"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light." --- JK Falconer

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Move Against the Fear

Why Africa? Why Chad? Take a look at this video that Africa Inland Mission put together. We think it's pretty powerful. We Americans are pretty clueless when it comes to understanding what life is like in central Africa.


(Cut and paste it in your web browser - my link feature is not working)

Final post on Chad

Nos amies, Thurs. Aug. 26th

Thank you for your support and encouragement and prayers. We arrived home safely late Monday night (Tuesday am?) in Greensboro and Andy’s brother, Jim, was at the airport to greet us (the boys were thankful that they could finally fall asleep and not worry about us waking them up for one more trek through an airport!). We are now trying to adjust to life back in the US – grass! Warm showers! Air conditioning! Bills! I still do dishes barefoot, but I can’t help worrying what’s going to crawl over my foot!

Both the boys started school on Wednesday. Drew’s school had forgotten to place him in a class (small miscommunication somewhere) but was quick to assign him to Mrs. Bobbitt after Cari called to confirm. It meant he didn’t have his name sticker on the door (are we in the right place?), his desk wasn’t prepared, and they had to put a folder together, but Drew didn’t mind. He said the teacher gave him lots of special attention and he also didn’t have an apple to “drop” so he couldn’t get in trouble! Tony LOVED his first day of school.

We are very grateful to all of you for making this trip possible. We have seen and heard and done some incredible things over the past 7 weeks. We very much have it in our hearts to go back and help our Chadian brothers and sisters in Christ in the near future. The needs of the developing world and especially the countries in the “10-40 window” are incredible. We are working with the AIM office in New York to figure out our next steps.

Treasured memories:
God’s protection from injury from the camel crash.
God protecting and healing Pam Propst.
Having the Chadian church leaders come and pray with us and for us just after arriving in Bebalem when Cari and the boys were really sick.
Encouragement and comfort from all of you and the team during times of suffering (after the accident and while the family was sick).
Andy’s medical experience in a very resource-poor hospital (rounding in the dark by flashlight, morning devotions by kerosene lantern, lack of oxygen and IV fluids, running out of steroids and seizure medications, 2 and even 3 patients per bed)
Andy struggling with discouragement because so many patients were dying, knowing they could have recovered with better care/supplies.
Cari teaching English to 20-30 school kids (with many others leaning in windows and doors trying to participate!).
Drew running off to the soccer/basketball/tennis court with a passel of laughing Chadian kids shouting over his shoulder, “I’m going to play soccer with my friends, ok?”
Tony sitting in a mud puddle drinking “chocolate milk” while Andy tries to remember how to treat Amoebic dysentery.
Friday afternoons when Drew and Tony and Cari visited the kids and families in the pediatric ward, singing, passing out stickers, and blowing bubbles.
Tony blowing bubbles for the goats.
Snakes, rats, and scorpions!
Praying with and for the hospital chaplains just before leaving Bebalem.
Returning to N’Djamena and going to the “Ice cream store”!
Birthday party/Dinner with the entire AIM team in N’Djamena (minus Dr. Ann) the night before leaving.
A lovely overnight stay in London - The Tower of London, London Bridge, double decker buses, “The Tube” (London underground), trains, SLEEP! Pizza, Cadbury chocolate, Trafalgar Square, strolling down Gracechurch Street (“Aunt and Uncle (Brogan) would gladly take you with them to Gracechurch Street after Christmas. And why would you have (us) go to London, dear Lizzie? Oh, no reason, a change of scene and society perhaps.”)
Realizing what it means to live and serve in the 4th poorest country in the world.
Seeing God at work in yet another place and country and culture so very different from ours here in the US. God is an amazingly big God, and his love for us is beyond understanding!

We continue to pray for you – that you continue to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice calling your name, that you follow Him with your whole heart and mind and strength, and that you grow in grace and the fear of the Lord all of your days. We hope we will have a chance to share more with you in person SOON. And if anyone is planning a vacation near Chad in the next couple years, we would love to be able to host you for a few days, weeks, or even months!

Thanks again for being so important to us.
In the Shadow of the Almighty ----- Cari, Andy, Drew, and Tony Robertson

Update on Jotom

I hadn't realized until a friend, Tonya, mentioned it to me, that I had not given an update on Jotom - the boy with the leg sores. Well, the morning of our departure, he showed up at my door with his mom! He had gone to his mom's and had convinced her to come back with him. Well, this made everything easier. I was able to send the information with them to the clinic to ensure he got the care he needed. And just before we got into the car to leave, he returned with his mom to show his newly "dressed" legs. I had a chance to explain (through interpretor) how important it was that he follow up and that Claire was going to stand in for me to make sure the bill got paid. It was a gift from God to be able to see him before we left. And you can't tell from the picture, but he has the most wonderful smile! Thank you for your prayers!

Home again!

August 24th
Hello friends and family! Thank you for your prayers. We have made it safely home (no hold-ups or changes on the itinerary!) and I am typing this on my computer where I can access email on our hotmail account once again. Thank you sooooo much for all your prayers for our summer and our return home. It has been an incredible trip and we could not have done it as we have without your support behind us. God has been good - we will hopefully get out a "report" on just how good sometime soon! In the meantime, know that we are very grateful for all of you and are hoping that the summer has been a rich and rewarding one for you, too.

In Christ,

Preparing for Home

Tues. Aug. 17th

Nos amies,

Believe it or not, we are beginning the long trek home tomorrow. We leave for Mondou in the afternoon. We will be staying in a guest house there for the evening to avoid the possibility of a rain delay (rain delays on the dirt road from Bebalem to Mondou might cause us to miss the bus - very possible, they drop barricades across the road if it's too muddy!). So Thursday morning, we board a bus once again, headed north to N'Djamena. This time we all appear to be healthy and we have far fewer items, so we are trusting the going will be smooth (not that stray camels are thinking much about the quantity of our luggage...). We spend Thursday and Friday nights in N'Djamena giving us another chance to meet with the Propsts and AIM folk in that area. Finally, we begin our flights home at 1am Sunday morning, stopping in Tripoli, then London (where we get to spend the night!!!!) then Atlanta and Greensboro Monday evening. Please be in prayer - seems like our travels have been especially rough this summer.

