Renee Valach

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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Renée’s Rainforest Reflections October 2018

Installation of Pasteur Michel

This weekend, I drove about 3 hours north into the forest for the long delayed official installation of Pasteur Ndongo Michel. He will be overseeing the churches in 4 villages- Yeno, Etéké, Ovala, and Massima. This area has previously been an area steeped in worship of the spirits of the forest, but now is becoming strategic for Jesus. There were 143 people at the church in Yeno for the installation. After the service it seemed like an impossibly large number of people piled out of the the small building to shake hands. There are sometimes 100 worshippers at Etéké and Ovala as well. In addition to pastoring, Pasteur Michel is finishing the Old Testament translation of the Bible in Mitsogo, the local language, and revising the New Testament translation. After the service there was a celebration meal for everyone with the best porcupine I’ve ever eaten!

Perspectives

This week I finish the 15 week course Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. This is a course on God’s global purpose to bless all the peoples of the world. I’ve wanted to take the course since I was in college, and decided now was the time. I’ve been in Africa for nearly 12 years, and I learned so much about missions. I would highly recommend it.

As part of the course there is a project to find out about an unreached people group and write a paper. In doing research for my project, I found that in Gabon there aren’t very many unreached people groups. (In the end my project was on a non-Gabonese group.) There is one ethnicity here that has been much less touched by the gospel than its neighbors. The Simba people are a small group who mostly live in the area around Massima, one of the villages I mentioned above. I asked Pasteur Michel about them, and we have a plan to reach out to them.

Bongolo Patients

What struck me this month at the hospital was, so many patients with advanced AIDS. A 15 year-old girl nearly died with a severe lung infection called pneumocystis. A young woman was very sick with a condition called IRIS where the immune system goes haywire after it reactivates when someone starts the medicines. A young woman with TB had high fevers from a fungal infection. A man with a CD4 count of 1 developed liver problems after starting treatment. There were others too numerous to list here, more than usual. I'm not qualified to take care of them. They are so sick. I didn't do an Infectious Disease Fellowship. The people I mentioned are currently getting better, not because of me, or state of the art labs, medicines or intensive care equipment, but because of God’s grace.

Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

January 2019

Answered Prayer and Praise

- On January 7th there was a successfully thwarted coup d’etat. For a little while we did not know who was in charge of the country and the internet was shut off. The President of Gabon had a stroke in October, and has not been able to lead since then. Continue to pray for stability.

- At the end of October I wrote about a boy with HIV who was sick. I saw him again this month, and he was doing better. His hair had grown back, his skin wasn’t sloughing off, he wasn’t limping, and he even smiled. Unfortunately, his CD4 count, the lab test we use to follow HIV hadn’t improved. We will check again. Pray that he keeps improving.

- We received a visit from the Medical Director of the hospital in Tchibanga, the capital of the next province. He came to pick up some donated medications we received free from the US, which will expire soon before we can use them. While he was here he explained that his Operating Rooms were unsafe and are closed for renovations. Caring for all of those surgical patients, including c-sections, as well as those from the capital of our province is difficult for our surgical and maternity teams. We are thankful that we found a solution which will allow him to do c-sections safely there in Tchibanga.

Prayer Requests

-Pray for Pasteur Serge, the Administrative Director of the Hospital, and his family after the loss of his father. He has been away and will have a lot to catch up on when he comes back.

-The Gabonese health insurance still has not paid the hospital in months. This makes it difficult to function.

-Pray for the electric upgrade project starting soon. It's been really hot here, in the 90's in the shade with 92% humidity! During these hot days there is more electricity use at the hospital and by afternoon they current wires are overloaded and so hot that the electricity goes out for the hospital. Pray that the project starts soon and the current wires hold out in the meantime.

-Continue to pray for another long-term primary care doctor. (You can see the Ministry Opportunity Description of this position by clicking on this link. https://www.cmalliance.org/jobs/international/africa/gabon-bongolo/bongolo-hospital-primary-care-physician/)

-Continue to pray for a Project Manager to coordinate the construction, and infrastructure projects.

Gabon

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Updated: February 03, 2019

Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Gabon
Address
B P 13.021
Gros Bouquet
Libreville,
GABON

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