BoutrusVisit

We recently had the priviledge of taking our two-week language school vacation (February 18-March 5) to head to Boiffo, Benin to prepare for the opening of full-time medical ministry this summer.

Personnel Update

It was a great pleasure on this trip to reconnect with our Beninese brothers and sisters in Christ who are preparing to serve in the clinic. While in Niamey, we spent time with Zacharie (nursing student), his wife Elizabeth (midwife student), and Idrissou (nursing student). Zacharie is expecting to graduate from nursing school this summer, while Elizabeth and Idrissou expect to graduate one year later. Zacharie is also praying about seeking further training in Niamey during the next year after he graduates, while Elizabeth is finishing her studies. We eagerly anticipate having all three of them join us in medical ministry in Boiffo in 2018. When we arrived in Boiffo, we had great reunions with Pastor Isaac, Ibrahim (business administrator), Afousa (pharmacy aid), Latifou (lab tech), Anne (pharmacy aid), Ozifa (pharmacy aid), Yacouba (nursing aid), Garba (day guard), Amidou (night guard), and others. We were thankful for many hours that God gave us to discuss (in French) ministry plans, suggestions, and prayer requests together. We are pleased with the team that the Lord has been bringing together to do His work.

SolarPowerHeader

Planning for the clinic’s power supply has been an ongoing project for more than a year.  At the beginning, it seemed like an impossible dream.

On numerous occasions, we were told by solar experts that we couldn’t do what we wanted to do for less than $70,000 (we had only budgeted $15,000). In the end, we did exceed our initial budget amounts by a reasonable margin, but as God directed in the design of the system we also watched Him supply needed wisdom, ingenuity, and resources to build a robust electrical system.

On Equipment

In August, we shipped a 40-foot container with, among many clinic supplies, the solar panels, batteries, 95 gallons of acid, inverters, and 1,500 feet of heavy electrical wire on two big wooden spools.  Even the small stuff like mounting screws, solder, and electrical tape all went in the container.  The challenge was finding it all. There is no Home Depot anywhere near Boiffo, so we had to have everything ready before work could begin.  By God’s grace, we ended up having everything we needed. We made a few last minute additions to the system on the field and it was great to watched God’s hand at work as He supplied just what we needed when we needed it.

building progress june 2015

Progress on the Benin clinic building has been steady during the intense heat of the last few months. March through June are the hottest months in Northern Benin. During these months temperatures routinely reach 110oand higher. Despite the heat, the corrugated metal roof is now in place and the building is ready for the rainy season. The water table is at its lowest now and this gives us the opportunity to dig the well deeper. The completion of the roof marks a transition for work to begin on the interior of the main clinic building; moving forward, most of the work will be finish work. Last week the ceilings were installed and most of the electrical line has been run to the 110/220 volt outlets, lights, fans, and other power needs. Since there is no utility power, everything will run on solar energy. Plastering the interior and exterior walls is the next major project. Once plastering is done, the inside floors and walls (up to a height of four feet) will be tiled. We expect to complete the main clinic building this fall.

TruckContainer web

As you would expect, this didn't all happened without Africa throwing a few wildcards into the mix. Below is a brief report on the delivery of the container.

DELAYS, REPAIRS, AND SEARCH PARTIES

The container was scheduled to arrive in Boiffo on Thursday.  Thursday soon became Friday.  Friday morning the truck was only 76 miles south and was expected to arrive by 9am.  By noon the truck hadn't shown and when all attempts to make contact with the driver had failed Chris lead a search party.  60 miles down the road they found the truck sitting with a blown tire.  The tire was replaced and the convoy proceeded at 15 mph down the highway. Five miles out of Guene she broke down again.  When the truck finally arrived in Guene, it was in no shape to handle any challenging terrain, so more road work had to be done just to get it off the tarmac.  By now it was dark.  At least the truck was in Guene.  More repairs would be made that night.  All that was left was the five miles of dirt that leads out to Boiffo.  

Steve Kat Working Benin

We are excited to announce and introduce Dr. Steve and Katrina Boutrus as GDMMissions' newest missionaries. Steve is an Emergency Room physician who chose a medical career so that he could be engaged in a gospel outreach ministry.  Katrina is a Registered Nurse whose experience and expertise have made her very valuable to our ministry over the past 5 years.  She grew up in a home where her father (a surgeon) and mother (a nurse) passionately modeled the use of medicine as a tool for evangelism and church planting.  Steve and Katrina met in the Philippines while serving in medical evangelism ministry with GDMMissions. Both have traveled with the mission extensively as individuals and as a couple. They were married in the fall of 2013, and now the Lord has called them to serve full time among the unreached peoples of Northern Benin, in West Africa.

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