Speaking of prayers - (moms, you may not want to read this part) we have had close encounters with both a viper and a scorpion this past week! The viper was a small black snake that was apparently trying to get in our kitchen - Tony pointed him out to me as we went outside the door. Thankfully, the door shut it out and I was able to grab Tony before he decided to poke it with a stick (what he does with anything interesting moving along the ground). The lady with her vegetables for sale just outside my door grabbed a stick and beat the snake to death (while shouting "Ne touches pas! Ne touches pas!). In gratefulness, I bought quite a bit from her that day! And just tonight, Andy noticed a tickling sensation on his toe while he was standing at the sink doing dishes. As he looked down, he noticed it was a scorpion crawling past his foot. Thankfully his quick movement back landed the creature on the floor without a sting. We got good photos of both. Andy says, "Five weeks and only one viper and one scorpion - that's not so bad!" (ok, so we're not counting the rats or mice..) But he was a little shaken up, and so was I.

The past couple days have been filled with preparing to go. African people in general believe in the good goodbye. That means taking our time and making sure everyone gets a chance to say what needs to be said. It has been very positive and rewarding. It is clear that God wanted us here this summer as we heard over and over again how encouraging our presence has been. It is a joy to be used by God to lift the spirits of our Christian brothers and sisters! Tonight the two hospital chaplains asked to visit so they could pray with us and for us. One of our requests concerned our return to America - continuing to listen to God despite the many distractions America offers. Andy read Mark 8:14-15 - the parable of the sower. It is easy for us to let the distractions of America choke out the word of God. So we pray as we head home to keep our eyes on God and our ears tuned to Him, no matter how crazy life gets!

One more story to share. A couple days ago, there was a young teen who was playing soccer with Drew when his foot was suddenly covered in blood. Drew called for me, as he tends to, so that I could do something about the blood. Well, when I had the boy raise his pant leg to see where the blood was coming from, I saw that he had a very large infected sore that had been irritated and was bleeding. I poured some water over it and washed the blood off the foot. I then headed to the house to ask Andy for some help since it was beyond my understanding. As Andy got ready to dress it with a clean bandage, he noticed another sore a little further up the leg - about 3 times the size. Claire, a nurse staying with Dr. Ann, asked the boy about other sores and we got to see two large sores on his other leg, too. Immediately I was struck by how impossible this seemed. How could such sores go untreated? Well, when a boy is living in Bebalem, but his mother lives with his stepfather in another town, and his father is dead, and he tends to wander, then sores go untreated. I thought I had found a man who could bring him to the clinic where I could help finance his care early this morning, but the boy took off early this morning to find his mother and the sores continue to fester. Arghhh. Please pray he returns. I am leaving some money with Claire with hopes that he does (it should cost less than $20 for complete care). If the sores get worse, he could become septic, the bone could become infected, many bad things may happen - this I know because Andy sees these patients. And sometimes it's too late.

Well, that's it for me today. We are excited to see all our friends and family soon - even as it is hard to leave - a place that was at first so hard to accept, that we now consider another piece of us. Dieu vous benie beaucoup. God bless you. And God bless Bebalem.


Dr. Ann is home!

11 August, Wednesday

Dr. Ann is back! She arrived yesterday with Claire, a nurse from the UK who is visiting Chad for 6 months. She wanted to get out of the capital and visit a rural hospital. Well, this is it!

Cari made dinner for them last night so they wouldn't have to worry themselves. Nice touch since it takes the propane fridges about 8 hours to cool down (and we had forgotten to light Ann's up earlier in the day). Cari made a cake that was absolutely delicious. Dr. Elizabeth stopped by to chat and pick up her mail -- so we had the entire missionary team here! It was a good time of fellowship at the Robertson half of the duplex.

We've actually been without Ann (16 days) more than with her (13 including today). It certainly is nice to have her back. I mentioned to Dr. Elizabeth that we'll be leaving in a week and she mentioned she was surprised - she was thinking I would be staying through Ann's 5 month furlough (starts in Oct). She even offered to write the letter of release to my administrator back in NC! When Ann leaves she will be the only doc until a new missionary arrives in February. There are 55 beds in peds and the ICU, plus equal sized maternity, medicine, and surgical wards and 7 private rooms. That's going to be hard work.

(Warning! Non-medical types should probably skip this paragraph! : ) ) Claire followed us around the ward today and I think it was a bit of a shock for her. (She works in a cardiopulmonary ICU ward back in the UK!) We entered the ICU to find only one second year student and a nurse's aide on duty (the head nurse, Fluoron, who's been such a great help the last four days didn't come in for work today and no one could reach him by phone). They were doing a pretty amazing job considering but with 16 patients in 13 beds (three beds with two kids), a post-op and a crash admission before we even got started it quickly became controlled chaos. The hypoglycemic seizing child still had sugars of 36 (normal 70-110). Claire did an amazing job helping get it back up to normal but we had to use needles and syringes out of my backpack (THANKS Northern Peds) so the family didn't have to walk to the outpatient pharmacy every 30 minutes. And we learned the hard way that the pharmacy had run out of Phenobarbital overnight so we had no IV long-acting seizure meds (they gave dad the tablets instead, but of course she's unconscious..arghhhhhh). It was nice having extra hands -- Dr. Ann and Claire -- there today because they called us to peds ward for a "sick baby" - a one month old with a HUGE abscess on her back, a heartrate of 210 (just a wee bit fast), fever, and grunting. We carried her into the ICU "tout de suite", then had to pause and quickly find someone to transfer so we would have a bed to place her on. The surgeon managed to drain the pus, and we cleared the bed next to our other septic one month old with necrotizing fasciitis of the entire left leg (who is still alive and has been with us a whole week, thanks only to God). I explained to Claire that we didn't have oxygen or suction, very few antibiotics, no maintenance IV solutions, and power for 4-5 hours on a good day (today happened to NOT be a good day - a holiday (except it wasn't, see below) - so we never got power). By the time we were done rounding on the 29 peds patients (including 7 severely malnourished kids, one of which wouldn't stop crying because he was still hungry after the enriched pooridge we provide (of all things to cry about) but whose parents couldn't afford to buy food for him..argghhhh) I think her eyes were glazed over and she was close to going into shock.

We spent some time trying to process the day - I'm still struggling with the poverty here myself. It is so much poorer than Togo, even, and I thought things were a struggle in Togo. We knew in our heads that Chad was the fourth poorest country in the world, but it is still a shock to see the reality of it here. I kept remembering Mother Theresa and her ministry with the lepers and the poor. She didn't provide any miraculous cures either. She just loved and had compassion. (No great things, just small things done with great love). So maybe we just need to BE here ("to suffer with our brothers and sisters in Christ" like the AIM video mentioned). I don't know. It's a little much to process.

