scott Gardner

The Blessing

“On ne fait pas l’obstetrique.” (We don’t do obstetrics here), I said as I slammed my keys down on the table. The Regional Hospital had done it again. They had sent their ambulance over to our Center with a lady who supposedly needed a c-section. The problem is the ambulance drops off the patient and when my nurses tell the driver we don’t do obstetrics, and we don’t do C-sections, the driver refuses to take the patient back and just drives off leaving, no, dumping, them in our, in my, lap.

If you really want to make a doctor angry, dump on him or her, that is to say, “Take this patient, the problem is now yours, not mine.” It works every time. If you don’t believe me, try it some time on a doctor close to you. Really, within just seconds veins will pop out, faces will turn red, fists will clench, etc. And I am no different, I have never liked being dumped on, and the Regional Hospital is really good at that, especially with c-sections.

Anyway, back to the story. Solange, our lab tech comes over to tell me about it. That was when I slammed the keys on the table. It didn’t change things, but I felt better. So off to the hospital I went to see what was going on. There is this 15 year old lying on a mat on the dirt, moaning. Story is that she has been in labor since Thursday (it is now Sunday afternoon), and at the regional hospital since yesterday. Now they decide she needs a c-section because the head is too big for her pelvis (duh, at 15, no wonder), but they allegedly have no electricity at the hospital. If I wasn’t in Tchad I wouldn’t believe it for a minute, but here, well it really is possible… although they are supposed to have special electricity that is more reliable.

We get her moved into the echo room and I did a quick echo and found out she is about 35 weeks, the baby has a good heartbeat, and with a quick exam I found the head down just out of the cervix. Now the reason I don’t do obstetrics is because I really have no training and have not a clue what I am doing. What I just described I have learned since I came here. So I can’t tell you whether she truly needs a c-section or not, or if we should try with vacuum assist or forceps to get the baby out. I do know that a c-section on a 15 year old with her first pregnancy is not good because then she will need more c-sections and can only have 3 children or so. Here that is bad. The other problem is that if we are not going to do the routine obstetrics what in the world are we doing high risk obstetrics for?

I told the staff I was going to get the ambulance and take her back to the Regional Hospital. I really want them to get the picture that it is not OK to just drop pregnant people off at our doorstep and then leave. But when we loaded her up, the staff told me there is another private clinic that does obstetrics and c-sections and we can take her there. Sounded good to me. So we filled up the back of the ambulance with patient and family, Solange got in front with me to show me the way and off we went.

About 4 miles later we pulled in front of a very nice looking gate and little hospital. It was 100 yards off the main road on a wide dirt path. Fortunately our ambulance is, as you know, used to off-roading, and besides we only had about 7 people in the back. Also fortunate is that the staff was happy to take her, and “Oh yes, we do c-sections, not a problem, we will call the doctor”. Now that is the kind of attitude I like to see. We got her into the Bloc Operatoire (surgery) and waited for the doctor to arrive. Pretty soon here he came, a very nice looking young man, probably in his early 40’s. After the proper greetings I explained the situation to him, and that we don’t do obstetrics. But we do lots of ortho I told him, so we chatted about that. He then reminded me about the Swiss medical student he had had this winter. He had come to visit me at the clinic and told me about Dr. Frederic (the Tchadian doctor I was talking to). We exchanged phone numbers and he headed in to deliver a baby and I headed back to the clinic somewhat chagrinned.

Once again, God had used a bad situation to give me a blessing. You would think at my advanced age and the number of times I have gone through this I would learn to just wait patiently for God to work things out instead of running off half-cocked and blowing up. But no I do the latter. Then when I see the blessing God had for me, how He turns bad into good, I have to hang my head in shame.

Thanks to the grace of God and the Central Hospital I went to Dr. Frederic’s clinic, saw how nice it is, and got his phone number and made his acquaintance. I have a new friend and colleague, someone who I can send the OB cases to, and who will send me his ortho cases. You know the old you scratch my back, I will scratch yours thing. And after all that young lady got taken care of. “All things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28, very paraphrased)

For those of you new to our blog please look around at the other pages, the “About” page tells a bit of who we are and our background, the “Definitions” page explains some terms that are used that some of you may not be familiar with, such as GC or AHI. The “Timeline” gives an idea of where we will be throughout the year, and the “Video” page has a video Bekki made of Koza Hospital, where we initially were to be. Soon there will be a new video about Moundou. There is also the Surgical Pictures Page, but be forewarned, it has some very graphic pictures, so if you don’t like blood and guts, stay away from that page. You will also find links to other missionary blogs such as Olen and Danae Netteburg, Jaime and Tammy Parker and others. Finally, if you like our blog and want to receive each new post directly to your e-mail, please sign up with your e-mail in the subscribe box. It doesn’t cost anything, there is no commitment, it just makes it easier to follow us. For our Francophone friends there is a French translation of our blog that you can find at http://gardnersenafrique.wordpress.com.

We welcome volunteers.

-Scott Gardner

La Moto (the Motorcycle)

OK, it is time for true confession. Despite the fact that it seems as though all we do here is suffer deprivation, hardship, sorrow and pain, it really isn’t true. Life here really is pretty good, and we do have our share of fun. So I thought I would share with you some of the things we do for fun.

