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Pastor Herman

We were at the beach this summer and a large swell came into our normally quiet bay and the boogie boarding was awesome, until it wasn’t. One wave decided to have its way with me and spit me out of the ocean like the whale spitting Jonah out on the shore, breaking my arm in the process, in two places. Fortunately, I was able to go straight to urgent care, received an x-ray, temporary splint and pain pills. The day after we arrived home, I had an appointment with an Orthopedic doctor, a CT scan and a cast set within a couple of days. When the break didn’t heal properly within a week, I had surgery scheduled within five days to correct the bones with plates and screws. As I walked through this process from injury to surgery, I couldn’t stop thinking about how different it is for all our friends in DRC and Gabon. We take for granted the medical care we receive in our country, and I was reminded not to do that, and to thank God for all the care available to us.

As this was unfolding for me at home, a second, much deadlier wave of Covid was accelerating at Nebobongo Hospital and the oxygen machines were working over time to save lives. While we lost six local pastors and two teachers from the Christian school, many lives have been saved. The oxygen machines saved Dr. Jean Claude’s brother, and many others from the churches and community. During this process, Jean Claude was also suffering from medical conditions that could not be handled in his own country. As of late summer, Jean Claude was in Switzerland to receive treatment, and nine out of the twelve oxygen machines had broken at the hospital due to constant use from COVID patients.

Through generous surgeons he knew in Switzerland and individual donors who gave personally to Jean Claude, he was able to get the surgery and treatment needed and return safely home. Through a network of our medical supporters across the country, we raised over $30,000 for ten new oxygen machines that we purchased in Europe to be shipped to Nebobongo Hospital. We continue to thank God for providing for this need so quickly. We ask that you keep Nebobongo in your prayers as they wait for new oxygen machines and still have sick people and those needing the machines for surgeries as well.

I share these two contrasting stories and situations with you to encourage you to, one, thank God for all that we have here in the States and appreciate the care that we are all able to benefit from. Secondly, I hope that this will also place a burden on your heart to pray for the people of both DRC and Gabon who cannot often get the medical care they need. And lastly, as an encouragement to you; know that the work we are partnering together in is saving lives in these regions, and not just through hospital care. Our partners are saving lives and reaching people for Christ through our many public health programs, mobility cart distributions, HIV Hope care, orphan and widow care, family stabilization, malaria prevention/education and more. It is because of the support and provision we provide through equipment, training, supplies and funding that this is possible. We do all of this so that the Gospel message of hope in these somewhat uncertain and perilous times can be shared every time someone is served in one of our programs.

Eric Schmidt

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