And about the holiday, funny story. Today was supposed to be a National Holiday - Independence Day. No regular work, even hospital workers, the night shift stays on for the day, morning devotions cancelled, etc.. But apparently the President announced yesterday that the holiday was POSTPONED until January 11, 2011 - and that everyone should work as regularly scheduled. Well, since it was announced yesterday and no one around here has power let alone newspapers, radios or TVs, that caused a bit of confusion. Probably less than half of the staff showed up (maybe why Flouron didn't come in?). Rachel, our house help, didn't come in. And we never got morning generator power (similar to Sundays). So who knows? Interesting day.

As I've typed I've been listening to "Only Temporary" by Mercy Me, and it was a nice reminder. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus (not ourselves or our troubles), the author and perfecter of our faith, and the joy set before Him and us (up there, not down here) - Heb 12:2. "Let's hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess for he who promised is faithful - Heb 10:23." (Because hope will not disappoint - Rom5:5)

Some other highlights from the past week:

Aug 5 - David (da-VEED) has visited at 6am the last two days. We've (Cari?) decided not to accept visitors before 7am : ) and have started keeping the windows and doors closed at night. I still think of him as my Lazarus at the gate of the rich man, but I'm wondering if Lazarus also knocked on the door every morning? The traditionally VERY pediatric ICU currently has three adults, all pregnant ladies - when does Dr. Ann return?!?!

Aug 6 - Cari and the boys came to the ward to sing, blow bubbles, and hand out stickers again. Another very good time. Tons of laughter. A whole new set of patients and families who have never ever seen bubbles before...Wow. Very impressed with how Drew is handling this.

Aug 7 - Tony loves the bubble thing and decides to take it upon himself to go outside and blow bubbles for the goats. Very cute. Andy is invited to a celebration for the outgoing and incoming hospital chaplains - 2.5 hours and a feast after of rice, chicken, and tea. He also meets all the important local people including the chief of Bebalem, and is very embarrassed to be wearing sandals while everyone else is dressed to the 9s. Both chaplains have their families sing for everyone as part of the celebration. He prays God will protect his intestine and God answers. He is reminded of (and humbled by) the fact that the chaplain ALSO has to care for every patient in the hospital (and their families) and there is only one of them. Wow again.

Aug 8 - Boys sit through church. Good job Drew and Tony. Pouring rain with rivers off the tin roof so boys put on suits and go outside to play. Tons of puddles so we joke a little about "chocolate milk" (just one of the food items we've discussed missing).

Aug 9 - Cari finds Tony drinking muddy water outside. (Cari: "Tony, what are you doing?")(Tony: "Drinking chocolate milk." (duh, mom!)) Took some video of Cari singing with and teaching English to the kids at her afternoon class. Drew usually helps her. Today, afterwards, he sprints all the way home (followed by many of his soccer buddies laughing and playing), grabs the soccer ball, yells over his shoulder that he's off to the basketball/soccer/tennis court, and leaves, followed by the same crowd of soccer buddies. I think he's starting to feel more comfortable here.

Aug 10 - Dr. Ann and Claire arrive. Finally able to catch up on emails
thank you to everyone who wrote). One of them is a group email from Drew's Sunday school class. Very sweet. Very, very sweet.

Thank you to everyone who is for praying for us. We certainly have a lot to think and pray about. We are also praying for you (Ps 34) - that you are well and chasing hard after HIM (Ps 63:8). Don't let the thorns grow up and choke your faith! (Luk 8:14).

The Robertsons

A Post from Cari

Lafea! To ban wa? To ma jeah. Ri ga na wa? Rim da Cari. (Hello! How are you? I am well. What is your name? My name is Cari. - learning some Gyambai so I can teach English to class of 20 4-6 year olds who speak little French!)

Fri. Aug. 6th Well, here I am finally writing down some thoughts about this trip and I do so as the village's roaming disabled man sits on my front porch muttering broken songs and thoughts in his own language. Needless, to say, thinking coherently is a little difficult at present, especially with so much to sort through since I have written so little since we got here (which is my own fault as Andy would say - but with precious little electricity, use of the computer is a little crowded).

Sun. Aug. 8th And it is now two days later - didn't get much of a start before the family returned, electricity was off and life continued on. It has been rather difficult to be so separated from all of you - with Ann gone, we've gotten snippets of information texted (when we have phone service) to us through intermediaries who are accessing email in N'Djamena(8 hours away), but otherwise, we've had no direct email for three weeks now and our phone does not connect to the states as we had originally hoped it would. So please, know we are not trying to be so inaccessible - it's just what happens when the only other AIM missionary leaves for a short trip to
the capital and gets stuck there due to bad health and a broken car. "Be flexible", and so we have! It will be quite the shock when we finally get to catch up with everyone and find out just how much we've missed!

Andy has been good about putting down key things that have been happening on his emails. In general, we have a fairly uneventful routine here and there are no great medical stories that I can share. I have been fortunate enough to have three classes of students for whom I teach basic English Mon. - Thurs. afternoons. They range in age from 4 to 14 and they are beaucoup fun! Drew goes with me and helps by holding posters and maps,etc. Tony came once, but he had a tough time when I wouldn't let him own the chalkboard. I also have a few teenagers who come by in order to practice their English. Otherwise, I spend most of my time cooking and cleaning.

Thank you to those who have prayed for friends. I have befriended a young woman, Suzanne, who has been a big help to me and have also enjoyed a few conversations with Lina, a nurse, mother and wife to the hospital's pastoral leader. Andy has enjoyed time with Adolph, his translator, and has his own English student, Silas, who is a nurse at the hospital. And of course, there are a bevy of Chadian children who are at our house every day - Drew has found a few who are especially good at helping him fit in. He pretty much jumps outside any time they stop by, to play a little "futball". Tony plays, as well, but probably likes the animals the best. We watched with smiles as he went outside yesterday to blow bubbles for two goats eating in front of the house.

