CCC has been blessed to partner with some amazing missionaries in the country of Mali for the last 9 years. One of our favorite missionaries has been Dr. Dan Nesselroade, the Medical Director and all-around amazing guy at the hospital for women and children that CCC helped build. Here is a latest update from Dan about the current situation in Mali.
Holiday greetings to everyone.
It has been a turbulent 2012 for the country of Mali. The coup d’état in March and the subsequent fall of the north to salafist groups have thrown the country into disarray. Mali’s return to territorial integrity seems to be in the hands of international bodies like the UN and the African Union unless a western power would choose to intervene outside of these agencies, or unless Mali could solve the problem ourselves. There was an interesting article covering potential US involvement in the Washington Post this week. I have attached a link for those interested.
Al Qaeda appears to be our northern neighbor for the foreseeable future, as the UN doesn’t forecast troops on the ground here until September of 2013 at the earliest. Of course everyone is hoping for a peaceful solution, it just seems hard to imagine that any lasting peace could be negotiated.
Life has been pretty normal here in Koutiala. The hospital has continued to grow despite the unrest. If my numbers are correct, we should deliver baby number 10,000 this month or next. We had a record of 189 deliveries in October. October also saw the addition of over 200 solar panels at the hospital to supplement the power. This should reduce our electric bill dramatically and free up income for salaries and growth. Had someone told me back in January all that this year would hold, I could never have thought that it would be a year of sustained growth.
Many of you have been praying for my partner Dr. John Gililland. He was diagnosed with primary brain cancer in April. He underwent surgery, radiation and has returned to Koutiala this week still taking chemotherapy yet for another year and a half. I find it already miraculous that he would come back, given the diagnosis. Pray that God sustains his strength. His friendship and camaraderie are priceless. Any who know John, aren’t surprised that he would bend heaven and earth to get back out here.
Here is a picture of a preemie born last week at 3 and ½ pounds. She has a malformation of her intestinal tract that leaves her continually vomiting, as her duodenum is atretic and does not allow food to pass. Tomorrow she will undergo our second attempt to correct the problem. Last week under anesthesia, she quit breathing and we had to abort the surgery as our capacity to handle emergencies in pediatric anesthesia is still quite limited. She is one of many pediatric surgeries each month now.
Finishing up rounds this morning I was struck again by the sheer number of tragic and heartbreaking stories that come to the hospital each week. Into this world, so spectacularly broken and messed up the Creator came as a baby- Emmanuel. God with us. Perhaps more puzzling than trying to reconcile the problem of evil with the goodness of God, is the fact that God would choose to enter into it himself when he could have stood aloof and just watched it all implode from afar.
Only love offers an adequate motive for the Incarnation. And while we do all, in certain degrees suffer, Christmas reminds me that God did not just choose to watch it all from the safety of heaven. He chose to enter into the mess explicitly to suffer and bleed and die. The just for the unjust. And where would I be had he not? And so, in our suffering, he is not asking us to do anything he hasn’t already subjected himself to, and in an infinitely greater degree! God has spoken quite clearly. His desire is to make each of us like unto Christ. So could he ask any less of us then? Is the disciple somehow greater than his master? So why do I still bellyache all the time?
Many of you ask about our chicken farming project at Bethel Bible school. We have about 930 chickens that are actively laying over 700 eggs a day. I do little more than check up on it now, as it is being successfully managed by Malians and I am swamped at the hospital. But it gives me great joy to watch them succeeding and reaping such a profit from their efforts. There seems to still always be an egg crisis here in town, so I think enough market is there to easily double our production in years to come, and still not meet the demand.
Tonight, the doctors who work on the Women’s side of the hospital are coming for dinner. There are eight now. 4 Malians and 4 from the West. Two new Malian doctors semi-miraculously appeared in October at a time when I thought we were going to collapse from exhaustion. What a blessing they have been! I marvel at God’s kindness to us.
There is one pressing medical need now at the hospital and it is for surgical suture. Because of the unrest, there is absolutely no suture available on the local market, and we obviously use quite a bit. If any of you have contacts for any……any size, any type, any expiration date……please let me know and we will make arrangements to get it from you.
Marcy and I want to thank you for your continued support of us. Our journey is going on 10 years now. Thank you for your prayers, letters and gifts. We are so humbled by it all. It is an unmerited privilege to be here, representing the name of Christ. Have a great Christmas.
Dan and Marcy Nesselroade