The first and I think the best, most fun thing to do is take out the “moto” (motorcycle). I ordered a moto about 3 months ago. It came after about 6 weeks just as I had ordered it, in a box. That way I would be sure it was brand new. Also if you get one at a dealership, even if it is new they put gas from the street vendors in it, and also motor oil that is a bit suspect. So I wanted to put my own gas and oil in it, and wanted to make sure it really was new. If you look around, a lot of the motos have the plastic wrap on the seat and even on the handlebars. That way they can sell them as new, because, “Look, the plastic from the factory is still on it.” Turning back the odometer is not a big deal here.

Isaac putting together my moto

Isaac putting together my moto

So my moto finally arrived at the compound, in a box. Now I expected that it would be mostly assembled, like in the US, just add the tires, handle bars, hook up a few cables and good to go. No. It was in a little box. The tires were on the wheels, and the engine was assembled, but that was it. Otherwise it was nuts and bolts. So Isaac our maintenance man spent a day and a half putting my Christmas present together. Then it sat in our living room for another month until we got papers for it, got it insured and registered. Then another week until Isaac got the license plate on (no container yet, so not tools of my own). Then I still had the problem of how to get gas in it. I don’t have my gas cans yet (no container, remember), but I finally borrowed one from Isaac, and after 2 trips to the Total Station (yes, a really truly honest to goodness gas station, complete with real minimart and garage, and real gas pumps). It was two trips because I forgot to get motor oil the first time. So after close to 3 months I got to take it out for a spin last week.

Bekki and I  on my moto

Bekki and I on my moto

It was soooo much fun. Even if it is a 125 and goes at a top speed of 60. That is 60 kilometers/hour, something like 40 mph. I was out there with the Klondeau drivers (motorcycle taxis), tooting at everyone, wind blowing all 6 of my hairs (yea, no helmet), having a blast. Rebecca (our Danish nurse) and I went off in search of the lake that is supposed to be just west of Moundou. After taking quite the tour we found it. Actually it is just a wide spot in the river, but we were pretty happy to find it. Tonight Johnny and Brandon took turns learning to ride the moto. They had a great time as well. Although they have done a lot of paving in Moundou, there are still kilometers and kilometers of dirt bike trails (read “roads”) that we can ride on and explore. You just have to be watchful of little kids, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, other motos, and the occasional cow, just your usual trail riding experience.

This weekend we spent in Bere. Rebecca is headed back to Denmark in a week and wanted to see Bere before she left. Plus it was Bekki’s birthday on Sabbath, so we figured it would be good to spend it with family. It is another example of the fun and excitement you can have with an off-road ambulance. About 20 kilometers outside of Kelo on the dirt road to Bere we came across an accident, moto of course. The victim had a small concussion on top of a lot of alcohol. Anyway, after much discussion in the crowd that had gathered around, we loaded him and a relative into our already overloaded ambulance and drove him to the hospital in Bere. I have got to put together a first aid kit for the ambulance. It is on my “to-do list” for this week. Just for kicks, on the way he vomited into Bekki’s shoe.

Bekki, birthday queen  of Bere with the cake made by Danae.

Bekki, birthday queen of Bere with the cake made by Danae.

After a delightful Sabbath afternoon potluck (including a birthday celebration) with the ex-pats (Americans) in Bere we loaded up the ambulance for a trip to the river to go Hippo watching. There were about 8 of them 50-100 meters offshore. They did not disappoint, they opened those huge jaws several times just to show us they were not to be trifled with. For those of us city folks it was pretty exciting.

So what else can we do for fun over here, you ask? Well there is the local “smoothie shop” that the volunteers love to go to and get their favorite smoothie. I went once, and after looking at the blender they use decided I really didn’t want a smoothie after all. However, I will say we do not have any documented cases of illness that we can directly attribute to the smoothie shop. The latest craze is a new hotel just about a kilometer away. They have great high speed internet, a beautiful swimming pool and a really nice French restaurant, complete with Big Mac cheeseburgers and fries. You can also get the burger without meat, and it is pretty good.

At home one evening we watched a movie, and another evening we went through French vocabulary cards. And of course I cannot forget the baking. Tonight Rebecca made cinnamon rolls and Brandon made peanut butter cookies. But usually we just talk and share, or else spend the evenings with each person engrossed in their computer, answering e-mails or writing blogs. But what can you expect out of a group of introverts who bask in the silence that is broken only by the tap-tap of keyboards?

Truth is mostly what we do is work, and that is what most of the blogs will be about, but we also do a lot of laughing, talking and even occasionally playing together. It could be a whole lot worse, and reality is that life here is pretty good to us.

For those of you new to our blog please look around at the other pages, the “About” page tells a bit of who we are and our background, the “Definitions” page explains some terms that are used that some of you may not be familiar with, such as GC or AHI. The “Timeline” gives an idea of where we will be throughout the year, and the “Video” page has a video Bekki made of Koza Hospital, where we initially were to be. Soon there will be a new video about Moundou. There is also the Surgical Pictures Page, but be forewarned, it has some very graphic pictures, so if you don’t like blood and guts, stay away from that page. You will also find links to other missionary blogs such as Olen and Danae Netteburg, Jaime and Tammy Parker and others. Finally, if you like our blog and want to receive each new post directly to your e-mail, please sign up with your e-mail in the subscribe box. It doesn’t cost anything, there is no commitment, it just makes it easier to follow us. For our Francophone friends there is a French translation of our blog that you can find at http://gardnersenafrique.wordpress.com.

We welcome volunteers.

-Scott Gardner