We have really appreciated your prayers - please keep praying! This has been the hardest trip we have ever been on - we are continually stretched in our knowledge and comfort levels. But we have also had opportunities to see how good God is. It was quite awhile ago that we were sick, but I wanted to share part of that experience with hopes it will encourage you, too. Just as I was beginning to get my own strength back, Drew was quite sick. He was struggling with high fevers (at one point was laughing at the kids who were playing in his room - no kids were there) and with vomiting and diarrhea. The latter was causing sharp pains in his
stomach. As I was helping him get comfortable he asked me why God wasn't making him better. Wasn't God strong enough to help him? I gave him the pat answer - "Of course God is strong enough, but maybe this time we just need to give the sickness time to get out of your body". As he groaned, inwardly I was praying, "God, please, heal Drew. Take away his pain and let him sleep. Do this and I know your Name will be honored. An eight year old boy will see that You are powerful and mighty! In the end, I know that Drew's character is more important than his sickness. But still I ask, please take away his pain and let him sleep." As I was praying this, I held my hands on his tummy. By the time I was done praying Drew was sleeping and I was weeping. I thanked God and went to bed. Later that night, Drew was awake again, crying out. I touched his tummy and prayed again. Again, he fell asleep. The next morning, he awoke and I found myself slowly reaching for his stomach. Part of me wondered, were the prayers really helping? Then Drew asked me, aren't you going to pray for me, mom? Silly, I know, but oh so good to be reminded, especially when I needed the Lord's presence more than ever. Being sick in Chad is NOT an easy thing! Especially when we do not usually get as sick as that. In all honesty, I even broke the new toilet seat they had given us. Thankfully, I had the toilet seat we brought from the states, so all was not lost! I know that these things can by used by Satan to discourage us from doing God's work. But it is still hard to remember that when you are in the midst of a camel accident or overwhelming sickness. I praise God for helping us through it all, for showing an eight-year-old His might and for never leaving our side.

I don't usually like to write long emails - I know how hard it is to find time to read them, but also wanted to speak a little from my perspective on our time so far. Not even sure when this will finally get sent as Ann is still not back in Bebalem. Hopefully it will be soon. And it won't be long before we are actually headed back home - just two weeks!

Here in Chad for the glory of God,


A week in review...

4 August, Wednesday

Wow, what a week (and a half) for expecting the unexpected! First, please
accept our apologies for not communicating for a while. We only have access
to email through Dr. Ann's phone and she's been delayed in the capital
(N'Djamena) for quite a while. She left Monday, July 26, was able to attend a couple
of important meetings, but the "quick fix" on her gas tank turned into a
week-plus ordeal, and on top of it all she got sick and needed some days to
recuperate. We've been managing ok, but haven't been able to communicate
with the "outside world"!

Some highlights from the journal:

Sunday, July 25. Boys struggled through church. It's in French, which
doesn't help. But to be honest, after 2 ½ hours I was struggling a little,
too. After a bit Cari took Tony outside for a walk. (Chadian children
under 12 don't seem to sit in church, so the fact that our boys are there is
a bit of an oddity, but no one has said anything to us yet. The older kids
sometimes linger at the doors and windows watching but the little ones just
play outside.) Did you guess what happened next? Yes, about 20 kids
swarmed around Cari and Tony. Cari led them to the Sunday school building
across the way and held an impromptu children's church.

Monday, July 26. Survived first day in the hospital without Dr. Ann.
Rounded on 14 "ICU" and 29 ward patients. Trying to figure out how I can be
of help when we don't run IVs, don't have oxygen (needs electricity), can't
give more than 1 or 2 doses of IV antibiotics (too expensive), and don't
place nasogastric tubes for nutrition (the parents refuse them because they
think it kills the child - never mind that the ones who really need it are
so malnourished they're half-dead before they come to us :( They don't
even use ibuprofen until after age 12 - Tylenol just doesn't cut it when
you're 1, shivering with malarial rigors and your fever is 104. I feel like much
of my teaching and experience is superfluous...Cari started teaching English
daily to about 20 kids in the Sunday school classroom (and about 20-30 kids
who hover at the windows and doors).

Wed. July 28. Baby died in front of me during ICU ward rounds. Stopped
breathing. Nothing to be done, no resuscitation bags, no oxygen, can't
intubate. We can give malaria treatment and a handful of antibiotics, but
basically the kids are left to try and tough it out...I might have offended
someone today -- wish I knew for sure. Greeted everyone in the peds office,
including a new guy, but then we gathered the two binders and the three
students and left for ward rounds. To do so we had to interrupt the new
guy, an older gentleman looking at one of the binders, but I didn't think
anything of it since we've been rounding the same way for a week now. He
lingered in the periphery as we started rounds and I started to sense
something might be amiss. Finally I introduced myself and asked his name
and it turns out he's one of the instructors at the nursing school,
definitely my senior, and not someone whose work I should be interrupting.
Ergh...Went to Wednesday night prayers with Adolph.

Thurs. July 29. Tough day for peds. Two patients died during rounds in ICU
this morning, one only 30 minutes after being admitted. 45 patients total.
Too many two year olds that weigh 8 ½ pounds. Families asking to go home
because they can't afford to stay but knowing that the child will only get
porridge once they leave (all the malnourished kids get fed "la lait"
(formula) and "la bouille" (protein-enriched porridge) 3-4 times a day while
admitted)....Called to OB during the night and couldn't help much because
Adolph wasn't there to interpret. God took care of the baby though and it
improved rather quickly. Can't wait til I learn French....Realized I'm the
only white guy for miles. Yikes! There are a few white ladies besides
Cari -- Dr. Ann (when she's here), Dr. Elizabeth, and a couple of Spanish
nuns that have a compassion ministry in the area.

Friday, July 30. 47 patients, including the saddest one I think I've ever
seen. Only 3 weeks old and the entire right neck was necrotic and draining
pus. Every girl gets her ears pierced shortly after birth, and as best I
can figure hers got infected either when they pierced it with a dirty needle
or when they tied a dirty string through the hole. Regardless, they've
waited FAR too long. Will try IV antibiotics and ask the surgeon to clean
it up....Cari and the boys brought bubbles and stickers to entertain the
pediatric ward. We sang a song and I shared how much Jesus loves children
(Luke 18 - unless we become like one ourselves!). Most of the kids were too
young to know what was going on but the parents (and aunts and uncles and
grandparents) loved it. We did the same briefly for the ICU. Afterwards
Adolph told me he had never seen bubbles before - Wow. This coming from a
guy who knows three languages (Gumbai, French, and English) and spent time
in Nigeria. So I have to figure none of the people had ever seen bubbles
before. Indeed, a few looked downright pessimistic at first....Some
encouragement from Lamentations 3 today - "I have hope..we are NOT
consumed." What a great passage of scripture....Friday night = stay up late night....

