Renee Valach

Renée's Rainforest Reflections


Renée’s Rainforest Reflections New Year’s Eve 2020

What a year 2020 has been!

As I write now at the end of the year, I look back at the letters I’ve written during the year, and see that I’ve asked for prayer for some of the same requests more than once. Looking back, I can see how God has been faithful, and answered prayers. Concerning Covid, we prayed that God would protect the hospital staff and the missionary team. He was faithful. When the borders closed, the entire missionary team stayed in Gabon, knowing there was no possibility of intensive care. When some us did fall ill, we prayed for return to health. We prayed that Gabon, with it’s fragile health system would be spared the full extent of Covid as in the US and Europe. God accomplished all those requests.

We prayed because of a lack certain medicines and supplies. Usually, God responded with medicines. Sometimes we had to do without or buy more expensive substitutes. We’ve prayed for hospital finances, and things were tight, but the hospital is afloat. The financing came in for the new duplex housing unit, in time for the two new families who have just arrived to live there. The hospital digital x-ray system broke during the year. We prayed about that and the new system will arrive in Janaury. God provided for all those things.

Prayer through the year
During the course of the year, I told short stories of several patients, giving thanks for how God had intervened for them or asking for prayer. This is a good opportunity to give some follow up.

-In January I wrote about this tiny 840gm (less than 2 pound) baby. She is now a big girl and will soon turn 1 year old. In March we tried to send a special test to Libreville to see if HIV was transmitted to her from her mom when she was born. The blood sample traveled 600 km (more than 350 miles) to Libreville at the moment of the lockdown, and then we couldn’t get it 8 km (5 miles) more to the lab. Finally, just this month, we sent the test again and it was negative. We are rejoicing!
In April I asked for prayer for Pascal, a 15 year old boy with HIV and severe anemia who had required multiple transfusions. He has not needed transfusions for months now.
-In May we prayed for Grace, an orphan girl I've helped with school, who was in the hospital with pneumonia. She is doing well and has restarted school this year.
-In July we prayed for me and other missionaries and staff at the hospital with Covid. Just as I was falling ill, I was exposed to two sick boys. One of them had advanced AIDS with a severe brain infection. Not only did he not catch Covid, but he was able to walk into his follow up appointment and speak to me. I’m amazed!
-In August we gave thanks that Dieu-Merci was able to get back into Gabon across the border from the Republic of Congo to restart medicine. He is a teenager, who for some time now has been coming across the border alone on "elephant paths" for his HIV care. He stayed in Gabon for about 3 months with some family, and returned to Congo with a supply of medicine for the beginning of the school year.
-In September we prayed for the resistant TB patients. One of the men with XDR (Extensively Drug Resistant) TB died suddenly. The other is currently doing well after some scares. His family is from West Africa and he still does not know Jesus. We currently have 7 patients at different stages of treatment or follow up for resistant TB. One woman is pregnant and approaching term. Another woman has been very sick requiring oxygen.
-That brings us to December. All the children in the hospital over Christmas received toys sent from friends in the US. This 3 year old girl is carrying her new "baby" on her back. She was hospitalized for severe anemia from malaria and needed a transfusion. We are installing beautiful new blood bank equipment sent by generous donors in the US. The installation was delayed because of Covid. We are in the process of making some modifications to the lab to better accomodate the equipment. As we enter the worst part of the malaria season, this will help us treat the many patients who need transfusions.

Prayer Requests

Prayer Requests

Thank you for praying through the year.
-Pray for a good start for the Nursing school which will start next month in January.
-We would like to start a program to train primary care physicians. Our Assistant Medical Director is making contacts for us to start officially. Pray that he would be received favorably, and that we would find a trainee so we can start this year.



Updated: January 05, 2021

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