I received some questions about the CPR course we were going to do, “Did it happen?” I am pleased to report that yes, Diana, Laure and Patricia were true to their word and did a quick 1 hour CPR course for our staff and students. It was of course very well received a lot of fun for all involved. On to the next post…
That is Laure doing chest compressions on Patricia, with Diana demonstrating the jaw thrust and airway management.
Now Laure is supervising Diana doing the Heimlich on Patricia, don’t know why Patricia was always the victim.
Ceremony is very important in Tchad, just like it is around the world. Holidays have traditions, ceremonies, parades, feasts. Here though instead of turkeys being slaughtered by the millions before a big event, it is goats and sheep. I will never forget driving by the market the day before a big Muslim holiday and seeing a goat or sheep (couldn’t see the tail) sitting up on the gas tank of a moto, with his front feet on the handlebars, wind blowing his ears, looking all around with the biggest grin you can imagine on his face. I could just imagine what he was saying to all his livestock buddies.
“Hey guys, guess who got asked to dinner, suckers!!”
But I digress, ceremony is very big here. And whenever there is a change in power or authority there is an official ceremony, the “Installation.” Pronounced the French way. And there have been a lot of them lately. Our Union committee, which oversees the work here just appointed three new officers for the Seventh-day Adventist work in Tchad. Well, it turns out he picked our Pastor, Dieudonne, from Moundou to be the new President. I think it was a very good choice. Dieudonne has a heart for evangelism. Only an evangelist would give the morning worship talk at the hospital on the seven trumpets of Revelation.
All the leaders of the churches and institutions in Tchad were of course invited to the high Sabbath in N’djamena for the big installation ceremony of the new officers. Unfortunately, I was invited as well, and since Dieudonne was our pastor here in Moundou, and since he was on our hospital board, and since he named his first born “Dr. Scott”, I really didn’t have much choice but to go.
I tried to get Bekki to come with me. I pointed out the long 8-9 hour drive over a road with potholes bigger than the car, sleeping on a lousy bed without our fans, attending a very long, hot crowded church service completely in French so she won’t get anything out of it. Then after another lousy night’s sleep, returning to Moundou the next day with another 8-9 hour ride over the same road. And since they use the entire road, without distinction to lanes, it really is the same road. That offer was opposed to staying in Moundou, where it is typically 5-10 degrees cooler, and have a girl’s weekend with the girl volunteers who were coming down from Bere. Despite my arguments she chose to stay in Moundou without me. That is what our marriage has come to after almost 34 years.
So I went by myself. She blew it, the temperature was relatively cool. I got to spend quality time with Olen Netteburg, who also was alone, and we sat on real plastic chairs instead of the backless wooden benches we have in Moundou. As I said, the change was a good thing in my opinion. It is a new opportunity for the church here in Tchad. The relations between missionaries and church administration have never been stronger. But the temptations for the new leaders are great, and they will need much prayer and support.
Tuesday evening, March 1, starting promptly at 4:00 pm (1600) we had our own installation ceremony here at CCAM. It was a very nice ceremony, with speeches by President Dieudonne, our administrator, David, and the administrator from the Hospital at Bere, who was there to represent Olen. The ceremony was to install a new Medical Director for the Center. Dr. Odei, a young Tchadien physician is taking my place as medical director here. We also installed Samedi, the nurse/surgeon, who has covered for me when I am absent the last two years, he will be the head nurse and surgeon for the Center.
For the month of March I will stay on a Director of the Center. The first of April, James Appel will resume his position as Director of the Center, although he will remain at his work in N’djamena and come down periodically to operate and direct the work here.
March 28, at 5 am (0500), Bekki and will be leaving Tchad and heading to Geneva, Switzerland where we will work on obtaining our visas for Sierra Leone. By God’s grace we will land in Freetown, Sierra Leone Friday morning April 1 at 4 am (0400) to begin our work at Waterloo Adventist Hospital as medical director and Surgeon of that facility.
In an interesting quirk of fate, last September at the AHI meetings in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, we met the leadership team from Waterloo. Bekki saw pictures of the hospital and the surroundings, and told them and me that she could be very happy there. They picked up on it and told us they had a place just waiting for us. It was all done in good fun, little knowing that in just a few short months we would be moving there for real.
The decision to leave Moundou and relocate to Sierra Leone has not been an easy one, and there are of course many reasons. Our decision was made after meeting with General Conference leadership in Washington, DC, and spending much time in prayer and reflection. We laid out the proverbial fleece, and received what we believe to be an irrefutable answer. Just as we were confident of God’s calling us to West Africa initially, we are equally confident that He is calling us to join the team in Waterloo.
As I told our team here in Moundou during my speech at the installation, this is the threshold of a new age for the Center, it is time for the Center to be led by Tchadiens, and for Tchadiens. They have been well trained, they have the tools, now they have the opportunity to run with it. Although CCAM, like every other health care institution in the world, has tremendous problems and challenges, if the staff here are faithful to their calling and purpose, if they hold firm to their belief in their God, if they rely on Him, if they follow His leading, all will be well.
We will miss our staff here terribly, we will worry about them, we will pray for them, but ultimately it is now up to them.
Dr. Odei, the new medical director giving his acceptance speech. David our administrator is behind and on the left, Masra the MC is on the right.
The Old and the New. Bekki and I on the left, Papa Samedi, our new head nurse and surgeon, Dr. Odei and family on the right, Rachelle, Abigail, and Baby Josephine (Jo-Jo).
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 as well as the videos she has made of 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 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.
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