Sat. July 31. Family movie night. No popcorn but did I mention Cari makes
awesome doughnuts? And really good bread. It's no wonder the mice like it,
too. Word from the team in N"Djamena that Pam is doing better, finally, and
that Ann (and her car) are still sick and won't be returning right away.
The team seems close by texts and phone but they're still 7 hours by car....

Sun. Aug 1 (Is it August already?) Called up to the front (with all the
other elder men and a few women in the front rows) to hand out a certificate
to one of the youth choir members..in French. Fun..Found out that Adolph
can speak quite a bit of Arabic, also. That makes four languages (Gumbai,
French, English, and Arabic). Yet he is stuck here. There just aren't jobs
available, the uncle who promised last year to pay his way through nursing
school isn't going to anymore because his two kids (Adolph's cousins) now
want to go, and yet he could do very well in any graduate program.

Mon, Aug. 2 Encouraging quiet time in Luke 1 this morning. While Zechariah
was having his encounter with the angel "all the assembled worshippers were
praying outside.(v10)" I was reminded how important you all are to our
ministry here, that without your prayer support I don't think I would have
the courage to do this - the doubt and discouragement might get
overwhelming. So thank you for praying - not just for us, of course. God
desires mercy and acknowledgement more than all the sacrifices and offerings
we might give. (Actually, the way the passage reads, the prayers came
first, THEN the angel of the Lord appeared. I wonder if things would have
gone differently for Zechariah that day if the people hadn't first been
bathing his incense burning duties in prayer)....Found out the family of the
3-week old with the necrotic neck abcess/sepsis stopped the meds over the
weekend because they didn't have money. Ergh.

Tues, Aug 3. Journal says "Great day for the Robertsons". Hmm... During
morning quiet time someone was singing/shouting "Hosanna" at the top of his
lungs in English at the end of the road. Not the best pitch, tempo, or
sound quality, but hey - praise is praise, right?.........Rounded on 50+
patients without any students (taking exams) and only 1 nurse in each ward
(you heard me right - one nurse each in the ICU and peds ward!). 1st hour
in the dark as the generator was late to kick in. Amazingly, things went
very smooth and we were done before 2pm..Home for nap, Cari said boys had
GREAT morning playing together, building forts and chasing "bad
guys"...awakened from nap because Tony was bleeding on our bed (not
supposed to be there) having jumped and cracked his skull on the window (not
supposed to be jumping on the bed). Nurse Cari quick to apply pressure to a
decent sized laceration (about a half inch) over the right eyebrow, applied
the last of our Dermabond superglue with some steri-strips in lieu of
stitches. He was chasing bad guys within a couple hours so I don't think it
slowed him down too much, but that's twice now, makes you wonder when he'll
break his first bone...Played soccer with Drew and all the local kids,
sweated up a storm but it felt great..Boys in great mood, Cari cooking great
meals including chocolate chip cookies!, things seem to be going well, at
least for the moment ("pour le moment").

Wed. Aug. 4. Started a list of all the restaurants we're going to visit
when we get home so Cari won't have to cook..Dr. Ann may not be back for
another 4 or 5 days. Yikes..

Sorry that was so long-and sorry we haven't been in touch like we've been

Please continue to pray that we don't get discouraged, that we love the
people here the way God loves the people here, that the boys continue to
adjust well and make friends, that we remain healthy, that Dr. Ann and Pam
will heal up soon, and that whatever we do we do for the glory of our God
and risen Savior. And we will pray the same for YOU.

Thank you again and again for holding us up before the Lord.

Your partners in the great commission, serving in Chad,

The Robertsons

Update from Dr. Ann - hard to be sick in Chad!!!!

Had a long (well,13mins.) call from Cari and Andy yesterday. They continue to
do well. Cari is enjoying the teaching still and getting to know the
children. Apparently Drew is going along with her to help so that is good.
Andy is very grateful for Adolphe who is translating for him and doing so
very well, apparently. Life continues very busy for him with many sick
children. He said that recently they had a quiet day on paediatric ward with
only about 20 patients but on "intensive care"- our higher dependency unit -
there were two children in several of the 13 beds. So I am very glad that he
is there.
I am not yet back there. My car was only ready Thursday but I had
a relapse on Thursday and was only ready for bed. Today have been out to the
shops nearby for the first time. John, our leader, wants me to look at some
finance things with Pam on Monday so I hope to go down Tuesday. So it was
really brilliant that Andy and Cari are there. Otherwise many more children
would have died. (Sadly many die despite our best endeavours because they
come too late). Elisabeth the other doctor has responsibilities at the
nursing school with exams so can't possibly cover everything. I am only
sorry that I cannot be there to help. But God knows all about that.
Yesterday I was reading Ps 27. 14 Wait on the Lord, be strong and let your
heart take courage; wait on the Lord. No doubt Andy and Cari are sometimes
frustrated that I cannot be there earlier with all their emails if nothing
else! (not that they have ever expressed it but it would only be natural)
and I am certainly impatient to get back but recognising that God knows
better (and I am not really strong enough for the trip and getting back into
work immediately after), I am trying to learn to be patient! Pray for us all
in that.
Pray for the nursing school. The theory exams were last week but last time I
heard (Thursday), the government evaluators for the practical exams were not
organised to come despite Elisabeth speaking to the necessary authorities
ages ago. She had been promised they would come this week but then the
promise was retracted. As these are final exams for the 3rd year students,
they are very important. A nurse who trained in another private school
finally did his exams 8 months after the end of his course but that was a
school with many, many more students than ours. It is very discouraging for
Elisabeth and even for us all when such things happen. On 20th August, there
should be entrance exams for private nursing schools including ours. these
are now organised by government for the first time and there is a degree of
uncertainty about how they will run and even if they will take place the
date given. It is important that they do happen so that there will be
students to start the first year in October. Last year the exam never
happened and so there is no first year this year with consequent effects on
the school finances and hospital staffing (which will last for 3 years, of
Lots of news there. Thanks for your prayers and for encouraging Andy and
Cari and boys to come.
Love in Christ,

Still sending news through Debbie!

Aug. 5th

I know you were expecting to hear from Andy and Cari by now.. but Ann is
still here in N'Djamena with her car not fixed (Africa..) and her health
not good.. they thought malaria.. and are doing more blood work today.
So.. Andy and Cari and kids are still in Bebalem working and holding
down the fort down there!
The lads got off well to UK.. and Ann's body got weaker and weaker over
the weekend.
So.. Cari wrote this morning with the following quote for you all to
pray! Thanks!
"Let her know we are still doing well and are still waiting for Ann to
come back. Prayer requests: for her, Ann, to get well and to have her
car get fixed, for Pam to continue to heal, for Drew to like food, for the boys
to enjoy each other, for Andy for wisdom and stamina at hospital. Thanks!"
She wrote a second email when I asked about teaching English.. with this
"English classes are great fun! I am finally learning kids names"

I assume there would be lots of kids as it is a Chadian school.. :) No
limit on the numbers. :)
I hope your team does pray hard. Ann is very weak. Pam is getting
stronger but still needs two naps a day and two other rest times... in
between trying to take back more of the responsibilities of her life and
ministry here. Krista, her daughter, flew home Sunday.. and Joanne,
Pam's mother, arrives tomorrow night! So this has been a week of trying
things out. She's tired.. but gradually getting more energy.
We also have another volunteer here as of Saturday (and another mouth to
feed so Joanne is coming at a good time). His name is Frank and he'll be
doing carpentry work for the school and the two staff homes. Pray his
month here is a blessing and that it doesn't add too much to both Pam's
and John's plates here in N'Dj!
Thank you for praying

News through Dr. Ann

Aug. 4th

Just wanted to let you know why you haven't heard from Andy and Cari in a
little while. I came away to Ndjamena on Monday 26th July for various
meetings and bringing the volunteers up. The theory was that I would have a
new tank put on my vehicle and return Saturday. BUT!! the car was not ready
and is still not ready. I fell sick on Sunday and am still not very mobile.
But I am in sms touch with them. They seem to be doing okay although
obviously sms does not give any room for detail. Don't know if she said but
Cari was to start teaching English at the church "summer school" on the
Monday I left. She was to be teaching various levels and when I spoke to her
once, she said it went well. I know she was glad to get out doing something.
Andy is kept busy with children at the hospital, some very sick. His
interpreter seems to be working out well, thankfully.
Think that is all for now. Hope to get back there in a few days.
Best wishes

Thanks for Prayers!

Pam is doing MUCH better! She still is resting after doing something..
but is able to do some things. Now the balance of not doing too much
will come into play. Her daughter is still here up from BaIlli five
hours south. Pam's mom is also flying in here next week for a stay.
The Drs are pleased with her progress. and We are all thankful!!
Thank you for praying!

Through our friend, Debbie, an update

Andy has sent a few messages.. and would like praises for Cari's
teaching. It is going well. Hi to everyone! They have no email this
week as Ann is here dropping the two British volunteers off for their
flights to UK on Friday. Pray for her time here to get lots of things
done while in town. Pray for Tom and Phil who have just finished 3 1/2
months in Bebalem and head to UK for university this fall. Pray for the
family as they are there without a computer for the week. (so far so
good! :) They are looking forward to her return. :)
The big prayer for everyone here is for Pam Propst. She had three days
with lots of negative symptoms that seem to be due to the seizure meds
she was on at first. They have switched meds and she is improving.
They are so happy about that as they were talking medical evacuation to
Europe. Please pray that the new medicine would work better. We are
waiting for blood work to come back this afternoon. Pray that the
bruise on her brain would continue to heal. Pray that the team
supporting her would be able to discover the emergency office details
that must be attended to .. and attend to them. Pam has big shoes to
fill. Pray also for Pam's family and team here as they love her dearly
and want her to heal quickly.
Thank you so much for getting folks to pray! I know that Pam, and Andy
and family, appreciate it! God hears our prayers!
Bless you all!

Settling in

21 July, Wednesday
Bebalem, Chad

We thank God every time we remember you and pray you continue to grow in Hislove and mercy. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t yet, how will we worship,honor, and serve Him today? The last two days have been extremes here in Chad. Yesterday was mybirthday. The day started similar to Monday, rounding on Pediatrics. Thiswas my second day in a row so I was actually starting to feel a little bitcomfortable with the routine (watch out when that happens!). The pediatricward consists of three sections, separated by partial walls, 12-13 beds persection. Usually there is one patient per bed (or one bed per patient) butsince we’ve had more than 40 hospitalized peds patients I actually saw twokids on bed 11 and three kids on bed 12 (and for whatever reason, there areno beds 18 and 25, and there is a bed 21b). I saw 29 patients before lunchand then another 8 or so after lunch. Numerous kids are severelymalnourished, but some parents don’t want to stay for the prolonged refeedingprogram because they don’t have money. Lots of malaria, diarrhea,dysentery, rashes, and coughing. Several kids with severe mouth ulcers.One kid with heart failure. Bed 14 took a swing at me, the scary white guy,(now we call him “le boxeur”) which made everyone laugh. It was quite nice,actually, because it meant he had some strength and vigor, which many of thekids had long since lost. It seemed like a fairly ordinary work day. Ofcourse, being so busy meant I haven’t had time to visit the other wards(OB/maternity, men, women, private, surgical). Dr. Ann sees the patients inour “ICU” (more about that below) and then has been doing administrativework, so I’m kind of on my own, but at least today things went ok. I got home around 4pm.
Cari had invited our small missions team over fordinner (Dr. Ann and the two lads, Phil and Thom – Dr. Elizabeth fromSwitzerland couldn’t make it). She spent the day making shepherd’s pie andbrownies. Drew, Tony and I walked down to the local store for coca-cola.We had a regular party! It was good fun. Topped off with a game of Ark ofthe Covenant which Thom won (guess English lads don’t believe in letting thebirthday boy win J). Even more impressive considering there weren’ttemperature settings on the oven and the baking pan didn’t fit in itproperly. Oh, and our battery blew a fuse so we only had lights from 7 to8pm. I got to open presents which included some amazing cards, personalizedplacemats, and even a treasure hunt. Considering where we are, it was one ofmy most memorable birthdays. Thanks to a great family.
Today was about as different as possible. Dr. Ann interrupted morningrounds (we had moved backwards from bed 39, and were about half way done)with some additional tasks. Now that I’m here, Dr. Ann suggested to theclinic nurses that see all the outpatients, that they could send the moredifficult cases down to the ward to see me. Dr. Ann thought there were twowaiting but that quickly multiplied into five. While we were trying to seethese patients, we got called to a private room where a child was starting todevelop respiratory distress from measles pneumonia. We transferred to the“ICU” but that was full. As lunchtime came and went, Dr. Ann asked me to seea couple of ICU patients with her. One 12 year old seemed to have a septicarthritis of the left hip, spreading now to include abdominal pain anddifficulty breathing. When she asked what I thought, I mentioned wanting toget an xray, ultrasound of the hip, surgical consult, lab tests, and startIV antibiotics. Of course, the only thing available to us here were the IVantibiotics, and even these are too expensive for many families. We did take a short lunch break around 2:30, and when we returned there wasa new baby in the next bed over. This baby had fever and difficultybreathing and probably had severe malaria, but as we were getting herinitial weight and discussing what to do, she got worse and died. Right infront of us. It was so sad and discouraging to be so helpless, probably themost discouraging thing I’ve ever experienced. I brought resuscitation bagswith us, but there isn’t any oxygen in the “ICU”. And no quick way to startIVs (we have to write a script, including what size IV needle to use, thenthe family goes and purchases the supplies, then the staff starts the IV, ifthey are good or lucky with the one IV needle). There wasn’t anything wecould do to stop it. And there was only one nursing assistant staffing the“ICU” at the time (13 beds), pretty typical I guess, because of the limitedresources. There are often nursing students around, but their classes areover in August. SO different from even Togo, where four nurses would’vejumped to the bedside, started IVs, gotten an xray, started antibiotics andmalaria meds, all before we even turned to the family to talk about historyor cost. Over 7 kids have died since I’ve been here, and we think the 12year old will die in the next day or two. It’s a little overwhelming. Carireminded me there’s a reason Chad is in the top ten for infant mortality(and Togo isn’t). And that’s part of the reason we felt called here this summer and not there. Hmm………
We’ve had two special prayer times, one with Dr. Ann and three localpastors/hospital chaplains, and one with the AIM team (Dr. Ann, Thom, andPhil). The missionary community here is definitely small, but times ofprayer are uplifting, and it was also nice to be encouraged by the kind wordsand support of the Chadian pastors. Our appliance breakdowns have all been fixed rather quickly. Daily soccer games on the all purpose court (soccer,basketball, tennis even) with local kids have been helping Drew adjust. Cari is figuring out the cooking despite the different kitchen circumstances.
We could still use your prayers and encouragements. We wouldn’t mind havingthe rechargeable battery back again (a little light after 6pm makes dinner,clean up and bedtime so much smoother). We haven’t figured out how to outsmart the rat yet. Cari has been cooped up with the boys quite a bit and is looking for ways to get out and meet Chadian ladies. The boys are stilladjusting to not having at least a few other white kids around. And Dr. Annwill be leaving for several days next week leaving Andy “in charge” of the“ICU” and pediatric wards (and feeling very alone)(I’m still trying tofigure out when Dr. Ann sleeps, considering all the things she does). We hope everyone is well. We pray you are walking humbly with your savior.Love from the other side of the world.
The Robertsons

Illness and discouragement

16, July, Friday

Hello team! Greetings from around the world in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who heals and forgives and redeems. He came that we may have life and have it abundantly. We pray you are experiencing abundant life this week.

As for the Robertsons, we are praying through Psalms 5 and 6, for it has been a season (well, the last 11 days) of highs and lows, sighing and crying for help, of taking refuge in our just and merciful God, and praying for His protection. Tony got sick a week ago, Cari yesterday, and Drew today. You might say our family prayer has been 6:2-3, for everyone but Andy (not yet) has complained of being in anguish, painful bones and feeling faint, and we’ve all been wondering how long this fever/vomiting/diarrhea illness will go on. Thanks to God that his love is ever unfailing and we know that he hears us.

So we finally got on the road from N’Djamena to Bebalem on Tuesday. Up at 5:45am for the 6:30 bus. We arrived just as it was leaving which ended up to our benefit because we were able to all sit together in the front two rows and all 17 bags and packages came with (on top of) our bus. It ended up being a very smooth ride (Andy tried really hard not to be anxious about it, wasn’t altogether unsuccessful, and we were all very grateful to God that it went so smoothly), with no camels or livestock anywhere close to us. The boys slept nearly the whole trip. Dr. Ann, Pastor Dume, and the two English lads were there to meet us, we somehow got all our stuff inside the Toyota, and after a few errands and a 2 hour off-road trek on an ever-narrowing dirt road/wide walking path, we arrived at our new “home”.

After Andy said hello at morning devotions on Wednesday, the rest of the day was spent mostly unpacking and getting situated. We’ve moved into the other side of Dr. Ann’s duplex, but until the English lads arrived in April it hadn’t been occupied in over 4 years (possibly ten). The maintenance crew has put in a lot of work getting it fixed up (mosquito screens on doors and windows, repairing/replacing appliances, etc.) and the lads were able to take care of the 3 or 4 mice/rats that weren’t used to company (but unfortunately we do still have at least one stubborn non-houseguest that doesn’t even take a second sniff at our mousetraps – Andy has seen him nearly every day, but can’t seem to catch up with him. It’s been grand finally getting to unpack, but still a bit of a struggle since we’re getting by with thrown together housewares (several cups but only 2 bowls, etc.). We are very glad the stove works and we were able to get the door on the fridge fixed by Thursday so we have a place for coldstuffs so things are definitely looking up a bit.

Andy got a tour from Dr. Ann late Wednesday and then rounded with her Thursday am. It was pretty discouraging and heart-wrenching. Even fewer resources than Togo -- people have to purchase meds and even IV material before its given (no large benevolence from Western/European churches). Already three children in the “Swan” (intensive care) have died and I’ve only been here 3 days. One was a 18 month old with meningitis, positive spinal tap, but the family didn’t go get the medicine (Rocephin) the first day (Wednesday), we got the results and told them how important it was on Thursday, and by Friday she was dead. I’ve already seen three cases of measles, one in a coma; a heart failure, severe pneumonia, and countless malnutritions. The intensive care ward holds up to 13 patients and pediatrics alone holds 36 or more. It’s no wonder Dr. Ann is so tired. There is no xray capability, and with the people as poor as they are I am really struggling to figure out what my medical role will be here.

The boys spent much of Wednesday and Thursday playing soccer with Chadian kids. But by the time Andy returned from Thursday rounds the bug had started its progression. Cari went straight to bed and for the last day and a half Andy has been caring for three patients only. And first it was Pam Propst (“well, Andy, now you’ve taken care of your first patient in Chad” she joked after she got her first stitches). Simple things get much more difficult when there are so few resources and so many other bugs to consider. When Tony’s fever got up to 104 that night in N’Djamena Cari asked if I would have been so nervous about him if we were back home – and the answer was definitely not, I knew that a good ED was just a short drive away if anything worrisome happened. I didn’t have that same confidence in the middle of Chad the night before a 7 hour bus ride deeper into nowhere.

We are reachable by phone, we’re not sure about email yet (we’re sending this from Dr. Ann’s). But we have a Chadian cell phone – dial +23590576330 (235 is the country code, the phone numbers are 8 digits long, I’m not sure about the “+” sign). If we call it’s rather expensive. The missionaries here suggest having friends and family buy a prepaid phone card in the States that covers the country of Chad because the rates will be much better. Receiving calls here is free. We can also send and receive texts, but apparently only to Cingular, Verizon doesn’t accept them? Mail also comes relatively reliably toN’Djamena in about two weeks, but it sits at the TEAM compound in N’Djamena until someone travels down to Bebalem which sometimes takes a while. Cell service is VERY spotty and we often can’t get through to other missionaries here.

We love you all. Thank you so much for partnering with us. We both think this is our hardest trip so far. Please pray for us. We’re hoping that soon we can stop being a burden to Dr. Ann and start helping out here. We wanted to strengthen, encourage, and comfort the body of believers here (I Cor 14:3, II Thes 2:16-17). We’re still hoping to do that soon. We will also pray for you, that you accept, store up, turn to, apply to, call out for, cry aloud for, look for, and search for as treasure the Lord’s wisdom – because then you will find and understand the knowledge of God.

Grace and peace and love in our Savior.

The Robertsons

I Hate Camels!

July 11th

Hello everyone! bonjour! If you are wondering about the subject line, it is what Tony uttered as we waited on the side of the road to Bebalem (still 5 hours away) next to our vehicle which was now under a very LARGE camel. We, as a family, were all fine (a little covered in glass) and driver was fine, but Pam Propst was on her way to a clinic with Andy in a red cross truck (sent from God?) so that she could get stitches where she had been cut on her scalp and ear. She is doing okay now -still in a lot of pain (please pray for her!) and we are back in N'djamena at the TEAM guest house. As you can imagine, it was a pretty incredible trip - it is very hard to avoid a large camel that comes suddenly onto a highway where you are driving 120 Km an hour. And it will take awhile before the boys are excited about seeing camels again. But we are SO grateful to God for His protection. It really is a miracle that Pam is not dead seeing what the camel did to the front of the car.

Yes, we have a new plan. We leave for Bebalem on Tuesday (today is Sunday), so we are enjoying the TEAM hospitality here in the capital for a few extra days. We have been very amazed at how well the missionary groups here all work together. In fact, there are 7 different mission agencies (including AIM) who specifically work with the EET (Eglise Evengelistique du Tchad) and they are not all American agencies. Chad is a secular state, so missionaries can say they are here as missionaries. But knowing that the makeup of the country does involve non-Christian groups, it is still important to be sensitive. As we read the handbook here, we found out that our prayer letters and emails from our time here should not be placed on church websites or blogs. Thank you for helping us with that! This morning we went to a church service done in English and attended by missionaries from the city and for those just passing through. It was a nice service and gave us a chance to meet others who are here doing ministry, including several other doctors serving in various locations of Chad. Right next door at the TEAM guest house is another family with 5 kids. They are TEAM missionaries in the East and are here for a short while. It has been a real blessing for us as their kids have been tons of fun for our boys (Andy has even picked one out as a future bride for Drew!) and they have been a wealth of knowledge (even though they claim to be new at this still since they are only in their 5th year!).

So, thank you for your prayers for our travels. God has watched over us and continues to teach us that original plans may not work, but God is still always in control. Very reassuring as we look to heading south again soon, this time in a Chadian bus.

Food has been fine...it is very hot here, but everyone is getting sleep...electricity is on and off, but mostly on...we got a gas powered fridge for our house in Bebalem...all are healthy.

It may be a few days before we get to email again, but know how much we appreciate all of you!
Au bientot,

FIrst entry for summer trip to Chad

July 7th 2010

Greetings in the name of the Lord! We have arrived safely. Thanks to God. Believe it or not, the hardest part of our trip was getting out of North Carolina. Our flight from Greensboro was delayed 3 hours so we would’ve missed the Atlanta-London flight. We were shuttled to Greensboro but missed the connection by 10 minutes. Our desk agent spent over 30 minutes on the phone (can you believe it? even gate agents get put on LONG holds), but was able to transfer us to another airline, we made London on time, were able to collect and recheck our bags, then Afriqiyah Airways delivered us uneventfully to Tripoli and then Ndjamena. The hardest part (other than the anxiety about getting to London) was the 5 hours in Tripoli with two tired boys (and two tired parents). We got through customs well, all our bags were there, including the oxygen concentrator, and the Propsts were there to meet us. They drove us to the guest house and we quickly fell asleep (3am local time, about 10pm home time).

This evening (still today) the Propsts had us and several other missionaries over to their house for dinner. We met Justin and Krista Clermont (Krista is one of the Propst’s daughters), Debbie and Laurie (teachers for the new missionary school), Naomi Duff (Northern Ireland missionary ministering to vulnerable women, mostly prostitutes), and some friends of the Clermonts visiting from the States. The boys played with the Clermont’s three boys. It was a wonderful dinner with great fellowship.

It was a busy day but we’re glad to be here and in God’s hands. Our initial impressions:

It’s hot. When the electricity works the fans help (THANK YOU for the battery fans!)

It’s quite a bit like Togo – the buildings, the heat, the French.

We heard our first call to prayer tonight.

Many head scarves and burkas.

The cheese and chocolate were well received.

I quoted Phillipians 4:16 in our last email before leaving and Cari reminded me about “not being anxious” several times during the trip (especially in the shuttle on I-85 trying to get to Charlotte). Let’s all give thanks to our God who has us in the palm of his hand!

Thanks to all for your support. We leave for Bebalem on Friday.